Urgent message: The family demographic is a dream for urgent care businesses, with social association and physical activity leading to frequent illness and injury, and employer-provided insurance to pay the bills. Key to reaching this demographic is establishing credible word-of-mouth with the female healthcare decision-maker in the home, which can be accelerated by “mommy blogging.”
Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.
There are near countless traditional marketing tactics that target potential urgent care patients. So, it isn’t surprising that mommy bloggers aren’t the first group that comes to mind. Given the fact that Money magazine predicts influencer marketing (including mommy blogging) will be a $10 billion industry by next year, maybe they should be. In fact, there are many reasons why “mommies” should be a key marketing demographic for urgent care owner/operators. From busy schedules to trustworthy networking, these women embody a tremendous opportunity for urgent care businesses to provide convenience and accessibility for entire families.
Time Is a Premium
Anyone with kids knows there simply isn’t enough time in the day. Moms, particularly those who work in dual-income households, know this better than anyone. In fact, it’s so true for them that they tend to put a dollar premium on their time. Indeed, time is often worth more than money to time-starved mothers! For urgent care businesses, this is important to note. After all, it means moms may be willing to pay a higher copay to resolve a medical problem now rather than waiting for an appointment at their pediatrician or family practice office.
The convenience and speed of urgent care is a huge positive in the eyes of parents who don’t have enough time on their hands. When their child is sick, they need access to medical care in order to return to “normal” work, school, and activities as quickly as possible. So, it’s important for urgent care owner/operators to focus on these features when marketing to the “mommy” world.
Families Need More Care
It’s common for married families with multiple children to be busy on most nights of the week. Whether this means school activities, sports leagues, or quality time together, the potential for illness and injury increases in proportion. Families living active lifestyles with a high degree of social association are more likely to acquire a virus while those engaged in recreation are prime for cuts, abrasions, sprains and strains.
Most active suburban families also have some form of employer-subsidized health insurance. Interestingly, most of the injuries and illnesses resulting from a busy lifestyle are perfect candidates for urgent care treatment. After all, cold/flu symptoms, sprains, minor breaks, allergies, headaches, fevers, and cuts are among the most commonly treated problems in the urgent care setting. This highlights another reason why owners and operators of urgent care clinics should target the family with children demographic—they are core consumers of the service.
What started out in the early days of the internet as a hobby for stay-at-home moms can now become a career for the most established of mommy bloggers. It’s estimated that 14% of all American moms are blogging, meaning there are around 4 million in North America alone. Aside from writing blog posts, they tend to heavily rely on social media and networking with other moms to share tips, suggestions, and recommendations. Of course, this means a great deal of trust is established within the community.
Studies show that moms are drastically more likely to trust advice from a fellow mom over a traditional piece of advertising. So, having positive experiences about your urgent care clinic or chain shared from within the mommy blog community can be highly valuable.
Partnering with Mommy Bloggers in the Community
Mommy bloggers are in a perfect position to promote your urgent care business. They have access to and a rapport with the family demographic we’ve touched on and can produce word-of-mouth testimonials that drive business better than any ad. Mothers trust other mothers more than any paid advertising. So, urgent care owners should consider the possibility to partnering with established mommy bloggers in the local community.
Ideally, mommy bloggers you reach will share their positive experience with your urgent care business via blog posts, social media, and in discussions with other local moms. Even if the partnership is not formal, asking for a kind review from these influencers can do a great deal for your business.
Urgent care centers should pursue local mommy bloggers and their families, both as clients and as potential partners. Try doing a web search for “mommy blogging” and a town or county that represents your patient population. (For example, a search for “mommy blogging” and “Bergen County, NJ” turned up dozens of local and regional blogs.) Reach out to the most promising prospects. Those who have had a positive experience with your urgent care center are even more valuable and can help bring in even more clients in the future. Attempting to acquire mommy bloggers and their families as clients can be a worthwhile strategy for urgent care businesses looking to expand their reach and influence within the community.