Download the ‘Psychographic Segmentation’ Overview

Two employees work side by side. They are similar in age, education, and other demographics.

One is conscientious about health and health care; the other uses the ER for minor medical needs.

They both receive the same benefits information. So why is one engaged, and the other indifferent?

It’s not enough to educate. You have to motivate. Psychographics holds the key.

The traditional approach to communication focused on the “what.” It delivered the same message in the same way to all employees.

A more recent approach focuses on the “how.” Message delivery has been segmented based on generational differences, such as sticking with the printed word for some and expanding to electronic formats for others.

Psychographics is the future. It goes beyond the message, beyond the medium and into the motivation — why people do what they do.

Employer Approaches to CommunicationThink of it this way: Demographics chart external characteristics that mark a population — things like age, income, ethnicity. Psychographics identify internal characteristics — things like priorities, personal responsibility, and openness to new ideas.

C2B Solutions, a Cincinnati-based health care market research firm, has developed a simple consumer quiz that utilizes psychographics to identify five distinct personality profiles.

With just 12 questions regarding health care, consumer motivations can be segmented, with 91.1 percent predictability. The five segments are: Balance Seekers, Strong Survivors, Priority Jugglers, Self-Achievers, and Active Listeners.

Health Care Psychographic Segments

Psychographic segmentation is “the next frontier” for health care, said David Homan, Director of Marketing and Innovation and a Shareholder at McGohan Brabender.

“This is moving way beyond generational segmentation,” he said. “This is an exciting and different way to engage consumers in their health care.”

Psychographics isn’t new. It has been utilized for years to understand consumer characteristics in commercial markets. Only recently has it been applied to health-care markets, but it is already yielding extraordinary results. It’s on track to fundamentally change the health care industry.

On the provider side, health care reform provisions increasingly link reimbursement to outcomes, known as the “pay-for-value” model. With psychographic segmentation, physicians and hospitals can better persuade patients to follow medical advice, take their medications and keep their appointments. Better adherence means better outcomes.

And employers can fully realize the benefits of an engaged workforce. When people are properly motivated, behaviors change. When behaviors change, health goes up and risk goes down. And lower-risk employees are lower-cost employees.

Diabetes management, smoking cessation, and health-care utilization will all have a greater impact. That impact will be evident in lower costs and a healthier, more productive workforce.


Here’s one example: The questions will identify people who rely on health care professionals for guidance vs. those who proactively approach their health. A directive approach will work for the first group, but won’t resonate with the second.

Psychographic insights can get into specifics, such as words to use and words to avoid. Even the best frequency of communications varies among the five segments.

To arrive at the 12 questions, C2B researchers used statistical clustering procedures to examine the response patterns to two psychographic segmentation studies involving 380 survey questions. Their streamlined approach provides clear differentiation, consistent results, and actionable insights.

C2B will work with clients to incorporate the classifier into their own systems; provide the data analytics to interpret the results; and identify proven segment-specific communication techniques.

Psychographic segmentation is a game changer in the field of health care delivery. It finally answers the question: If you build it, they WILL come.

About C2B: C2B Solutions was founded in 2012 by Brent Walker and Casey Albertson. The former Procter & Gamble executives had decades of experience studying consumer motivations

Download the ‘Psychographic Segmentation’ Overview

For 40 years, McGohan Brabender has been simplifying the delivery of health benefits by managing risk and reducing costs. We are passionate about what we do and have the tools and experience to guide you through the chaos of health benefits management.