Psycho-What?

yellow bran on white background with words psycho why above

Hi, my name is Dave and I am a technology addict.  It’s been 2 hours since I watched a replay of the 1,218 precision-programmed drones amaze the world during the closing ceremony of the Olympics.  I anticipate new C-Net reviews of technology like it’s the next Star Wars movie, and my final wish is to be buried with a Sky Mall catalog.

As the person charged with strategy and innovation for McGohan Brabender, one of my primary responsibilities is to find new ways to communicate, engage and most importantly, change the behavior of the members we serve.  I’ve been doing this job for 26 years and have seen just about everything – every colored brochure, benefit booklet, video, app, website, decision support tool, online enrollment system, telemedicine, wearable device, premium incentive, telemedicine, gym membership, wellness walk, social media, onsite clinic, pricing transparency tool, big data, health coaching, concierge service, etc., etc., etc … And you know what – none of these solutions has been the silver bullet that saves health care. They all have their cool value proposition, success stories and white papers; but as with every new car, the “new car smell” disappears and the car payments start.  At that point, it’s off in search of the newest technology. Sound just a little too familiar?

Technology is not the solution. Technology is merely the vehicle that delivers the message – wait, what?  The message?!?  We forgot about the message!  The message is everything! It’s the “what” that we want to achieve. But you can’t get people to “what” until you figure out “why.” Why we are motivated to make the decisions we make, why we do the things we do, and why it’s important to us.  The “why” is psychographics.

Psychographics has been used successfully for years in the consumer product market. McGohan Brabender was an early adapter of psychographic segmentation as it applies to health care. We saw how this approach could help employers achieve real behavioral change in regard to clinical care and consumerism.

It comes down to this: People generally fit into one of five classifications — Balance Seeker, Strong Survivor, Priority Juggler, Self-Achiever, or Active Listener.  Each segment responds to different motivators. Some may favor to a direct approach, others want to study the details, and others thrive on competition.

It’s not rocket science; we’ve always known this about people. That’s why we talk to people and walk away thinking “that person really gets it” or “what was that idiot smoking?” Have you ever walked out of a meeting and asked two people what they thought of the meeting only to get two very opposite reviews?  Chances are, one identified with the speaker’s segment – and the other one didn’t.  But it doesn’t need to be this way because the real breakthrough is, now we can easily identify each segment and target communication and messaging in ways that will resonate with them.

Whether you want employees to establish a primary-care relationship; get preventive screenings; avoid unnecessary emergency claims; or numerous other applications, you can achieve the change you want with psychographics.

Who would have ever thought that such a complex problem could have a simple solution – communicating to people in a way that is meaningful, relatable and relevant. Now, take psychographic communication and layer it on top of the cool technology, and you really have something special.

Watch the video above to learn more about each segment and then take the quiz to see which segment you belong to.  My next post will discuss how to operationalize psychographics within your employee population.


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