Why a Brand Perception Study Should Be on Your 2021 To-Do List

James Vineburgh

Dr. James Vineburgh

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Monumental shifts in the nature of patient care delivery (the rapid uptick of virtual visits, in particular) have made newly crafted brand awareness and perception studies critical to conduct in 2021.

Stamats has long led the pack in academic institutional brand and market research. Based on our extensive perception, research, and brand experience coupled with our academic medical center projects and keeping abreast of healthcare industry research, we recommend updating perception studies to reflect three focal areas of inquiry as they relate to virtual visits.

1. Convenience and Quality

Firstly, the convenience of virtual visits has been lauded. But are there concerns over the perception of quality of care as compared to in-person appointments? Will in-person patients leave more satisfied reviews than telehealth patients? And how will this impact the overall physician ratings?

This could lead to a need to shape the types of verbal and visual components used for promotional purposes. Develop and analyze survey questions about patients’ intent to continue opting for telehealth and for what services.

2. Concerns about Data Privacy

The use of personal devices and multiple communication platforms linked with high-profile customer data breaches in the news invites justifiable fears related to data privacy. Perception studies should include questions about:

  • The extent to which telehealth communications are perceived as private.
  • How organizational policies pertaining to data privacy are communicated and understood.

3. Building Relationships and Trust

If providers don’t establish the same depth of trust-based relationships with their patients via telehealth as they do in person, loyalty to individual providers and the organizations that employ them is in jeopardy.

Survey questions ought to explore comparative perceptions of telehealth versus in-person visits in terms of ability to connect with providers on a personal level, to experience empathy, to feel confident that the delivery mode of care is appropriate, etc. Such data can inform practice as it relates to ensuring that specific ways of communicating before, during, and after telehealth visits meets patient needs and expectations.

Next Steps

So, the next steps in preparing to launch a brand perception study in 2021 are to:

  • Assess existing perception studies. Ensure the content has been updated to reflect the surge in virtual visits and their implications.
  • Consider working with a firm that has extensive market research expertise as well as deep industry knowledge of healthcare marketing as the analyses of the findings will be more easily implperception studiesemented in strategic plans and marketing communications.

Are you ready to ensure that you are asking the right questions? Likewise, that the responses to those questions can be operationalized effectively and efficiently? If so, please contact Dr. James Vineburgh to discuss how.

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