As health care marketers, we’ve known for years that women make 80 percent of the decisions about when and where their family receives health care. And, it’s no different now during this COVID-19 epidemic.
What women are going through right now.
Besides looking after everyone’s health, research from NRC Health found that while 43 percent of men are confident in the United States’ ability to minimize the coronavirus epidemic, only 33 percent of women are feeling the same.
The newest national poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found a larger share of women compared to men worried that they or someone in their family will get sick from the coronavirus. More women compared to men reported they feel that worry or stress related to COVID-19 has had a major negative impact on their mental health.
How can we help women through COVID-19?
Women need us to be calm, reassuring, educational, informative, helpful partners. They are taking on a lot of the burden for the care and welfare of the people in their family right now and we need to speak to them directly about the worries and concerns they are feeling.
What do we tell them?
To have the most impact, we need to address each of them personally. A millennial woman with children at home, or living on her own, is experiencing COVID-19 much differently than a baby boomer. And, Gen-X women (our sandwich generation) are pulling double duty worrying about their growing family and their aging parents.
A global web index survey found that 60 percent of millennials are very or extremely concerned about the COVID-19 epidemic. They have been described as the most anxious generation in history and it’s no wonder. They’re dealing with unprecedented challenges in the realms of politics, mass shootings, economic uncertainty, global warming and now a pandemic.
How we can help.
We need to address their anxiety and let them know we can help them cope. We need to reassure them that they are going to get through this, that they can seek help for their mental and physical concerns using the technology they so easily use to accomplish tasks in the rest of their life. We need to provide them with information about telehealth and we need to be their trusted resource for taking care of the health of their children, their spouse and themselves.
Generation X women have a lot going on. They are referred to as the working generation. They were in the workforce during 9/11, the Dot Com Bubble in 1999 and the 2008 stock market crash. Now this. They are worried about paying the bills and how they’re going to keep everyone healthy, including their elderly parents who may be quarantined at home or in assisted living.
How we can help.
They have always felt like the middle child—unheard and unseen. They need us to tell them that we see what they are dealing with and we’re going to try to make their lives easier. We need to let them know it is okay not to be the strong one for a few minutes, that we will provide them with the resources and technology (telehealth) they need to keep themselves, their children and their parents as healthy as possible.
Baby Boomer Women
For the first time some members of this generation find themselves in the “older” and “at risk” population. It is jarring and they don’t like it. They are, however, the most likely to know how to minimize their risk of infection. They are also less likely than other generations to believe the urban myths circulating about the virus. Boomers are more concerned about the health of their children and grandchildren than their own health.
How we can help.
Boomers fear change. They’ve seen a lot of it and sometimes it is hard to keep up with everything, especially technological change. They don’t appreciate feeling old, inadequate and not able to keep up. Right now they are being asked to use the technology they sometimes fear to connect with others—including their health care providers.
Global web index found that six in ten people believe that virtual health appointments are a good way to deliver health care while minimizing the spread of the virus. Only 15 percent of people said that they were definitely not open to them; however, that figure increased to 25 percent among boomers.
Boomers need us to show them how easy it is to meet their health care needs online, whether through telehealth or some other method. They need us to let them know we will walk them through every step and that their experience will be seamless. They need us to reaffirm they are doing the right thing for their health.
We can impact how this crisis is affecting women.
For many women, especially those with children at home, COVID-19 has intensified the many challenges they have long been faced with. As the primary caretaker and in charge of the health care responsibilities in their families they are worried about the negative consequences of this pandemic. We, as marketers, are in a position to help them care for their families and themselves now more than ever before.
P.S. We want to empower every woman through this crisis.
And the way to do that is to connect with them through:
- Social media channels providing calming messages, helpful information, trusted resources and ways they can take care of themselves and their families.
- Digital ads that reassure and celebrate the good work women are doing to keep their families safe.
- Creating online events and communities, led by caregivers, where women can get advice and share what is working for them.
- Sharing patient stories of those who have come through the virus.