Have you ever heard of the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”?. This saying is referring to perception. Consumers are exposed to marketing stimuli every day, whether it’s regarding food, clothing, entertainment, insurance, or healthcare. These stimuli are then processed in our minds through information processing. Information processing is when a person is exposed to something that triggers our senses. We then pay attention to the message, comprehend it, and store it in our short-term memory to retrieve later from our long-term memory.
Within this process, consumers understand the stimuli they receive based on perceptions they have developed through past experiences. Because of this, incorporating elements that stimulate the five senses is a strategy that top brands use within some of their retail locations. For instance, Starbucks coffee shops have strong coffee aroma pumped into their air systems, triggering energy and familiarity feelings.
By stimulating consumers in multiple ways, experiences can be tailored to prompt positive perceptions, therefore being favored on the next exposure. So, if a physical experience can be created in a retail store or coffee shop, can it be created at a doctor’s office? The answer is yes. The experience at a medical office, specifically the waiting area, should be seen as an opportunity to create positive patient perceptions. This can be done by using soothing colors, temperature control, peaceful artwork, and music. Many people associate a doctor’s visit with negative news. Its typical behavior to only see a physician when we feel pain or discomfort associated with ailments. By leveraging the medical office’s physical space, a practice can switch the script and become associated with positive and calm feelings. By doing so, it’s likely patients will be more willing to provide positive physician reviews and word of mouth referrals.
If you haven’t yet read my last post on the customer persona.