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7 min

An introductory guide to healthcare market research

A guide explaining healthcare market research and its risks and challenges

Mar 7, 2023


Healthcare market research is the process by which a company identifies and quantifies the needs and wants of customers in the healthcare industry.

What is healthcare market research?

Healthcare market research is the process of collecting and analysing data to understand how customers use a product or service. The goal of market research is to help companies make decisions by understanding their customers' needs and wants. Companies use healthcare market research for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Product development: to determine what products people want.
  • Marketing campaigns: to develop strategies for reaching out to potential buyers.
  • Pricing strategy: deciding whether or not it's worth charging more money for certain services.

Healthcare market research is the process of identifying and quantifying the needs, wants, and expectations of customers in your healthcare industry. It's also a systematic way to help you identify trends within your industry, customers' behaviour and expectations as well as potential problems with your current product or service offerings.

There are many types of market research techniques that can be used depending on what information you need and each technique has its own strengths and weaknesses. The right approach will depend on several factors including:

  • What kind of information do I need?
  • How much time do I have?
  • How much money do I have?
  • What is the nature of my research question?
  • How will I use the information once it's gathered?

Why does a business need healthcare market research?

Healthcare market research helps you to identify and quantify the needs and wants of customers in the healthcare industry. It can also help you identify trends within your industry, customers' behaviour and expectations, as well as potential problems in your current product or service offering.

For example:

  • If you are a manufacturer of medical devices, healthcare market research will allow you to understand how different types of patients use your products. This information will help guide future development efforts so that new products cater better to those specific users' needs.
  • If your company provides services such as insurance coverage or medical billing services then understanding what types of insurance plans are most popular among consumers is essential for survival since it determines how much revenue comes through each channel (i.e., direct sales vs indirect channels).

When should you start your healthcare market research?

Healthcare market research is a big project, so it's important to start early. Here are some of the best times to begin your healthcare market research:

  • Before you start your business or launch a new product or service. You'll want to know how the market will react before going live with anything!
  • When making changes to your business (e.g., adding more staff members). This way, you can ensure that these changes won't negatively affect customers' experiences with the company overall.
  • When making changes within certain departments (e.g., marketing strategy). If there are any adjustments needed for existing products or services before launching them into their respective markets, this would be an ideal time frame for doing so. You can then measure their effectiveness afterward using surveys from customers who have already purchased them!

How can your business conduct healthcare market research?

Here are some ways that businesses usually conduct healthcare market research:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Secondary research: This is where you go to look at the data that has already been collected. It's a great way to start your research if you are unfamiliar with the industry or topic area and want to get an idea of how much information is out there. You can use databases like Google Scholar, PubMed (for scientific articles), or Lexis Nexis for legal cases related to healthcare topics. These tools will let you search by keyword or topic area so that it's easy for anyone in your company who needs access but doesn't know much about healthcare research methods or terminology yet!

Healthcare market research is an essential part of staying on top of your industry and keeping your clients happy. It's a way of making sure you are providing the best service possible, meeting their needs, and staying at the forefront of their minds when it comes time for them to choose a partner in healthcare.

Why should you do healthcare market research?

There are many reasons why you should do healthcare market research. The most obvious one is that it will help you understand your customers better, but there are other benefits as well. Here are some of them:

  • It will help identify potential problems with the service or product that you offer. For example, if a lot of people are complaining about how long they have to wait in line when they visit the doctor's office then this could be an indication that there is something wrong with the system (or maybe even a need for more staff).
  • You can use this information as part of a marketing campaign for your business. This can be done by updating or redesigning brochures so that they reflect what people want from their experiences at hospitals or clinics, creating new advertisements based on surveys conducted during interviews conducted throughout various locations such as social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook; revamping email newsletters sent out weekly containing tips on how best care should be given.

Healthcare market research is an essential tool for any healthcare organisation. It helps you to:

  • Gain insight into your customer's needs, wants , behaviours and preferences.
  • Identify trends within your industry.
  • Spot potential problems in your current product or service offering.
  • Identify new opportunities for growth by identifying what consumers are looking for from their healthcare provider at any given time (i.e., if they're more interested in convenience than price). This can help you improve on whatever aspect of the service that's missing for them at present, whether it's location or hours open; quality of care; or the range of services offered.

How can you do healthcare market research?

As you can see, there are many reasons to do healthcare market research. Before launching a new product or service, it's important to understand who your customers are, what their needs are, and how those needs change over time. It's also critical when you want to improve your existing products or services by making sure they meet customer expectations. As a survey panel provider, we're dedicated to helping clients understand how their products fit into the marketplace, how they can improve them, and what direction they should take in order to stay competitive.

Healthcare market research is more than surveys and data analysis

The first thing to understand about market research is that it's more than just surveys and data analysis. Market research is the process of collecting, analysing, and interpreting information about your target market. It can include focus groups, interviews, customer satisfaction surveys (e.g., Net Promoter Score), customer surveys, and even customer testing in some cases.

A survey is one way you can get this information from consumers. However, there are other ways as well:

  • Focus groups - These allow you to hear from multiple people at once about their experiences with your product or service.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys - These help determine how happy customers are with their experience using your product or service.

Healthcare market research is the process of identifying and quantifying the needs and wants of customers in the healthcare industry. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or other forms of data collection. The goal of healthcare market research is to identify trends within your industry, customers' behaviour and expectations, as well as potential problems in your current product or service offering.

Market research is the process of understanding your customers' needs and wants. It's also a systematic process that can help you identify trends within your industry, customers' behaviour and expectations, as well as potential problems in your current product or service offering. Additionally, it helps companies gain insight into their markets by providing information on who their competitors are; what products they offer; where they do business; how much they charge for those products or services; why customers buy from them instead of other companies; what factors influence customer purchase decisions (price, quality/features, etc.) and much more.

There are four basic steps to conducting successful healthcare market research

We're going to take a look at each of these four steps in more detail below.

The first step in any successful market research project is identifying who you are trying to reach. This can be as simple or as complex as you like, but it's important that the people who make up your target audience segment have clearly defined characteristics that differentiate them from other groups of consumers or patients. Some questions that may help determine this include:

  • What are their demographics? Age range, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.?
  • Where do they live (geography)? Do they live in urban areas or rural ones? Do they live close enough together that there might be some potential for shared experiences among members of this group, for example, if everyone lives within driving distance of one another? 

Your target audience can be as specific as "women aged 35-45 with children who live in the Midwest" or as general as "all U.S. consumers." You'll need to know who you're talking about in order to develop a survey and other tools that will work for them, so start by defining this group clearly.

The next step is to define your research goals (and how they align with business objectives). If you're working on behalf of a client, make sure they agree on what questions are most important before moving forward.

Next, analyse collected data from surveys or other sources of information such as focus groups or interviews. In this step, you can also identify trends and opportunities based on responses given by respondents within each category identified above (what do people like about current products? or what would make them switch brands? etc.). You'll also want to avoid bias by keeping track of all data sources used during this step. Finally, you should present your findings to relevant stakeholders. Let's have a look at the four steps in detail below.

Step 1: Identify and define your target audience(s)

The first step of any project is to identify and define your target audience(s). This can be done through a variety of methods, including:-

  • Demographic analysis (age, gender, income level)
  • Psychographic analysis (lifestyle preferences and interests)
  • Geography (where do they live?)

Once you've defined who your target audience is, you need to understand their needs and wants as well as their behaviours. 

Step 2: Define your research goals

Before you start your research, it's important to define your goals. The definition of a goal should be specific, measurable, and realistic. It should also be achievable in a given timeframe and relevant to the business problem you are trying to solve.

A good example of this could be "We want to increase our sales by 20% over the next three months." This statement has many elements that make it clear what the company wants to achieve: increased sales; how much (20%); over what period of time (three months).

Step 3: Analyse the collected data to identify trends and opportunities

Once you have the data, it's time to analyse it. This step will help you gain insight into customers' needs, wants behaviours, and preferences. You can also use this information to identify potential problems in your current product or service offering.

Step 4: Share results with stakeholders

Once the research is complete, it's time to share your findings with stakeholders and other key decision-makers. This can be done in a variety of ways: a presentation, an executive summary or report (written or verbal), or even just sending out emails with links to relevant PDFs that contain information about what you found out during your research process.

Once you've completed your research and analysis, it's important to share the results with stakeholders. Stakeholders can include employees, customers, investors, partners, and others. It's important that researchers are prepared to answer questions about their findings and explain any limitations of their research.

A successful healthcare market researcher will use all four steps to gain customer insights

Here are some tips to conduct a successful healthcare market research project:

  • Identify and define your target audience(s). Who will use your product or service? Who is currently providing similar products or services, and how do they differentiate themselves from one another? What are the demographics of these potential users (e.g., age range, gender), their socioeconomic status, education level, and so forth? How much do they spend on healthcare-related products or services annually?
  • Define your research goals in terms of what you'd like to learn from the study; this helps guide all future steps in the process. Suppose you're conducting a study on new technologies in healthcare. You could ask questions like: are there certain aspects of patient care that could be improved upon by implementing new technologies such as telemedicine services or wearable technologies such as smartwatches with heart rate monitors built into them?

You could then think about questions like what are the benefits of adopting new technologies in terms of cost savings and/or improved outcomes for patients. What are some of the risks associated with implementing these technologies?

For example, what happens if a patient’s wearable device is hacked and all of their private information stolen?" Understanding how your target audience currently gets their healthcare needs to be met. For example: What types of medical services do they use most frequently (e.g., primary care physician [PCP] visits vs urgent care centres)? Are they satisfied with the current level of service they receive (and why or why not)? Thinking along these lines will help you design a successful market research project.


In conclusion, healthcare market research is an essential part of staying on top of your industry and keeping your clients happy. It's also an important part of staying competitive with other businesses that may be trying to take away your customers. By conducting regular surveys and data analysis, you can identify trends within your industry, customers' behaviour and expectations as well as potential problems in current product or service offerings. Curious to learn more? Also check out: What is healthcare market research and why do you need it.

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