Motivations differ by our Health segments for 1st visit to website

In the age of COVID-19, the Internet has increasingly become a critically important source of hearing aid sales. Over our 30 years of research on the health attitudes of Americans 40 and older we have found four distinctly different segments.

Beyond health attitudes, each segment also differs in its motivations to make an initial visit to an Internet site. It is critical for those involved with hearing aid sales to understand these motivations and build marketing strategies around them.

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Our studies show Proactives best target for hearing aid sales

The Proactives, one of our four Health segments, is only one-third of the 40 and older U.S. population, but they account for almost two-thirds of hearing aid sales. Clearly, Proactives are the best target for hearing aid manufacturers and dispensers. Not only do Proactives account for the majority of hearing aids sold, more of them are convinced of the need for regular hearing tests. This segment also believes that hearing aids don’t make the wearer look old and agrees that hearing aids are worth the cost.

Our years of research show that the Proactives’ dedication to hearing health reflects this segment’s overall commitment to healthful practices. This segment is convinced that healthful actions taken now, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, will pay off in future good health. And the Proactives’ actual behaviors reflect these attitudes. Recent findings showing a link between wearing hearing aids and a delayed diagnosis of such illnesses as dementia and depression would be of keen interest to Proactives.

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Health club visitors’ attitude change suggests new programs

The health attitudes of those 40 to 64 in the U.S. population who go to a health club once a week or more have changed significantly over the past decade opening up opportunities for health clubs to ally themselves with those concerned with employee health, from insurance plans to employers, physician groups to hospitals.

This conclusion comes from studies conducted by Motivo consulting, a division of Strategic Directions Group, Inc., in both 2004 and late 2015 as part of its 25 years of research on the health attitudes of the 40 and older U.S. population.

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Attitudes impact first visit to an unfamiliar website

Continuing Motivo consulting’s 25 years of attitudinal research on the U.S. 40 and older market, the market responsible for 72% of all health-care expenditures, we have found that segments in our Health Information segmentation strategy are motivated to visit an unfamiliar site for differing reasons, as well as holding vastly different attitudes toward their health.

Getting someone to visit your health-related web site for the first time is a daunting task. While it’s true that the number of U.S. consumers visiting web sites for health information is exploding, so too are the number of web sites dispensing health information. According to one government analysis, there are 3,608 such web sites. However, just 6% of those websites are “most frequently visited.” The others receive far less traffic, even as marketers pour more and more dollars into attempting to entice consumers to their sites, a total of $1.5 billion in 2015. The competition to attract visitors is intense.

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Attitudes affect enrollment

Those who sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, differ significantly in their attitudes toward health compared to those who show no interest in doing so. Results from a study we conducted in December 2015, as well as the research we’ve been doing for the past 25 years on the health of those 40 and older, support this claim.

From our body of research on 22,000 persons 40 and older we’ve extracted 7 critical health dimensions. Our research shows that those who have attempted, plan to, or have signed up for Obamacare score significantly higher on three of our 7 critical attitudinal health dimensions as compared to those who say they haven’t and will not enroll.

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To burn or not to burn: attitudes differ

What’s the difference between those who always slather on sunscreen and those who broil and burn? We’ve all heard messages about skin cancer, age spots and sagging skin, so why do some people always use sunscreen and others don’t give it a thought? We at Motivo consulting wanted to find more about what motivates the regular use of sun screen.

Our study in late 2015 sampled 1,445 people 40 and older representative of the U.S. population. This study was the 10th one we’ve conducted since 1989 on the health of persons 40 and older. So far we’ve surveyed 22,000 persons.

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Optimists: all is well, until it isn’t

According to some, the age of the well-informed and well-off mature patient has arrived, bringing with it the possibility of reduced health-care costs and better health. But is this the case?

We look at our Optimists, one of our Health segments* and 24% of the U.S. population 40 and older. Those in this segment are well educated: 26% have a college degree or more as compared to 29.72% percent in the U.S. 40 and older age group. While those 40 and older have a median household income of $49,750, the Optimists have slightly less at $46,670. And 90% of the Optimists have health insurance, comparable to the 88% nationally for the 40 to 64 age group. While the Optimists believe they are healthy, we can’t be sure because those in this segment rarely visit a doctor. Almost a quarter of them (24%) don’t even have one doctor visit a year.

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Are health attitudes reflected in tangible behaviors?

If we know someone’s health attitudes, can we then predict behaviors that hinder or foster good health?

We can answer this question by comparing two of our Health Information segments: the Internal Health Actives and the Uninvolved Fatalists, 18% and 10% of the U.S. 40 and older population. These two segments are polar opposites. More than twice as many Uninvolved Fatalists smoke (35%) compared to Internal Health Actives (16%). We calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI) for all respondents. Far more Uninvolved Fatalists (40%) are obese in contrast to Internal Health Actives (28%). When it comes to exercise not on the job, three times as many Internal Health Actives (77%) say they exercise as compared to Uninvolved Fatalists (27%).

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Patients who dislike doctors

If a doctor senses a pervasive dislike emanating from a patient, the chances are that that patient is a Resentful Complier, one of our Health Compliance segments. As they did in 2004, this segment represents a quarter of the 40 and older population.

Considering that 27% of them have a college degree or better, it’s not surprising that half of them say they understand what their doctor tells them. Their complaints about doctors center on their feeling that their doctor does not care about them as a person. While almost all of the Trusting Believers (96%), another Health Compliance segment, feel doctors care about them, virtually no Resentful Compliers (4%) do so.

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Press kit on mature market studies.

Fact sheet
Three segmentations
7 dimensions



The Wall Street Journal, Drug Topics, LTC News & Comment, Target Marketing, Los Angeles Times, Viamericas, Brandweek, Bank Marketing, Advertising Age, Quirk’s Marketing Research Media Review, Pharmaceutical Executive, Adweek, Minneapolis Star Tribune, COR Healthcare Market Strategist, Miami Herald, and a score of others.


Essentials of Healthcare Marketing (Berkowitz), Lifestyle Market Segmentation (Weinstein), Consumer Behaviour (Schiffman et al), Strategic Copywriting (Applegate), No BS Guide to Marketing to Leading Edge Boomers and Seniors (Kennedy), Imagine (Peters), Trends (Peters), and others.

Our work

Our books

Segmenting the Mature Market (McGraw-Hill), Marketing to the Mindset of Boomers and Their Elders (Attitudebase), and Health Motivations: 7 Dimensions That Shape America’s Health (Attitudebase).

Our speeches

5th International Symposium on Presbyopia, Conference Board of Canada’s Tourism Research Institute, Life Insurance Marketing Research Association (LIMRA), National Association of Senior Living Industries (NASLI), National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, Group Health Association of America Institute (GHAA), Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Conference, European Financial Management and Marketing Association (EFMA), and several others.