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Healthcare Customer Research 2020: Getting All Emotional

By Hannah Cloe

Mon Jan 27 2020

Here we are — in a new decade. These ten year increments have defined cultural and societal changes; the roaring ’20s where jazz thrived during prohibition, the radical ’60s of peace, love, and revolution and the ’00s where we became increasingly and forever connected.

The first two decades of the new millennium brought an explosion of technologies that changed our lives: how we move, how we learn, how we connect with others, and how we buy nearly everything.

These, and many other advances, have provided massive amounts of data with the potential to help brands and customers have more valuable connections. The newfound data has fueled incredible growth in the market research industry. According to Statista, 2008 to 2018 global revenues of the research industry grew by nearly $15B from $32B to $47B. What’s more, Greenbook’s 2019 report on market research leaders shows that 21.4% of all research revenues came from healthcare. In 2018, market research in healthcare accounted for slightly less than a quarter of the total spend across industries–that is more spent on understanding healthcare customers and competitors than in tech, telecomm, education, retail, automotive and financial services combined.


With all the tools and data we have, we have to ask why are we not exponentially better at getting people to purchase, repurchase, and advocate for our products and services. It is likely because when people sense manipulation and even the slightest deficit in authenticity, it triggers our primal feelings of wariness and mistrust. The opportunity is not to exploit emotions, but to better connect and serve customers.

This is particularly critical in health, where the right emotional connection can inspire health behaviors and actions.

The primary ways patients learn about medicines are through advertising and healthcare professionals. Understanding the emotional state and triggers of people along their decision journey can help us provide the right information in the right way to help them.

In Gallup’s most recent survey on Honesty and Ethics in Professions, advertising fell near the bottom between stockbrokers and insurance salespeople. Yet the top of the ethics and honesty pyramid is occupied by nurses, pharmacists and doctors.

We think Gallup’s research insights reveal that perceptions of honesty and ethics exist in the emotional connections we have with professions and the value we sense. In healthcare, trust is a factor in adoption and compliance, uncertainty will cause people to drop out of trials, and frustration could prevent people from keeping appointments.

inVibe is extracting emotional insights from voice and we are simply joyful and amazed by what we are learning every day about the deep underlying insights embedded in voice. Well beneath the surface of the words people say are subtle clues about your brand and services, and data embedded in the pitch, the pause, and the pace of our voices.

We set out to simplify research and along the way began transforming qualitative insights through the industry’s first, speech-emotion recognition algorithm. inVibe can uncover these insights quickly, completely, and consistently over time so you can understand the current and evolving emotional drivers of your customers.

In the next decade, we see the understanding of emotions becoming an enabling factor for the brands who embrace these insights to make more meaningful connections. We see a pivot from customer centricity to customer intimacy. What we are learning is that some of the finer and valuable insights gathered from current and potential customers have been lost in transcription.

The passing of Clayton Christensen last week reminds us that people’s decisions for ‘hiring’ a product are based on the deeper ‘job’ they need done. These “jobs aren’t just about function — they have powerful social and emotional dimensions.” People don’t just buy your product, they buy a better version of their current state and that is linked to emotions that are increasingly decipherable.

If insights about the emotions behind your customer’s thoughts and decisions is something you want to understand better — just reach out.

We are always ready to listen!

Thanks for reading!

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