Market research. The driver behind advertising since long before Don Draper poured his first Old Fashioned. The first documented instance of market research happened around a hundred years ago—in the 1920s. Researcher Daniel Starch and his team started asking random people on the street about publications. Specifically, he wanted to know if they could recall the ads in the magazines they read.
He believed that advertising had to be fully absorbed. That’s “seen, read, believed, remembered, and most importantly, acted upon, in order to be considered effective.”1 After a little fast math and a few presentations to publishers, the concept of market research was born. A century later, and we’re still using market research to learn about potential clients, their preferences, and what kind of advertising speaks to them. Just to give you an idea, the global market research industry was worth $73.4 billion in 2019.2
What Does This Mean For You?
What does this mean for your behavioral health center? Quite a lot, actually. The more than three-decades long journey to legalize psilocybin treatments will likely be coming to a successful end in the next few years. That means the time to build an in-depth understanding of your prospective psychedelic therapy patients—followed by establishing a relationship with those patients—is now.
And that starts with market research.
3 Steps to Market Research Strategy for Psilocybin Treatment
Taking on a project like researching potential interest in an emerging market can sound like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re not sure where to begin, we have a simple three-step guide for creating a quick market research strategy for psilocybin treatment.
1. Assess the Competition
You’re probably already familiar with the other behavioral health centers that serve the same patient profiles as your program. And hopefully, you already know what they currently offer and where they’re located.
Should legalization fail at the federal level, first identify which of your competitors are in states that are likely to legalize. Focus your market research on discovering whether or not they’ll be interested in providing psilocybin therapies after legalization. Will they be targeting their current patient base or expanding their target audience to include patients more likely to benefit from psilocybin? Will they be exploring starting a program in a state where psilocybin is legal? The answers to these questions should inform your approach as you continue your market analysis.
Start with a Google search for each center on your list. Evaluate them generally as a behavioral health program and specifically for psilocybin treatment. What’s their rating on Google Business? Are the reviews favorable or unfavorable?
Then, visit their website. Notice how quickly the pages load and the ease of navigation. Have they started publishing articles, videos, and white papers on psilocybin treatments?
Next, check out their social media pages. See how many followers they have and how often they’re posting. Is any of their content psilocybin related? Are their followers engaging with the content by liking, commenting, and sharing?
2. Identify Your Target Audience
You probably already have a good idea of your audience through other marketing initiatives your treatment center has deployed. But the target audience for psilocybin treatment will be a little unique.
Research shows psilocybin is an effective therapy3 for patients with substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, several different anxiety disorders, major depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A great place to focus your efforts is on identifying the overlap between your treatment center’s current target audience and those for whom psilocybin therapies may prove beneficial.
When you have a general idea of who needs you, dig deeper. Create personas to segment your potential clients and categorize them into more specific groups.
3. Create Personas
Think of a client or patient persona as a profile that describes the interests, behaviors, and spending patterns of specific groups of patients. This goes well beyond the traditional demographic data used to create target markets.
The interests and behaviors of the parent of a college student with crippling anxiety in need of psilocybin treatment will be far different from a veteran struggling with PTSD. But ultimately, they’re both part of your target audience.
Understanding these nuances is part of creating personalized marketing that appeals to each client persona—a considerable benefit since 90% of people prefer personalized marketing.4
A Good Website Makes a Great First Impression
Need help getting your psilocybin market research off the ground? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Schedule a strategy session by calling 888.307.7304 to get started.
For a list of references, please contact us.