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Aust Health Rev. 2011 May;35(2):117-23. doi: 10.1071/AH09802.

Segmenting a general practitioner market to improve recruitment outcomes.

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Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, School of Marketing, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.


Recruitment is an ongoing challenge in the health industry with general practitioner (GP) shortages in many areas beyond rural and Indigenous communities. This paper suggests a marketing solution that identifies different segments of the GP market for recruitment strategy development. In February 2008, 96 GPs in Australia responded to a mail questionnaire (of which 85 questionnaires were useable). A total of 350 GPs were sent the questionnaire. Respondents considered small sets of attributes in the decision to accept a new job at a general practice and selected the most and least important attribute from each set. We identified latent class clusters (cohorts) of GPs from the most-least important data. Three cohorts were found in the GP market, distinguishing practitioners who emphasised job, family or practice attributes in their decision to join a practice. Few significant demographic differences exist between the cohorts. A segmented GP market suggests two alternative recruitment strategies. One option is for general practices to target members of a single cohort (family-, job-, or practice-focussed GPs). The other option is for general practices to diversify their recruitment strategies to target all three cohorts (family-, job- and practice-focussed GPs). A single brand (practice) can have multiple advertising strategies with each strategy involving advertising activities targeting a particular consumer segment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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