Getting the right message to online health seekers

KEY TAKEAWAY: Pharma product websites should help people on the journey for health information and give them the right message and information based on where they are in that journey.

U.S. consumers’ desire to take an active role in their health decisions is growing.  61% of people want to make health decisions either on their own (26%) or with input from their doctor (38%). This statistic skews younger, with 33% of people 25-34 and 31% of those 35-44 wanting to be “completely in charge.” Only 17% of those 55-64 felt like being totally in charge of their health care decisions. (Source: Altarum Institute Survey of Consumer Health Care Opinions.)

With so many generic medications available for a broad range of health conditions a lot of new products are trying to get people to switch yet their product websites really don’t address switchers.  In addition, today, the brand is not as important as the product yet pharma marketers believe that patients are somehow connected to their brands.

One website “fits all” is not viable anymore. Websites need to address switchers, new customers, as well as caregivers and talk to them as they take their journey of online health discovery.

A message, tested and optimized, for a newly diagnosed patient is ineffective for someone who might be looking to switch.  Websites should clearly and quickly communicate key product benefits by segment not for everyone who comes to the site.  In this tactic, social media can be very effective.  Message targeted at switchers should drive people to specific pages within your site as well as messages for downloading coupons.

Challenge your online agency to make your product website more relevant. Use metrics like time on site and page views to measure your site’s effectively with your audience and keep on optimizing your site to ensure that your message stays relevant to today’s skeptical online health seeker.  

 

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