The skeptical health consumer

i-db2cb78fa4b128fad30b99188c007827-zebraPOST SUMMARY: According to the journal JAMA Internal Medicine fully 37% of those surveyed endorsed the belief that the Food and Drug Administration, under pressure from pharmaceutical companies, is suppressing natural cures for cancer and other diseases, and 31% said they “neither agree nor disagree” with that idea, the researchers found. In addition, one in five said they agreed that physicians and the government “still want to vaccinate children, even though they know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders.” Pharma has a long long way to go to earn the trust of skeptical health consumers.

In reviewing some research findings that I have been part of, for the last two years, one of the top line findings was that that online health seekers are going to a lot of different health sites to get health information.  While there are a lot of reasons for this fragmentation to collect health data and it varied by condition, one key theme across all was the issue of trust.


How can biopharma companies increase trust with online health seekers?

(1) Use a content strategy that includes credible 3rd party health information.

(2) Address topics in the news quickly and honestly before patients take over the conversation.

(3) Use thought leaders to write content for your website but be transparent about the relationship with your company.

(4) Ensure that your content aligns with other health website content.

(5) Set up a website community for people to exchange information (it can be done).

(6) Provide links to 3rd party websites and even competitors’ sites, they’re going to go there anyway.

(7) Contribute to Wikipedia, it’s the number one place people go for health information.

Today it’s not enough to reach online health information seekers, we have to win them over by giving them the information THEY need and want rather than sales talk.

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