Top digital pharma marketing trends (Part II)

onlinehealthinfoDigital marketing is evolving and changing day to day.  What was true yesterday is not necessarily true today plus the hype around digital marketing trends often is bigger than the reality of ROI.   It’s not enough to build internal digital marketing capabilities organizations have to ensure that marketers stay on top of digital marketing trends so they can develop strategic marketing strategies that are based on good data and facts.  Here are my top digital marketing trends for DTC marketers…

(1) 3:2:1 – 3 clicks is 2 long for 1 person to read.  If  your content requires people to scroll down the page more than twice there is a very good chance it won’t get read.  There is a direct correlation between length of content and people who read it; the longer the content the better the chance your audience won’t read it in an era of online distractions.

(2) There are six segments of healthcare consumers

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(3) There are generational differences when it comes to social media use for health

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(4)  Online Health Activity Continues to Outpace Total Internet Growth - In recent years, the number of visitors to U.S. health sites has continued to grow at a rapid pace, exceeding even the growth of the Internet as a whole. In January 2012, 157.3 million unique visitors visited a health-related website, reaching 71.5 percent of U.S. Internet users. Since June 2008, the Health category has grown 81 percent to outpace the total Internet growth of 16 percent by a wide margin. (Comscore)

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(5) According to Kantar Media : On average, about one in three physicians is using a social network for professional purposes. The majority of those are using professional social networks, which may include Sermo, Medscape Physician Connect and QuantiaMD.  Physicians in the 35+ group are nearly twice as likely to participate in a Professional Social Network than those in the Under 35 group (even more in the 60+ group use Professional Social Networks than the Under 35 group).

(6) 65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged.  Caregiver services were valued at $450 billion per year in 2009- up from $375 billion in year 2007.
[The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009), Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, DC.]

(7) From 2010 to 2011 usage of remote patient monitoring, or telehealth, increased by 22.2 percent as the number of patients enrolled worldwide reached 241,200. However, telehealth device revenues only grew by 5.0 percent from 2010 to 2011; and 18.0 percent from 2011 to 2012. InMedica, a division of IMS Research(now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS)) attributes slow revenue growth over the last year to poor economic conditions leading to restrictions in healthcare funding particularly in Europe, and ambiguity on the impact of healthcare reform and readmission penalties on telehealth in the U.S.

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(8) In the past few years, coupons and discount cards have become nearly ubiquitous for prescription drugs. Such incentives are available for 395 medications, according to a recent report from industry consultant IMS Health. In a similar analysis in 2009, a marketing firm found that only 86 drugs came with coupons.

(9)  A recent U.S. survey commissioned by Royal Philips Electronics found that consumers believe web-enabled, mHealth and mobile apps are part of their health care solutions and key to living long lives. For example, one in 10 Americans (11 percent) surveyed believe that if it were not for web-based health information, “they might already be dead or severely incapacitated.” In addition, a quarter of those surveyed use symptom checker websites or home-based diagnosis technology as much as they visit the doctor, while another 27 percent use these interactive applications instead of going to the doctor.  Forty-one percent said they were comfortable using websites to check their health symptoms.

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(10) Even when it comes to their own health, consumers trust online information, with three in ten Americans reporting that they “always” or “frequently” turn to the internet to find answers to medical questions and 65 percent of those seeking medical information online saying they trust the information, according to a new survey from Wolters Kluwer Health. Among consumers seeking medical information online, 63 percent claim to have never misdiagnosed themselves when using online medical information resources.
Easier access to online medical information may also have a positive impact on the doctor-patient relationship, with two-thirds, 67 percent, of Americans that seek medical information online stating that this has made them better informed as patients. Nearly half, or 48 percent, of consumers say they turn to the Internet to find answers to medical questions in order to be more informed about a medical condition before a doctor’s visit. Interestingly, with so many consumers seeking medical information online, only 4 percent report having experienced “cyberchondria” – a term coined to describe how people become convinced that they have an illness or condition they don’t actually have based on information they read on the Internet.

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