Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
Quite a title, I know!
However, this reminder of life’s vulnerability I feel, is also great inspiration and driver for the work that we do. Agreed, I am no Mother Teresa and I’m not directly saving lives, however a well thought through healthcare communications campaign can make a difference – can’t it?!
With the ever increasing blurring of lines between pharmaceuticals and lifestyle brands, plus the continued switch of power to the patient – the pro-sumer reign now has a strong grasp on healthcare communications. Prosumer’s are today’s leading influencers and market drivers. These proactive and informed consumers have always been important, but they have grown even more powerful thanks to their skilful embrace of new technologies and, especially, social media. As such, we need to be working to ensure the lay public are, in some cases, as educated as the healthcare professional...so surely we really CAN make a difference!
Many people would admit to ‘soldiering on’ with a medical problem because they are not aware anything can be done. Once companies educate and communicate that conditions can be treated, it can lead to a huge amount of latent interest being expressed.
So how do we harness this: a recent survey found that while the American and British respondents were just about equally likely to trust science and the Internet (with parents still eking out a first-place finish), the French and Chinese were significantly more likely to trust science over the Web. In India, the Internet is considered significantly more trustworthy as a source of information than the pronouncements of scientists.
And this is what excites me – as often we can pave the way to bring these elements together – building relations between all sources of ‘trusted’ information and packaging this up into numerous conversation streams, resulting not only in increased awareness and improved levels of education, but also in the formation of advocates: be that consumers, healthcare professionals, researchers or the ‘Brangelina’ word combining all these, the producer and consumer, the prosumer!
These savvy consumers want to be able to connect with brands — and receive help and information from them — instantaneously and easily. This is where we come in – isn’t that exciting!