How Are Consumers Driving Healthcare Innovation?

This article is part of ParkerWhite's weekly series,"Health and Wellness This Week,” a roundup of the latest healthcare marketing news and what it means for your marketing strategy.

Consumers Are Big Players in the Healthcare EconomyThanks to the ACA and changes to the healthcare economy, consumers are influencing healthcare more than ever. They're changing the way companies deliver care, forcing companies to think about product personalization, and voting with their dollars in crowdfunding campaigns.

Is Harmony in the Life Science Industry Possible?

In an article titled,"Is 2014 the Kumbaya Moment For Life Science Companies?" on MD+DI, Senior Editor Arundhati Parmar analyzes a PricewaterhouseCoopers report from earlier this year that shows 53% of pharma and life sciences CEOs are planning to enter into a strategic alliance or joint venture in the next 12 months. He notes that there's been a lot of collaboration in this sector this year:

Parmar concludes:"an existential threat is leading doctors to the arms of payors and payors and device vendors to embrace. Perhaps the Kumbaya moment in the healthcare world has arrived.”

Marketing Strategy Insigh: tAs healthcare companies focus on providing experiences across the continuum of care, companies will have to look beyond single-dimensional brand experiences and identify opportunities to increase brand touch points. Delivering on your brand promise will require more than just providing a product or service - companies will have to show they're committed to patients on a more holistic level. As companies look to partnerships and strategic collaborations to fill these voids, they will have to think carefully about how this affects their brand.Without a strong, healthy brand, it's possible that having multiple brands involved will dilute your brand, make it less clear, or make it disappear into the background. Stake your claim now -own your brand, with the intention of keeping it alive and well for the long-term future, by investing in it. Now's the time to make sure your brand is stronger than ever.

I Want It My Way: Product Customization in Nutrition Products reports on insights from Frost & Sullivan about the direction of the nutrition industry - towards increased personalization based on individual health needs. According to Brian Balmer at Frost & Sullivan, universal monitoring of traits like blood glucose, hydration, vitamin and mineral levels will allow personalization of nutrition. There are several ways this trend could manifest itself in the commercialization of nutrition products in the next 10 years, including packaging innovation and digital integration.

Marketing Strategy Insight: Personalization is nothing new to marketing. Just think about how personalization has affected other industries, such as Nike's personalized sneakers or Dell's personalized laptops. This highlights how important understanding the consumer will be to commercial success. You'll need to master your buyer personas. You may want to consider using social media listening software to mine consumer insights for product and packaging innovation. Social listening data could also contribute to improved social media buyer personas and a more targeted marketing strategy.

Digital Health Companies Leverage Crowdfunding on Indiegogo

Mobihealthnews reports six new projects on Indiegogo this month:

  • UpRight: posture correcting wearable
  • InstaMD: multi-use headset connects you to your doctor in real-time
  • Traq Me: manage diabetes through text messaging
  • Vidameter: wearable device for holistic health, wellness, and safety
  • LifeKeeper: wearable device for prevention of heart attack and stroke

Marketing Strategy Insight: Companies are now using crowdfunding websites like Indiegogo to raise funds for health products, a sign of how much more power is in the hands of consumers than it used to be. In order for these companies to get their projects off the ground, they will have to do a good job articulating their value proposition clearly, succinctly, and digitally. The companies that stand out on Indiegogo already have a brand. There's a level of consistency to the look and feel and a clearly defined brand platform. Credibility is important, too. Your project page should show a level of professionalism. Consider a video to introduce your product, the inspiration behind it, and the team powering it. Take advantage of the opportunity to link out to your website and social properties to keep people connected to your campaign beyond their initial interaction. Getting brand advocates early on is key to spreading the word. Social proof can help propel your campaign forward.

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