blue line

Healthcare Needs To Go “All In” On Digital Strategies

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.

Happening in health and wellness this week:

  • The healthcare industry still struggles with digital
  • Consumer demand for health foods
  • Digital health partnerships and the baby boomer market

Healthcare Trends: McKinsey Report Details the Adoption of Digital in the Healthcare Industry

McKinsey reports findings from their latest international survey, and suggests, “the time has come for healthcare systems, payors, and providers to go ‘all in’ on their digital strategies.”  They believe healthcare can learn from other industries, where organizations began by first understanding the consumer and then building initial products and services based on that knowledge, with methodical expansion.

They also dispel 5 myths:

(1)  People don’t want to use digital services for healthcare

(2)  Only young people want to use digital services

(3)  Mobile health is the game changer

(4)  Patients want innovative features and apps(5)  A comprehensive platform of service offerings is a prerequisite for creating value.

Marketing Strategy InsightIf the path to digitization depends on the consumer, having a good grip on VOC is paramount. Fully understanding consumers is critical, and must be done from a variety of angles, including demographic research, quantitative and qualitative research, and social listening. Having well-developed personas will be helpful. A lot of the issues that are keeping healthcare from adopting digital technologies are internal issues. Utilizing digital technologies effectively requires an internal culture that’s willing and able to make changes. It can require process changes and better cross-functional collaboration.

Wellness Trends: Gluten Free, Quinoa

A new report from MarketsandMarkets shows the gluten free products market is expected to reach $6839.9 million by 2019. Gluten free food is for people with food allergies and gluten intolerance, including those with Celiac disease. The Wall Street Journal reports that the market for quinoa has erupted since being dubbed a superfood.  U.S. imports of quinoa, which is grown mainly in South America, have risen to 14.2 million pounds last year, from 1.6 million pounds in 2007, according to Datamyne Inc. Dr. Oz has endorsed quinoa and the UN designated 2013 the “international year of quinoa.”

Marketing Strategy Insight: As consumers become increasingly health conscious and the market for health foods becomes more crowded, it will be important to build strong brands that provide differentiation from the competition. Effective messaging will speak to consumers in an open, honest way, and clearly articulate a company’s value proposition. As demand for health foods increases and health food becomes more mainstream, consumers are likely to become increasingly skeptical of claims. It’s important for brands to build authentic relationships and maintain transparency to cultivate lasting loyalty.

Active Lifestyle Trends: Wearables Extend Their Reach

Samsung and U.S. bicycle maker, Trek, have teamed up. Samsung will be the official sponsor of Trek’s professional cycling team. Samsung smartphones and wearables will be used for team training and cyclists’ feedback will contribute to future product development. Misfit, which makes the Shine fitness tracker, has announced the launch of the Misfit Sleep System. The collaboration with Beddit an under-the-bed tracker that launched earlier this year, will provide more detailed sleep analysis than what’s currently offered with the Misfit Shine. A recent article in Forbes suggests that digital health could help with the roughly 76 million baby boomers that have high rates of chronic disease and lower self-rated health than previous generations.

Marketing Strategy Insight: Although wearables are often marketed to enthusiastic millennials, marketers can’t forget the important consumer group of baby boomers. Just because boomers are aging doesn’t mean they’re not digital adopters. Social networking sites are used by the majority of boomers (71%) and seniors (59%) daily. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket. (Sources: Google and Ipsos Research Study: Reaching Today's Boomers & Seniors Online, Pew Research Internet Project, Buffer)  In addition, Boomers are 10% more likely to have recalled using the internet to research health in the last 3 months than the average adult. Finally, reaching boomers and getting this demographic to alter their behavior could positively impact our increasingly burdened healthcare system.

Check back in next week for another roundup of healthcare marketing news.

Healthcare Needs To Go “All In” On Digital Strategies - PW