The Informed Digital Healthcare Consumer

Moving into 2018, informed and motivated health consumers continue to influence the healthcare advertising landscape. Pharma companies and health marketers looking to make the most of their ad spending need to engage these proactive patients with effective health messaging. To maintain competitiveness, pharma needs to gain a better understanding of how patients research health and wellness topics – their journey often starts with an online search.

According to Kantar Media’s 2017 MARS Consumer Health Study, 55% of U.S. consumers value search engine results as a source of health information. 1 in 4 consumers say they have looked for information about a health condition or have researched symptoms online within the past month. Moreover, nearly 1 in 5 say they have read reviews about doctors, looked for doctors, healthcare facilities or scheduled an appointment with a healthcare professional online.

Many patients are researching their symptoms online before or after they visit the doctor’s office:

Digital Healthcare Consumer 

The value consumers ascribe to online sources of health information (e.g., health-related websites, blogs, etc.) is not far behind how they value their doctor:

And compared to two years ago, patients are increasingly valuing online sources:

Impact of Health Advertising

When consumers go online before seeing their doctor, it’s good news for pharma marketers and advertisers. Patients conducting research prior to a doctor’s appointment are 35% more likely than the average adult to ask their doctors for drugs they see in DTC ads. They are more knowledgeable and in control of their health and report feeling more positive attitudes toward healthcare advertising than the average adult:

To learn more about the 2017 MARS Consumer Health study, stay tuned for our next blog post or contact us directly for additional information.

About the study

Kantar Media’s 2017 MARS Consumer Health Study is a trusted information source for reaching different patient groups and uncovering deep consumer insights. It provides stable and reliable media and healthcare data that is projectable to the U.S. population to better meet the needs of agencies, marketers, healthcare facilities, insurers and media companies. The study contains detailed information among U.S. adults including online and offline media usage for 100+ consumer magazines, newspapers and health-related publications as well as TV, radio, and internet usage.

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