NOT FOR ME: THE DILEMMA OF HEALTH INERTIA
A majority of people often believe they are healthier than they actually are,
according to proprietary research from Wunderman Health. Traditional marketing approaches aren’t convincing these individuals to make changes for their health, leaving them in a state of “health inertia.”
Becky Chidester, CEO of Wunderman Health, and Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis, Global Chief Analytics Officer at Wunderman, discussed data-driven strategies that healthcare companies can use to disrupt health inertia during a webinar on June 6. The entire webinar can be accessed at ModernHealthcare.com/HealthInertia.
Get consumers to shift from “I should” to “I want”
Thirty-two percent of people told Wunderman Health that they would not take immediate action on their health even if their quality of life was at stake. Healthcare marketers must connect with consumers on an emotional level, and convey a sense of urgency. Current healthcare content is rational – it does a good job educating patients, but it doesn’t necessarily motivate them to make a change. In order to engage consumers at a deeper level, marketers need to offer authentic role models across demographics and health conditions.
Facilitate better conversations between clinicians and patients
For many patients, their healthcare provider remains their most trusted source for information. Providers do a good job offering rational, practical advice to their patients, but they’re not necessarily speaking to personal motivations. Provider organizations should equip their staff with tools and resources that convey empathy and speak to the effect that patients’ decisions can have on their lifestyle and wellness.
Don’t rely on one-size-fits-all communication
Wunderman Health’s research has found that content has to be tailored to two very different groups: active optimists and lapsed worriers. Active optimists are determined and empowered, whereas lapsed worriers are more anxious and feel slightly overwhelmed with the information they have. While active optimists are looking for expert and scientific information, lapsed worriers are looking for very explicit instructions on how they should take action for their health, with step-by-step guidance. While an active optimist is motivated by proven results, a lapsed worrier needs a personal coach.
Emotional advertising drives results
Emotional advertising has been shown to have significantly more impact than rational, factual advertising. That’s because emotion has a lasting effect, and it takes only a small fraction of time to process emotion versus the time it takes to process logic. In a world where consumers have diminishing time to pay attention, it’s extremely important that companies are as effective as possible in their marketing.
New technologies like machine learning can help you personalize content
Wunderman experts release multiple variations of a digital advertisement and track the results to determine what actions individuals take when they’re exposed to specific emotions, and how those actions connect to their motivations and behaviors. Equipped with a valid sample of these types of connections, marketers can feed this information through a machine learning platform to determine the course of marketing for an individual, an audience or even for mass media buying.