How consumers manage their health and what it means for marketers

The doctor-patient relationship is evolving. A century ago, doctors made regular house calls and patients relied entirely on doctors’ expertise for diagnosis and treatment. In today’s connected world, with unfettered access to information and increased individual autonomy, consumers are actively involved in their treatment plans. They research online, make suggestions about medications to their healthcare providers and expect to be an informed partner throughout the decision-making process.

To understand more about consumers’ evolving behaviors toward managing their health, Epsilon surveyed consumers in the United States and Canada via our proprietary Shopper’s VoiceTM panel. Our research uncovered several important findings health and pharma marketers should consider, including:

  • Consumers expect to partner with their doctors. 60 percent of respondents partner with their doctor to determine the best treatment.
  • Consumers with a chronic condition are especially proactive. Respondents with a chronic condition are 3x more likely to bring information to their doctor about new medications or treatments.
  • Younger consumers are more likely to take control of the decision. Respondents 25-34 years old are more than 2x more likely to tell their doctor what medication they want to use.

With patients playing a more active role in decision-making, health and pharma marketers must shift their marketing strategy accordingly. Marketing only to doctors leaves a big gap in the doctor/patient conversation. By also marketing directly to consumers, marketers can help close that gap and reach both decision-makers. Using permission-based health data from a source like Shopper’s Voice is a powerful way to inform audience selection and messaging and ultimately drive marketing campaign performance.

For more insight into how consumers manage their health, download the full findings.

About the research

This research is based on an Epsilon Shopper’s Voice consumer survey. Shopper’s Voice is North America’s largest permission-based (non-HIPAA-covered entity) source of consumer health data. Its rich depth of data includes over 80 ailments and usage of more than 100 prescription and over-the-counter drug brands.