Feel like you need to take your healthcare into your own hands? You’re not alone. With doctors’ schedules getting tighter and more health management tools available to patients, millions of Americans are sticking with familiar online resources to fill in some key information gaps.
Kelton recently partnered with Makovsky for our third annual examination of consumers’ health habits on the web. While the average American visits a doctor three times per year, they spend far more time on the Internet looking for health information – roughly 52 hours annually. And while WebMD remains the #1 source for health issues (53%), a startling 22 percent are relying on Wikipedia, a less reliable resource, for the same thing.
Just nine percent of consumers count on pharmaceutical company websites for healthcare information, yet a doctor’s endorsement is likely to boost their interest in such sites. If they needed to know more information about a condition they had, more than four in ten (42%) would be quick to visit a website sponsored by a drug company if it was recommended by a physician – far fewer would be motivated by an ad or news article.
Clearly, there’s a substantial opportunity for marketers to engage consumers online when they need information the most. As we see through our work in other industries, digital tools are most effective when they provide information that is tailored and credible – a directive that’s much harder than it sounds.
The full results of the Kelton-Makovsky study can be found here.