Trust me, I am a Doctor - What sways patients to pharma websites?

According to a recent US survey, the largest influence that leads to patients visiting health information websites is doctor’s opinions or endorsement.  The survey found that physician’s recommendations are the top include on traffic to pharma websites, showing that marketers should be aiming to target doctors and other healthcare professionals.

marketing to doctors

The data from Makosvsky’s annual survey also found that patients in the US visit doctors on average of 3 times a year, however, they are spending in excess of 50 hours searching online for health information or online diagnosis using their personal computers. This is part of a growing trend or the ‘information age’ movement in which ‘self-diagnosis’ has increased with the amount of data available online.

Analysis from PM live stated that “PR agency Makovsky and research firm Kelton quizzed 1,000 Americans and said 42 per cent cited physician recommendations are a key influence on whether they would visit a pharma website, saying they carried more weight than news articles (33 per cent) or recommendations by family, friends or colleagues (30 per cent).”

This gives an indication to marketers about the power of doctors and healthcare professionals with regards to pharmaceutical marketing. Should businesses aiming to get their products (whether online or physical) be targeting doctors? According to this evidence - the answer is yes. A recommendation from a doctor could be the difference between a sale for your business or competitors.

The study also revealed that “Some 83 per cent of respondents said they would use their PC for health searches, compared to 11 per cent who would use a tablet and the 6 per cent who would pick up their smartphone.” Perhaps this statistic alludes the surprising fact that mobiles aren’t predominantly used to search for health searches, although, with a survey sample of just 1000, the statistics should be taken with a pinch of salt as some would argue that this is not representative.

However, one thing is for sure, recommendations remain a key element in not just healthcare marketing, but with all types of marketing. The phrase ‘trust me I’m a doctor” should not be overlooked as doctors are seen as trustworthy sources of information, one that can boost your sales significantly. For more information about health marketing and how to target doctors with effective marketing campaigns, visit PMD healthcare today.

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