Women are uncomfortable discussing health concerns with other family members, friends, doctors or even spouses. And as a result they turn to the internet for information and answers. iVillage conducted an online poll for Harris Interactive, which revealed women’s dependence on the internet for health concerns.
Some of the results from the survey are:
- 82% of women are uncomfortable discussing health concerns with family and friends
- 62% are twice as likely to turn to the web over their own mothers about health issues
- 64% use online communities to discuss health concerns
- 49% stated that online would be the first place they would go to research health issues. More than twice the amount who would go to their doctor first (25%) or family (15%) or friends (6%).
- 30% gather information from online communities to prepare them for their doctor’s visit.
These results verify women’ s dependence on the web for health information. Healthcare marketers must recognize this and develop web strategies for communicating to women. Robust web sites, web advertising and the development of social networking sites are some of the tools that may be used to reach women. Even directing consumers to existing websites can be helpful in creating relationships and building strong brand perceptions.
Women are traditionally viewed as the primary influencer and decision maker in regards to their family’s health. As they increasingly turn to the web for valuable information, healthcare marketers must recognize it and create ways to meet them there.