Healthcare Marketing: TMI Volume? No.

Research shows that consumers think the amount of information available to them from the plethora of choices is considered just right.

It’s truly the Age of Information.  Information abounds everywhere, from so many sources and in so many formats.  We’ve never been bombarded with as much information as we are today.  And many have suggested the “always on” media environment has overwhelmed audiences and is creating antisocial social media addicts.

In addition to the almost unlimited amount of information available online, there are now an average of 72 hours of video uploaded every minute on YouTube, over 340 million tweets per day on Twitter and over 50 million blogs on Tumblr.  It would be easy to assume consumers are just overwhelmed by all the seemingly limitless amounts of information that is now available.

Bianca Bosker, writing for The Huffington Post cited research conducted by the University of Michigan from 7 focus groups to determine the consumer’s psyche and ability to adapt to the barrage of information that hits them each day.

Surprisingly, the study found the participants felt empowered and enthusiastic about the volume of information available at their fingertips, rather than overloaded.   Only about 13% felt a sense of overload and that came most commonly from people who had elementary internet skills. .  However the participants did not provide a strong endorsement for Facebook and Twitter stating the quality of information, not quantity on these sites could be a turnoff.

Published in the journal “The Information Society”  the research indicated, rather than being overburdened, the participants enjoyed the range of information available online.

Here are some other findings from the study

  • Television is still the most popular media source followed by websites.
  • However they were frustrated with the sensationalism of TV
  • Many preferred getting news from online bloggers rather than news anchors
  • Over a quarter of the participants had some negative feelings about social media
  • Many are annoyed by what they consider as the minutia of people’s lives fed to them through Facebook and Twitter

For healthcare marketers, it’s good to know consumers want information.  They are seeking information to make their lives better.  If we provide information that’s useful and helpful and consumers will welcome it.  In fact, they expect it.  However we must be careful not to annoy them with information that’s considered trivial or self-serving.

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