Today, Consumers Want an App a Day, Not an Apple a Day for Health and Wellness

August 3, 2012

It is no mystery that technology is integral to every part of our lives and it is no different with regards to health. The interesting thing is, as we look into what people are doing to achieve their health and wellness aspirations, they are relying more and more on technology and seemingly less and less on the experts for insights and advice. We see technology emerging as today’s alpha health influencer.

This was the over-arching finding we unearthed in Well-th: Ketchum’s Health and Wellness Trend Report, a review of today’s health and wellness drivers and trends, in addition to some key implications for marketers and companies who are seeking to reach consumers with health and well-being products and offerings.

With the use of technology comes responsibility. There is so much information available and so many brands are trying to reach consumers, that we have the opportunity to curate content – deliver target health and well-being information and tools to key audiences and intersect them where they are searching for it. This way, we can help position brands as trusted guides in the vast health and wellness space.

This year’s Well-th uncovered a few key – and interesting – findings that can help us stay ahead of the curve and be trusted counselors:

  • The public is shifting from a “self-help” to “self-health” mindset. Today’s consumer is actively seeking information on the Internet to diagnose and even self-treat medical conditions. Physicians are becoming the second step in the health journey; rather than delivering the initial diagnosis, they are confirming or reviewing information patients bring to them. Brands with a health offering have an opportunity to be a trusted resource and engage consumers at the beginning of their wellness pursuits.
  • Instead of an apple a day, it’s now an “app a day” – or 10 a day – as health apps may increase from 9,000 to 13,000 this year alone, according to MobiHealthNews. From games to useful information tools, brands and wellness organizations can harness the power of mobile and create touch points to deliver valuable messages to consumers whenever and wherever they are in their search for health and wellness information.
  • Social health will be the new frontier as consumers continue moving to social networks and online communities for diagnosis, support, information and treatment recommendations. In this age of “social wellness,” like-minded people are sharing their personal health experiences. Brands can become involved with communities or foster new ones by creating easy and useful spaces for consumers.

So what does this mean for you and your clients?

Now more than ever, consumers want a personal, engaging experience with a brand as long as it is tailored to their health and wellness perspective. They want to be empowered with information and feel free to go to their trusted resources for support, guidance and interaction. We like to say that those of us in health and wellness are entering the space of relatable health and wellness, similar to the Web’s evolution into the relatable Web versus Web 2.0. The best thing we can do as communicators is to mine this opportunity and give people the information, tools and fun they seek individually and together to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.