Survey: More than two-thirds of US consumers seek medical advice via internet
According to the survey, of the more than two thirds (68 percent) who go online for health information, slightly more than one in 10 (11 percent) regularly turn to a pharmaceutical company’s website to seek information about an illness or medical condition, compared to nine in 10 (92 percent) who look to other online resources more frequently.
The survey suggests that pharmaceutical companies that are not fully leveraging multiple online channels are missing a real opportunity to address this captive audience.
The survey also demonstrates that the fundamental shift from a predominantly one-way company-to-patient dialogue to enabling a patient-to-patient - and even a patient-to-physician dialogue - through the evolution of social networks and online communities, has resulted in fragmentation.
According to the survey, 69 percent of respondents expect pharmaceutical companies to provide information about the medical condition or illness for which they are taking drugs.
To address that expectation, Accenture believes pharmaceutical companies must not only provide the right information, but upgrade their websites to create a more dynamic, interactive experience, demonstrate an understanding of their patients’ needs, provide holistic solutions and clearly reinforce their brand identity in a two-way dialogue.
Accenture asserts that there will continue to be significant, disruptive innovations in the pharmaceutical sales and marketing model within the next five years driven by the creation of a more customer-focused business model, further cost-cutting initiatives and the quest by companies to gain a more competitive edge.
Tom Schwenger, global managing director for life sciences sales and marketing practice at Accenture, said: “The survey results clearly show that pharmaceutical companies must adopt a better understanding of their patient behavior through sophisticated analysis in order to fully capitalize on how patients interact with social media channels and websites.”
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