By Mia Burns
Seventy-seven percent of consumers who have seen a physician in the last year value the information that they receive, according to new insights from Kantar Media Healthcare Research. For marketers and ad professionals, reaching patients right before they speak with their physicians can have a huge impact on the conversation. Patients are exposed to a brochures, pamphlets, posters, TV, and waiting room magazines as they wait their turn.
The consumers who have seen a doctor during the last year have reported that 41 percent valued brochures and other literature that can be easily viewed or picked up at the office. A bit less than one in three value magazines at doctors’ offices and 20 percent value the TV programs. The physician’s specialty is an important factor in consumer perceptions of point-of-care media value. When compared to other patient groups, rheumatology patients are more likely to prefer magazines whereas endocrinology and neurology patients index very high on television programs.
The other differences between patient groups include 35 percent of neurology patients are more likely to value TV programming in the doctor’s office; 8 percent of oncology patients are more likely to value their doctor; psychiatric patients are more likely to value all available information sources at the doctor’s office – 25 percent magazines, 27 percent ads/brochures, and 15 percent TV; and endocrinology patients are 14 percent less likely to value their physician, but 26 percent more likely to value TV programs.
The way that physicians use digital devices and consume online media has experienced major changes since 2009. Only half of doctors used a personal digital assistant for professional purposes three years ago, but now, almost three in four use a smart phone. The majority of physicians use a smartphone professionally. One third has already incorporated a tablet into their professional routine. Accessing the Internet and checking email are the top two activities of doctors on these devices. Additionally, 40 percent of physicians are starting to use their smartphones to reference drug data, 36 percent find and perform clinical calculations, 30 percent make prescribing decisions, and 24 percent research general medical issues. For the tablet users, reading articles from medical journals, and researching general medical topics tops the list of other activities.
In the first three quarters of 2012, consumer health ad dollars surpassed $2.6 billion, according to Kantar Media Intelligence. Among the hundreds of prescription drugs were tracked, the top direct-to-consumer categories regarding advertising spend were antidepressants, impotence drugs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medications, arthritis medications, and lower back pain and osteoarthritis drugs.