Gone are the days of healthcare advertising consisting of free samples, branded note pads, a print ad or celebrity spokes person. These elements are still at play, but like its consumers, healthcare providers of all types are becoming savvy, technology reliant and multi-lingual.
Baby boomers are the largest users of healthcare in America, simply due to the sheer population size of their generation. Baby boomers aren’t aging, they’re getting better and don’t let a number dictate their actions or lifestyles. Just as baby boomers remain dynamic and active, healthcare advertising is too. Arthritis medication ads feature active seniors; established and trusted brands feature baby boomers and are updating packaging to be more senior friendly; celebrity spokes people are themselves members of the baby boom generation they market to.
Just as baby boomers dictate much of healthcare advertising trends, so do members of growing racial and ethnic groups. No longer are healthcare studies, recommendations and ads centered on middle class, middle aged Caucasian males. Healthcare companies know that differences in race, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status bring about different healthcare concerns and issues. Research studies designed to understand how health is affected by these differences affect how care, prevention, medicine and medical providers are advertised to the target audience.
The concept of advertising and creating healthcare sites in more than one language is new and healthcare companies are beginning to see the benefits. By knowing their target audience and its concerns, advertisers can create media, social media, websites and traditional advertising in a variety of languages. The most popular languages are Spanish, Chinese and Korean. These groups are some of the fastest growing in America and although English is not always a second language, they are often bilingual.
Healthcare and healthcare advertising are no exceptions to the growing dominance of technology in our everyday lives. No longer do consumers go to a self-diagnosis book on the shelf, but now to that book’s website. They also may find themselves at a hospital’s, doctor’s, or drug company’s site, not only finding the answer to the question at hand, but ongoing care, prevention and next steps. Websites, like TV and print ads, showcase patients of all ages, races and ethnicities. They offer information on treating the whole patient, not just the symptoms at hand. Consumers may find themselves going back to the same site or following hyperlinks to partner products and companies.
Smart Phones and Apps
We are all on the go, all the time. Our smart phones (and tablets) keep us connected at all times to the news, our lives and each other. Our smart phones and tablets also keep us connected to our health. Many healthcare companies have developed apps to help consumers track anything and everything from calories, medication, exercise, blood pressure and nearly any other health stat possible. They also utilize advertising on free apps for their products. The use of smart phones, tablets and applications is one of the most lucrative for health care advertising.