The Prescription To Build A Healthy Relationship With The Doctor In The House

Whether you're for or against the Affordable Care Act, one thing's for sure: Healthcare is on everybody's minds. If you're a mom, of course, that's nothing new. Our 2013 “Dr. Mom Report” shows that women become hyper-focused on health and wellness as soon as they get pregnant – a focus that remains strong throughout their kids' childhoods.

In fact, moms say their number one aspiration is to promote the health and wellness of their families – even more than being a good role model or spending time with loved ones!  As more and more women gain access to healthcare, marketers are beginning to realize what a huge opportunity moms represent. The secret to gaining their long-term loyalty lies in understanding their mindsets, their challenges, and their "go-to" information sources when it comes to the health of their families.

Rx: Reach her during pregnancy



Our research shows that women undergo a dramatic shift in behavior as soon as they become pregnant. Suddenly, they're 122% more likely to take vitamins, 102% more likely to go to a healthcare provider (HCP) for a checkup, and 96% more likely to eat well. They're also planning ahead for their child's health: 35% first purchased over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for their baby before they even gave birth, and 14% added OTC medicines to their baby registry. Clearly, pregnancy is a time when women are receptive to messages about their own health and wellness, as well as that of their babies – so don't leave this important life stage out of your marketing plan.

Rx: Reach her online

When it comes to researching symptoms and medications, moms rely heavily on the internet for information and advice. In fact, 90% of moms say the internet has made them more informed about pregnancy and family health. They even say they're more influenced by online expert advice than by advice from their own mothers (65 vs. 52%).  While moms turn mostly to expert health information sites, they also check in with other parents on parenting websites (37%) and on social media (20%). By contrast, only about 9% of moms are influenced by information they find on a brand or product website. Even with so many trusted sources of information, 56% of moms report feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of being "on call" 24/7. So be sure your online marketing messages are empathetic, informative, and easy to understand. 

Rx: Reach her healthcare provider

Moms do their homework online before making an appointment, but ultimately they trust their HCP above all other sources: 88% of moms rely on the recommendations of an HCP when their child is sick. Does that mean you should spend more of your marketing budget on patient communications in the doctor's office? Not necessarily. Our research shows that only 14% of moms are influenced by pamphlets or brochures found in their HCP's office. It's more effective for marketers to focus on professional communication campaigns, which can encourage HCPs to make those all-important recommendations to their patients.

Rx: Reach her in the store

Sixty-eight percent of moms buy health and wellness products in-store, and are looking for help at the point of sale. More than half of moms say they would like a mobile app (easy to access when in the aisle) that would help them select the right OTC medicine for their symptoms. This isn't surprising, considering the 54% increase in the number of moms using their mobile devices for health-related activities since 2011. Fifty-one percent of moms also say they would like on-shelf information to explain what symptoms each medicine treats, and 52% find that the pharmacist is a valuable resource when they're buying OTC medicines for the family.

So whether you're focusing on in-store displays, professional communications, or a social media campaign, keep in mind that moms are actively looking for clear, helpful information about health and wellness. And if you really want to boost the health of your relationship with Dr. Mom, always approach her with genuine appreciation for the challenging job she does keeping her family healthy every day.

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