How many of us have used Dr. Google to diagnose our ailments? I know I have … and the Doctor can be quite helpful, as well as putting me in a panic! According to EuroPNStyles, Porter Novelli’s annual survey, 7 in 10 people rely on the Internet for health and nutrition information. With numbers like these, one can be forgiven for thinking that posting health information online is enough to guarantee success. However, the truth is a bit more complicated. Consumers vary in their desire and ability to access available health information and manage their health or become actively involved in their health care decision making. So, even in the age of the empowered patient, we need to carefully assess where our audience falls on the spectrum of health-informed and health-confused.
Using data from the our EuroPNStyles survey, we developed the Health Information Seeking segmentation based on a psycho-behavioral approach. Four clusters comprise the segmentation, including Independent Actives who avidly seek out health information from a variety of sources and maintain a partnership relationship with their doctors. This segment has the highest percentage of women and they tend to be in good health. Doctor Dependent Actives also value health information, but typically rely on their doctors to tell them what they need to know to manage their health rather than seek out answers on their own. These tend to be older consumers who are beginning to experience some health problems. Doctor Dependent Passives are not very interested in health information or being healthy. Although they rely on their doctors, they have rather poor relationships with them. These tend to be older consumers who suffer from chronic diseases and often wait until symptoms are severe before going to the doctor or clinic. Independent Passives are least health-involved and are generally skeptical of, and avoid interaction with, the medical community. Not surprisingly, this group is the youngest and has the a higher percentage of men.
Which one are you? Let us know if you want to learn more about EuroPNStyles. And watch this space for more data from the survey.