More than 60% of British people use the Internet to look up information related to health.
“Dr. Google” is a reality. In the UK, more than 60% of the population use the Internet for health-related queries. 30% of people who come to the NHS have previously sought the advice of Dr. Google. And 46% of patients who have come to their GP, consult the diagnosis after on the Internet. 20% of patients seek online advice through social networks with other users. And 27% of the British population use a mobile device or application to monitor the status of their health.
For both medical and pharmaceutical sectors, the reality is crystal clear: the digital strategy should be a priority. Customers and patients are increasingly using the Internet to find information on health. They are changing the traditional model both to learn and to acquire drugs. A few years ago it was unthinkable to buy drugs outside the pharmacy. Today it is a reality. 85% of internet users have bought drugs at least once online. Without getting into the ethical debate, the data is overwhelming and reveals a real and obvious habit of digital consumption. UK is one of the leaders in the use of new technologies, and about 90% of Internet users get online using their mobile phone. Buying online is getting more and more intuitive. The need arises, I go online, I google what I’m looking for, I find out and buy. Same as when you want to book a table in a restaurant. So the same process occurs when buying a medicine.
Traditionally, marketing strategies in the pharma industry have always been ‘push’. But digital customers tend to flee ‘push marketing’. New strategies are migrating to inbound marketing, to attract the potential customers towards your product. In order to do that you need to develop digital strategies based on listening to the customer and to offer them quality content and useful information for their day to day life. The consumer must become the target of your digital strategies and the use of technology should be a priority to provide the clients the best experience possible.
Users will not cease using Google for health queries. But it relies on the healthcare sector that the information they find online is accurate, professional, relevant, and useful.