Written by Richard Marcil on July 23, 2013
in Healthcare Marketing

Before seeing a health professional, Boomers and Seniors consult the web

As part of 2014 planning, we’ve been recommending more and more digital content and tactics for our brands, as this is consistent with patient journeys across most therapeutic areas. This is especially true for chronic conditions as well as the pre-diagnosis, symptomatic stage of the patient journey. Interestingly, one of the most common question from our brand managers has been, “are Boomers really digital?”

This answer is a resounding yes. Google recently published a very relevant piece about this, titled Reaching Today’s Boomer & Seniors Online. It’s a worthwhile read for all healthcare marketers; in fact, all marketers.

Highlights include:

  • The Internet is the #1 source of information for both Boomers and Seniors. It’s where information seeking starts and ends.
  • Health is THE topic of interest for Boomers and Seniors, with 60% of respondents claiming “concern with their health” as reason for engagement.
  • Boomers and Seniors spend more time online than watching TV in an average week, i.e. 19 hours per week .
  • Online video is broadly viewed by both Boomers and Seniors; importantly, online video prompts action, with 3 out of 4 reporting that they respond to a video’s call to action.
  • Social networking sites are used by the majority of Boomers and Seniors, and daily; Facebook ranks #1 but surprisingly, G+ and Twitter and LinkedIn also rank.
  • Search is the top online information-gathering resource for Boomers and Seniors; relevance, familiarity, and trust are the key drivers of influence and action.
  • Mobile is lagging but growing rapidly among Boomers and Seniors; in fact, disposable income may actually drive great tablet penetration amongst this group.

Bottom line is that the Internet is an everyday part of Boomers’ and Seniors’ lives, just like for most of us. And it’s the top source for gathering health information. As health marketers and providers, it’s all the more important that we participate and engage deeply in the medium. For chronic conditions like diabetes, pain, respiratory, CVD and more, it’s even more critical, as the web plays an outsized role through the pre-diagnosis, symptomatic stage of the PatientConsumer™ journey.



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