Role of influencers varies among consumers

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In a study conducted by public relations agency Ketchum, researchers uncovered a variety of factors that pinpoint the way consumers make decisions about healthcare.

The PR study, titled Health Attitudes and Well Connections: A Ketchum Consumer Study, found that consumers can be separated into five groups based on demographic and psychographic data. Each of the five groups demonstrated differing motivational factors regarding the pursuit of healthcare, from the role of physicians and pharmacists to word-of-mouth and independent online research. The five consumer designations include health sharers, health isolates, health traditionalists, health elites and health neutrals.

Health neutrals represent 34% of the population, and tend to be younger and less concerned with health and wellness.

“[Health neutrals] just don't have a driving interest in healthcare. They're not hostile to it, but they're healthier and career-oriented,” said Nancy Hicks, SVP, associate director, North America healthcare practice at Ketchum. One way to target health neutrals is through life-stage marketing, said Hicks. “[Advertisers] reach these consumers at different points in their lives—when they're changing jobs, getting married or graduating college—and looking for insurance.”

Hicks said Ketchum, which just launched Well-Connected, a new health and wellness specialty, will “probe consumers every year on motivation and influencers, and make that research available to clients.”
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