Earlier this year, Hearst Magazines implemented an extensive study on generational approaches – and differences – to health and wellness, tapping more than 2,000 men and women aged 18-74 to answer questions surrounding their health practices and share concerns and challenges they’ve experienced at the different stages of their lives.

To ensure insights are both timely and relevant, Hearst Magazines’ researchers went back into the field in April to understand the consumer’s evolving healthcare needs in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

On May 20, Hearst Magazines will share the learnings of this vanguard study, as part of its inaugural Health & Wellness Summit, a free, hour-long virtual event for marketing and advertising professionals looking to reach and engage today’s health consumer. 

From Me to We: Rethinking Health Perceptions in the Age of Covid-19 will kick off at 12:00pm ET with a deep dive into the findings, presented by Todd Haskell, SVP, chief marketing officer of Hearst Magazines, and Allison O’Keefe, president at Open Mind Strategy, the research firm that Hearst commissioned to execute the study. This will be followed by a panel of top editors from Hearst Magazines’ health and wellness brands, who will share insights on what these trends mean for their millions of readers. The high-profile panel includes:

  • Brooke Siegel, VP of content, Hearst Magazines
  • Rich Dorment, editor-in-chief, Men’s Health
  • Kristen Koch, executive director, Seventeen
  • Sarah Smith, content director, Prevention
  • Arianna Davis, digital director, O, The Oprah Magazine

This select group of Hearst Magazines editors will help lead the conversation on the generational divide in the health arena in this current moment, comparing and contrasting the beliefs and practices of baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers.

“Hearst has always been the leader in health and wellness service journalism, producing more content that’s important to more people than any other lifestyle publisher in America,” said Haskell. “But our clients are increasingly looking for nuanced insights into what’s happening ‘below the surface’ with our readers and viewers, particularly when it comes to differences that might inform how advertisers should speak to consumers. We did this research to help support our clients, and help them make better creative and messaging decisions.”

One of the overarching takeaways from the study, Haskell noted, is that the individual’s health and wellness journey isn’t linear; over the course of a person’s life, it is filled with detours marked by surprising twists and less surprising milestones.

“In some cases, the data affirms what we knew intuitively, but sometimes it surprised us,” he acknowledged. “One of the things that surprised me was the prevalence of wellness topics being a priority for consumers, who then immediately offered that they feel these same topics are unmanageable. We saw this as it related to nutrition (for example), which presents a real opportunity for marketers. Another example: Gen Z’s know that better sleep is important, but they feel getting control over their sleep is almost impossible…therefore, a white space for brands.”

While the study unveiled beliefs and actions that crossed generations, it also revealed that there are stark differences between the different cohorts. “While my editors had been telling us this for a while, to see the level at which members of the Gen Z population look to YouTube as a primary source of health information never ceases to amaze me,” said Haskell.

“I hope people walk away with a better understanding that even within the well understood population segments we all know about (Gen Z, Boomers, etc.), the way that different audiences look at health and wellness varies tremendously…but if you understand these motivations, there’s a huge opportunity to shape these consumers’ preferences in really powerful ways,” he added. “And Hearst can help with that process.’

This virtual summit is a “can’t-miss” event. Request to join here: https://hearstmediasolutions.app.rsvpify.com/