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MARKETING TIPS FROM THE PROS
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Health & Wellness Marketing: Addressing Shifts in Consumer Behavior

Mar 03, 2021 Karen Cummings View all posts by
Karen Cummings
healthcare marketing, wellness marketing

This last year has taught us a lot. We’ve learned how quickly everything can change. As a result, I believe we’ve learned more about ourselves and our priorities than we may have ever learned in the past. 

As businesses, we’ve learned that being digital-first and tuned into the data is critical to survival and success. Having the ability to identify and adapt to changes in the market - which have been unprecedented this past year - provides you the ability to pivot and address what your customers really want and need.

“Understanding what consumers want is at the core of all marketing. And the dramatic, pandemic-driven changes in consumer behavior highlighted how important it is for marketers to be able to decipher and act on those signals quickly, especially in a dynamic or fluid environment.”

Marie Gulin-Merle, Global VP of Ads Marketing at Google

Tools like Google Trends can help marketers understand what people want and need. 

What the pandemic told us about ourselves

The data shows us that a significant realization for many individuals is that we might not be as healthy as we previously believed ourselves to be. 

These realizations are bringing to light new shifts in consumer behaviors and education around wellness products and services. 

A few of the most significant changes we’re seeing are that consumers are:

  1. Educating themselves about wellness and self-care
  2. Interested in improving their health & well-being
  3. Exploring new ways to accomplish this

We’ve been serving businesses in the health & wellness space for nearly a decade with the goal of creating positive changes by connecting consumers with brands that focus on addressing root causes of disease and illness and providing real solutions. 

These behavioral changes are like nothing we’ve seen in the past, and the idea of building gut health and immunity is becoming a mainstream topic. The commitment to fitness as an avenue to happiness and fulfillment is being recognized by an increasing number of individuals. The desire to improve health through alternatives to medication is nearly universal. 

These shifts are paramount. Paramount for the health and wellbeing of all, and paramount to the health brands seeking to instill these changes in individuals.

Below we’ll dig into why these changes are so critical for health organizations, and how wellness brands can lean into what they do best to help serve these changing consumer needs.

#1: Consumers are educating themselves about wellness and self-care

We recently aligned with one of our clients to co-present on the topic of connecting consumers with beneficial health solutions through digital channels. 

During this presentation we shared insights that encouraged listeners to tune into what consumers are seeking. Identify the problem they are trying to solve (at a deeper level) and the emotion you want them to feel when engaging with your brand. 

Many consumers are afraid of contracting COVID - and the impact it may have if they do. Many are realizing they may not fully understand how healthy they truly are and many are using these fears and realizations to seek education and find solutions.

According to Healthline - which reaches 90M unique visitors each month - searches for content related to immunity boosting, weight loss, diet and exercise, and at-home cooking as well as condition areas like sleep and anxiety have seen over fifteen percent lift in activity since pre-COVID.

Our questions to you are: 

When someone is seeking the answers to these questions, do you have answers that could support them? 

Can your answers/brand be found?

Ideally you’ve been creating content to support this educational quest for some time now, but if not, there’s no better time than now to start. As a health brand - on a mission to do good - you have the expertise and tools necessary to help empower consumers with the right information to make informed decisions. It’s time to make sure that content is getting into the hands of consumers.

#2: Consumers are seeking solutions to improve their health & well-being

Not only are consumers educating themselves on the basics of gut health, immunity, self-care and other related topics, they are actively seeking solutions to help them address their deficits and achieve greater health.

They’re looking for solutions to enhance their overall well-being, for supplements and technology to support them, and for services to assist them in achieving their specific goals and desired lifestyles.

Just as we’ve seen in all industries over the last few years, consumers seeking these solutions are not just looking for a product, they’re looking for an idea they can really get behind. A brand that speaks to their values and addresses their functional and emotional needs.

For example, the focus on transparency in the supplementation business is crucial. As recently shared by Erin Condon with CVS Health & Craig Elbert with Care/Of during a Healthline Insider webinar, “trust is tops”. 

Our questions to you are:

Are consumers able to find your products/services when seeking solutions?

Do your products/services allow for a high level of transparency?

Does your brand truly embody the message you’re pushing in both the functional and emotional benefit you provide to customers and the values you tote?

Not only do you want to make sure your message is getting in front of prospects, you want to make sure your message rings true in all aspects of your business.

Consumers are smart. They can see through false claims or surface-level brand statements. 

#3: Consumers are open to exploring new ways to get healthy

When it comes to wellness, habit is key, and breaking habits can be incredibly difficult. This presents numerous challenges for health brands prompting consumers to make changes in order to achieve higher health. Which is again why this global pandemic presents a tremendous opportunity for health brands to really penetrate the minds of consumers and instigate positive change.

A great example that demonstrates this point is the shift in behavior around fitness. This coming year (and beyond) we will see an increasing number of individuals taking to ‘fitness at home’ and achieving their fitness goals with shorter, more effective workouts. Prior to COVID, only a small percentage of individuals even considered working out from their homes, and even fewer relied on it as their primary source of fitness.

Digiday shared data that indicates a continued increase in these doable-dose workouts, with searches for the term “short workouts” increasing by 76% over a matter of a few short months. In addition to this increase in searches, a survey revealed that 59% of Americans stated they had no intention of returning to a gym post-pandemic. 

For fitness brands (particularly gyms), this could present a huge dilemma! Or, perhaps it could present a great opportunity? 

Consumers are more willing to invest in their at-home fitness setup (equipment, clothes, workouts, and customizing their space) which innovative brands are stepping up to help them achieve.

Our questions to you are:

Is your business seeing these shifts in behavior as a barrier - or an opportunity for innovation?

How can you meet changing consumer demands to fulfill these new needs (and survive as a business)?

Align consumer needs & values with your brand

To thrive as a brand, it’s important to stay tuned into consumers expectations and needs. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that consumers expectations and needs can change quickly. 

Use online tools to monitor trending conversations, maintain open lines of communication with existing customers, and continue to push your team and brand to deliver the best possible solutions to align with customer values and meet their deepest needs.

Interested in working together? Reach out to us for a Discovery call!

Karen Cummings

About The Author

Karen Cummings

Karen founded her first inbound marketing agency in 2011 and has been passionately delivering high-impact strategies & plans for health & wellness brands ever since.

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