As cold and flu season approaches, many Americans will be making a trip to their local drugstore for an ounce of prevention— or a pound of cure. Increasingly, health and wellness consumers are seeking out natural preventative and treatment options in the form of vitamins and herbal supplements to boost immunity or relieve symptoms associated with mild ailments. Although the concept of natural medicine appeals to wellness enthusiasts, vitamins and herbs often don’t provide the immediate relief that over-the-counter medications do, requiring sick consumers to make another trip to the pharmacy.
Analysts predict that sales of vitamins, supplements, and OTC healthcare products will remain steady at $45.6 million through 2019. Although they predict that growth will be slow, increased consumer engagement and education provide opportunity in the category for both natural and OTC products.
Although FDA guidelines limit what OTC and vitamin and supplement brands can discuss on social media, digital channels offer innovative ways to personalize your marketing. Digital campaigns, including social media, allow both natural products and OTC brands a way to proactively engage with consumers in the discovery phase of the path-to-purchase. In fact, according to research, social media interactions with OTC and vitamin and supplement brands are rooted in research and information gathering, with people most likely to interact with brands before buying and to compare brands against each other. Because the sales cycle of OTC products is short, marketers must stay top-of-mind during peak seasons and tap into those micro-moments to meet the consumer at his or her moment of need.
The internet has given consumers unprecedented access to medical information, yet 40% of consumers still don’t feel they have enough tools to help them develop a minor-ailment treatment plan on their own. The consumer’s unmet need for education may point to a bigger marketing opportunity for OTC and vitamin and supplement brands to develop web-based information portals about their products that include store locators, coupons, and testimonials or product reviews.
Women are the primary shoppers for health and wellness products and OTC medications, understanding how to reach them in their moment of need is critical to your brand’s success. Women’s Marketing offers deep insights into how women interact with media throughout their day, contact us for a review of your marketing strategy and learn how we can help your brand grow and thrive.
Mintel Managing Your Health – US, January 201, Mintel Cough, Cold, Flu and Allergy – US, April 2014