According to the most recent data, adult obesity rates exceed 25% in 46 states and reaches as high as 35% in five states. Although obesity rates appear to be leveling off, Americans are still dealing with a number of related health issues such as diabetes and hypertension. However, when asked about their overall level of health, about 60% still considered themselves to be “healthy” or “very healthy”. This poses a challenge for marketers and health professionals alike—how do you encourage consumers to change their behavior when they don’t perceive the need for change?
From Facts to Feelings
Seventy-nine percent of consumers believe they are already making average to very good health decisions, yet, they’re still struggling with health issues. This contradiction underscores the need to re-think the way marketers and professionals present health information to consumers. Although there’s a tremendous amount of health content available, most tends to be rational, fact-based, and educational rather than emotional. When marketers want consumers to take action, they typically appeal to their emotions and tap into personal motivations and deep unconscious desires. Shifting the conversation from education to inspiration can help motivate consumers to see the benefit in adopting healthier behaviors.
Personalizing Content for Your Consumer
Researchers found that people living with health conditions fall into two behavioral categories: the active optimist and the lapsed worrier. Active optimists tend to be determined to improve their health condition and empowered through information they receive from health care practitioners. They want their lifestyle choices validated with content that’s wellness-oriented. The lapsed worrier is generally stressed and anxious, overwhelmed by the amount of health information and unsure what will work best for them. They prefer to solve one problem at a time and respond best to clear step-by-step protocols. Developing a mix of content types will help consumers find the resources that best meets their needs and inspires them to action.
Real Sources of Inspiration
Whether it’s weight loss or managing a health condition, 77% of consumers say that hearing from other people who have achieved success encourages them to believe they can overcome their own challenges. However, 65% of consumers say they lack a positive role model for success. Instead of featuring models in idealized situations, celebrate real consumers who are overcoming their health challenges by partnering with them to share their journey on social media channels and through inspiring content.
Connecting with people about what truly matters helps them to make positive changes in their lives. The brands that win will be those that develop messages that emotionally resonate with consumers and inspire them to make better health decisions. Women’s Marketing has a long history of turning dynamic brands into leaders across categories. Contact us today to learn more about our suite of marketing services.
Sources: The State of Obesity is a project of the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation August 2017, Health Inertia Wunderman Health 2017