An aging population, rising costs, and an increase in chronic diseases has made wellness a primary issue for many Americans and, as a result, they’re getting more actively involved in managing their own health. While healthy behaviors can help to prevent illness, when consumers are in need of relief from minor ailments they overwhelmingly turn to their local drugstore for help—81% of adults use OTC medicines as a first response and a minimum of 70% of all illnesses are addressed with self-treatment.
OTC, An Affordable Option
OTC medications provide an affordable treatment option for consumers and the healthcare system as a whole. Analysts estimate that the use of OTC medications saves over $77 billion in clinical costs (avoided doctor’s office visits and diagnostic testing), and $25 billion in drug cost savings as OTCs are generally less expensive than prescription drugs. Cost savings aside, 93% of U.S. adults say they prefer treating their minor ailments with OTC medications before seeking professional care.
Ads, SEM Essential for Health and Wellness Brand Awareness
As consumers become more empowered and take charge of their health, OTC marketers have an opportunity to make an impact and build awareness even before the consumer’s need arises. To make an impact, new OTC brands require large-scale advertising, social, and promotional campaigns and dedicated budgets for search engine marketing. While ad spending can be significant, utilizing geo-targeting to reach consumers during peak cold or allergy seasons, for example, can build awareness and drive trial for your brand. In-store targeting offers opportunity to reach consumers at the moment of need.
Relationship Building Is Key
Although consumers are empowered with a tremendous amount of information, 38% of patients say they lack the confidence to select the right OTC products without assistance. Without an endorsement from someone they know and trust, consumers often approach in-store health professionals for recommendations. Researchers found that one-in-five American consumers visited a retail health clinic in the past year. Developing neighborhood-level marketing campaigns to build awareness, favorability, and trust about your products can be valuable beyond the campaign level—it can piece together the larger puzzle and provide invaluable data about your customer and how best to reach them.
Women’s Marketing offers our clients deep consumer insights and the most innovative strategies to reach them. Contact us today to discover how we can help your brand win in-store and online.
Sources: Kline Recent OTC Innovation Observations & Implications for Future Growth, Consumer Healthcare Products Association Statistics on OTC Use, Pfizer and the National Council on Patient Information and Education