Yahoo Study Shows Health Searchers More Active and Educated
Yahoo! today released the findings from research examining the habits of consumers that search online for health information. The study revealed that 61% of searchers have visited or plan to visit their doctor after searching for health information online. According to Yahoo’s findings, once at the doctor’s office, 71% of health searchers have pointed conversations with their physician about medications and brands. Yahoo’s findings suggest that consumers searching online are more informed and action-oriented when it comes to their health than their non-searching counterparts.
NOTE : These findings have hit home with me a bit as I have experienced similar behavior in my own searching habits. Last week I began searching for a local chiropractor using Yahoo Local & Google Local, found the Doctor I wanted to see, then looked a bit into his background, practice, and my ailment. Showing up at the chiropractor’s office for my appointment he asked me where I had heard of him, I told him he’s #1 on Google and well listed in Yahoo for a certain local chiropractor search term.
By also using the information on different flexors, muscle groups and ligaments I may have enflamed via some quick searches on Google and within Yahoo Health, I was able to describe my ailment to the practitioner with ease, to his surprise.
In addition, research shows that online searchers are hyper-engaged and leverage almost twice as many information sources to learn about disease states and prescriptions than the average consumer.
As a result, they are twice as likely to view third-party health sites such as Yahoo! Health, and are three times more likely to spend time on pharmaceutical branded Web sites searching for information on health topics.
More from Yahoo :
The research was commissioned by Yahoo! in conjunction with Hall & Partners Healthcare to gain a deeper understanding of health searcher’s attitudes and behaviors, and how this impacts doctor visits and prescriptions. The study surveyed over 5,600 online health seekers with extra focus on those searching for Allergy, Depression and High Cholesterol information. Although demographics differed by condition, attitudes and behavior on search were essentially the same.
“Health searchers exhibit a different mindset than non-searchers because they have an insatiable appetite for knowledge concerning their health and medications,” said Bonnie Becker, Director of Pharmaceutical Category for Yahoo! Search Marketing. “Although they view their doctor as an expert, they also view themselves as the utmost authority on what is best for them when it comes to their health.”
Key implications of the study revealed that consumers searching online for information are open to marketing messages:
* 20% of consumers were driven to search online because they saw an advertisement and wanted more information.
* Searchers are 130% more likely to have seen an online display ad and view it as informational.
* 70% of searchers will question their doctor if they are prescribed a brand different from what they searched for online.
“These findings suggest having a high profile in search is crucial for pharmaceutical companies to capture and engage the attention of their most motivated audience,” added Becker.