“Here’s important context for health care marketing in 2017: Attention and trust continue to decline across the country,” says Ryan Hanser, APR, who leads Hanser & Associates, a full-service PR firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Sure, we still have knowledgeable specialists—doctors, for starters. The trouble is that people increasingly reject the authority of expertise. Moreover, a majority of us do not have faith in institutions—government, business, nongovernmental organizations, and media—to do what is right.
“Instead, research says we live in a self-referential world where Google, Facebook, and other online destinations are relied upon to soothe skepticism and affirm bias. Beyond our continued trust in friends and family, we increasingly seek out the people who resemble ourselves. We trust peer recommendations online.
Hanser notes that the “marketplace of ideas” and recent focus on transparency has led to a belief that the public cares about facts. “But data suggests that what people most care about is fulfilling their need to belong—to be accepted and connected.
“Word-of-mouth influence has always been higher for considered purchases like health care—people do more research, opinion-seeking, and deliberation for unprecedented needs and greater expenses. Adding rising health care consumerism to the declining institutional trust means third-party endorsement becomes a marketing imperative.”
In our new article, Hanser shares his perspective on how to harness the power of authentic, trusted voices. Read it now:
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