Does pharma understand how women view health?

Does pharma understand what women want from their medication information?
Does pharma understand what women want from their medication information?

Creating effective advertisements for pharmaceutical products requires a good grasp on what your target audience is looking for. Staying in tune to both men's and women's needs is essential to establishing marketing campaigns that successfully attract all potential customers.

However, a new survey shows that pharma marketers may not be as familiar with what women are looking for in medical advertisements as they should be. The report indicates that pharma companies aren't in touch with how women view their health and what it means to be healthy. 

Many pharma companies may misunderstand how women see health
According to Reuters, the Center for Talent Innovation recently conducted a survey of 9,210 women from the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Japan and Germany. The findings show that women don't tend to see health in terms of illness, but in the context of wellness and the health needs people have when they're not sick. This includes mental and physical well-being as well as overall quality of life. Females are often responsible for caring for family members, which means that pharma ads should revolve around more than just one person's well-being.

Medical Marketing & Media noted that women are often balancing the health requirements of multiple people versus just their own or a single person's. For example, the report showed that there are many women who are currently caring for a sick parent in addition to their kids. Co-author of the study, Carolyn Buck Luce, executive in residence at Center for Talent Innovation, told MM&M that nowadays, this is the "job" that many women have, referring to them as "the family's chief medical officers."

"At a time when the industry is suffering from only 50 percent prescription adherence rates among patients and the general population is getting less healthy, we find female CMOs can be healthcare companies' best allies to achieve better health outcomes for themselves and others," Luce told Reuters. "The sponsoring companies of this report recognize the power of the female CMO purse and have committed to uncovering the solutions to better serve this market segment."

What can pharma companies do to build trust?
Most pharma companies fail to understand and acknowledge the role and perspective of women as the CMO of their families. This is causing women not to trust the medical information that marketers provide them. The survey indicates that 77 percent of women don't currently trust their health care insurers, while 83 percent don't trust the medical information made available by pharma companies. 

One of the key reasons women are finding it difficult to trust pharma businesses is the lack of women and ethnic diversity in clinical trials. Therefore, diversifying the participants in these medical trials could drastically help to increase trust. The survey also found that women are looking for more time to process the medical information they're given through access to mobile devices. The more accessible this information is to consumers, the more they will trust the product and the more likely they are to feel that the company understands their needs. 

"Understanding the behaviors that garner trust and satisfaction will assist the Chief Medical Officer in doing her job well," Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder and CEO at the Center for Talent Innovation explained to Reuters. "Trusting relationships with healthcare professionals and the organizations they represent can go a long way towards bolstering women's confidence and trust."

A total of 27 percent of women in the survey who were happy with their pharma companies said that it's important that marketers provide thorough information regarding risks and side effects of medications. Another 25 percent of satisfied female consumers agreed that gender- and ethnic-specific recommendations on drug labels build trust and credibility.