Consumer Insights to Engage Patients and Build Loyalty

The 2018 ePharma conference (March 21–23, New York) focused on strategies to create meaningful patient experiences through digital marketing. Healthline’s Dante Gaudio, senior vice president of sales, shared observations on how “thinking like a patient” helped Healthline become the fastest-growing health information brand and tips for inspiring brand loyalty.  Dante’s presentation, “Leveraging Influencers, Social and Mobile Creates Brand Loyalty,” included data-driven insights geared to pharma marketers to help build brand loyalty among key audiences: influencers, advocates, and individuals.

As a digital publisher, Healthline focuses on delivering content and products based on consumer need. Step one in building loyalty is to “get chosen.” Our first introduction to the health seeker is through search results. Providing the best answer to every search query is how we say “hello.” But to continue building brand loyalty — and fulfill our mission of becoming a trusted ally — we enhance and support this proven approach with content experiences that create genuine connections and nurture meaningful relationships. Building loyalty is an authentic undertaking and a dialogue.

Getting past “hello”

While utility fulfills the consumer’s immediate need, building relationships can be challenging. At Healthline, we have to do more than excel at answering search queries to remain relevant and become a trusted ally. We have to know and address the whole person. Dante shared tips on how to create real relationships with patients and influencers at his ePharma Summit presentation.

Putting the patient first

Easy to say, hard to do right. Healthline tips:

  1. Get to “hello”: The first step to building a relationship: Understand who your consumer is, what they need, where they are, and how you can deliver utility.
  2. Connect and nurture: Create a reason to reconnect and go beyond: Consumers expect a genuine connection. Chronic patients want to be understood and to do that, yo need to address the whole person. Humanizing content provides even more utility for patients, and more opportunity to connect with them. Social is the platform to engage qualified audiences that aren’t actively searching for health information.
  3. Leverage influencers and practice empathy: By focusing on real-life scenarios, not just the known needs of health seekers, and going after what some assume are risky subjects, brands can earn consumer’s’ trust and deliver meaningful value. Micro can be mighty: Focus on quality versus quantity when leveraging influencers.
  4. Measure loyalty: Define success, test, and optimize to evolve with consumer needs. Challenge yourself to think differently to connect with patients more deeply.

Healthline research insights:

Influencers are driving health conversations. Here are a few key findings from a survey* of U.S. adults with a health condition who follow a health influencer:

  • 85 percent are likely to visit websites that health influencers partner with.
  • 85 percent are likely to share information or posts from health influencers with others.
  • 83 percent are likely to more closely track their symptoms and medication side effects.

Why pharma marketers should take notice of Healthline’s audience, content, and marketing approach

Healthline can find and engage your best audience, whether they are activated health seekers found via search or qualified patients (but not “hand-raisers”) coming through social media. In this evolving health landscape, Healthline understands the modern health consumer.

We also understand the challenges of a highly gulated industry and can share best practices for how to deliver accurate content with an empathetic tone that reaches and engages your target audience. Partner with us. We can introduce you to the right people at the right time, get beyond the “first date,” and help you nurture valuable relationships to build brand loyalty. Let’s start with “hello.”

Contact: Dante Gaudio, SVP of Sales,

Source: Healthline’s Influencer Survey. A Survey Sampling International panel collected the responses of 700 U.S. adults. [Accessed 3/14/2018]

About Healthline Media

As the #1 health media property in the US, Healthline Media reaches more than 94MM unique visitors each month (Comscore, August 2021). We provide credible health information with a compassionate approach.