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Marketing in the Year of Smart Living—are we well?

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Analysis, Public Relations

Welcome to the Year of Smart Living. Consumers are hyper focused on health and wellness, filled with so much hope and promise for a better future that the category has exploded to $4.2 trillion. At the heart of that growth is the idea that tech and innovation have the power to dramatically enhance the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of people everywhere.

Health and wellness technologies (well tech) offer life-changing ideas, services and products to people and places that may have never otherwise benefited from them. Take mental health for example. Professional mental health services have been around forever, but few people take advantage of them because the roadblocks are so massive—stigma, cost, access to professionals to name a few. The advent of digital mental health care has completely changed that dynamic and opened access to providers who are able to deliver care virtually. Now, millions more people can improve the quality of their lives, and the lives of those around them.

This is a clear example of the impact that tech can have on consumer wellbeing day-to-day

But as the benefits are realized, more and more brands want a piece of the health and wellness pie, leaving consumers with too many answers and no roadmap to the solution. What’s real, what’s not, what’s helpful, what’s a waste of time? The massive surge of trendy devices and popular digital services in our day-to-day brings questions: Is technology and innovation making us healthier and our lives better? To what extent is tech changing the value we place on health and wellness? In short, are we well?

To find the answers, March Communications conducted a national survey of more than 1,000 consumers between the ages of 25 and 50. Our findings demonstrate a clear correlation between health and well tech offerings and a perceived increase in quality of life for consumers.

Results show that 89 percent of survey respondents believe tech plays an important role in health and wellness, with more than half of this group believing it plays a “very or extremely important” role. Sixty-three percent even went so far as to credit technology with helping improve their wellbeing.

And in a surprising twist, the survey also shows us that research and demonstrated scientific effectiveness are major factors in shaping consumer (75 percent) buying decisions. Research and proof even outranked an emphasis on privacy, with 43 percent of respondents sharing that they are willing to sacrifice on confidentiality so long as their goals are being met.

Marketing in the Year of Smart Living—are we well?

For us, as marketers and communicators, these results demand a shift in our strategies

The results revealed new and critical ways of engaging with and educating consumers in the year of smart living.

So, we recommend a new approach for the industry. One that involves a specific trifecta for health and well tech communicators that are looking to succeed. We need a new focus on whole body benefit, demonstrated proven, scientific effectiveness, and proper education for consumers on how it all comes together.

It’s obvious that consumers care about the science behind health and well tech solutions, but oftentimes struggle to understand it. Brands need a partner who can translate the meaningful benefits and go so far as to be a guide on their personal health journey. This comes from authentic, honest brand storytelling, a commitment to quantifiable outcomes and bold, informative campaigns strategically designed to help consumers make educated decisions. We are the connection between consumers and brands. We must tap into who the company has helped, figure out how technology improves their lives, and produce innovative ways to spread that message.

We must also be highly aware of the responsibility we’re taking on when partnering with health and well tech brands. It’s a lucrative industry and comms experts hold the power to separate the innovators from the “trend traps.” Constructing a set of values and developing a consumer-centric, research-based branding approach can elevate companies on a mission to advance consumer wellbeing.

If we can be smart about our business and make a difference in consumers’ lives, shouldn’t we?

No one is saying we need to limit ourselves to brands with maximum impact, but we should designate a certain portion of our time and energy to changing lives through caring for bodies and minds.

March Communications is committed to seeking out and partnering with brands who believe in the promise and power of health and wellness tech. Why? Because we want to do more than just communicate. We want to protect, elevate and impact consumers. How will your agency get in the ring?

Marketing in the Year of Smart Living—are we well?

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Jodi Petrie
Jodi Petrie is the EVP and Consumer Innovation Group Lead at March Communications, where she works with brands at all stages of growth to reimagine how their tech and innovation are experienced by customers and consumers.

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