The health landscape has evolved forever as a result of the pandemic. Wellbeing came of age overnight with millions focussing on strategies to stay well—healthier eating, more exercise, supplementing, mindfulness. As brand holders or ingredient suppliers, what are the keys to unlocking super-growth in this new landscape?
Understanding the landscape
Consumers are more informed about their wellbeing choices; pharmacists have evolved to become healthcare providers rather than retailers; healthcare consultations, tele-medicine and e-scripts are now de rigueur; AI has accelerated personalised nutrition capability. Importantly, consumers are favouring prevention rather than cure to build immunity, maintain vitality and achieve optimal wellbeing for as long as possible.
Digital-first is non-negotiable
Digital is now table stakes, leading the way for product search, discovery, and purchase. The phone is now a store and the bridge between the online and offline worlds. For many brands, this has become a challenge, as digitisation is now no longer a nice-to-have, but an imperative for commercial survival. For others, it’s the trigger for super-growth.
Getting digital right is a long game. It’s essential to approach it strategically, to have goals and to know what success looks like. It’s not just about communication, it’s about having the technology to capture and nurture leads through what might be a protracted purchase path. To build a good digital presence and the infrastructure to support it, it’s best approached in stages rather than trying different things here and there.
Understanding customers’ wants and needs, and discovering patterns in their behaviours, is the key driver of audience engagement, loyalty, and retention. When mapped out well both online and offline, brands can grab attention, hold it, and drive customer love in a way that keeps them coming back for more. A website’s success hinges on how users perceive it. Well-considered user experience aims to make the needs of the user as easy to meet as possible. Their interaction with your site or app should be seamless, avoiding confusion within the navigation and reaching their desired outcome in the fewest steps possible. Importantly, keep in view the design needs to focus on transitioning from ‘me’ to ‘we’ and must incorporate the understanding that people care for more than themselves—they also care for other human beings and the planet, too.
Enter the science of Cognitive Behavioural Psychology, which combines an understanding of both behavioural and cognitive sciences with the goal of better understanding human behaviour to develop interventions that assist the human condition. We need to carefully consider the cognitive factors influencing our customers’ behaviour when creating digital experiences. Is it fear, anxiety, hope or possibility, and what problem do we need to solve for them? What messages or experiences do they need to experience at each touchpoint of the user journey?
Customers’ actions in making purchasing decisions in the digital world are influenced in virtually the same way as they are for offline interactions and experiences.
How do brands achieve this?
Regularly analyse data to understand reach volumes and patterns of behaviour that are influencing consumption, engagement, duration, and intensity. Importantly, keep focussed on solving your customers’ problems. Do they need help with supporting better sleep? Reducing mild anxiety? Improved concentration and cognition? Define the problem, turn it into an opportunity to inform using smart digital content and experience.
Cognitive behavioural psychology in action
There are various to put this theory to work in content and media strategies.
- Mirroring your inner-circle’s action: “Your friend Sarah liked this product”. Because you admire and trust Sarah, this automatically helps you build trust and makes you intrigued to learn more or investigate further.
- Digital auto-suggested preferences: “You may also like this product”. When you encounter these recommendations while scanning Amazon, you may be surprised they are actually products you like. This is based on masses of data: with every customer transaction, product connections are noted and if it starts to trend, it’s offered to the next customer.
- Limited stock notes: “Limit of 8 items per person”. This tempts customers to go for closer to 8 items over their usual behaviour of 2 (if the price has a reasonable discount).
- Herd community: “Thousands of people register here every day”. This shows a high-level statistic of thousands of people using this form to register, building confidence and trust for the consumer.
Questions to ask
- What experience is our customer seeking?
- What does our customer not want?
- How are they feeling emotionally?
- What do we need to do to communicate with more empathy?
- How can we add more value to the customer experience?
TIP: Keep an always-on track of NPS score by focussing on solving customer problems and thereby building trust and loyalty.
Personalisation with AI gives the edge
Personalisation in wellbeing has become firmly entrenched, from DNA testing to personalised virtual health consults, vitamin prescriptions and nutrition. This is especially relevant as consumers move from cure to prevention, and seek personalised strategies to meet specific health goals; gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach.
Affordable AI solutions enable brands to personalise their communications and create effective personalised nutrition solutions. Consumers enter lifestyle information, and an algorithm generates a personalised script of supplements to address core lifestyle needs such as improved sleep, anxiety management or menopause support.
TIP: Equal effort needs to be applied to how a brand attracts customers in the first instance and how these leads are nurtured once they have engaged online. To supercharge those relationships an investment in CRM and paid media is required.
Power of retargeting
Seldom does a customer go from A–Z in their purchasing decision with just one click. The path to purchase is multi-faceted and needs to be understood. Playing to the trends throughout the purchase cycle is critical to success, and leverages consumer information to drive increasingly personalised content recommendations.
A product may have multiple benefits, but effective retargeting leverages the one that resonates most with each individual consumer. For example, a prospective customer reads an article on the anti-inflammatory benefits of ubiquinol. From there, they are retargeted with social advertisements, interactive tools or content focused on the mode of action of ubiquinol rather than generic brand creative.
Social experiences support engagement, frequency
An IPSOS survey showed that the top interests people say they pursue on Instagram to build connection are food and drink (43%) and health and fitness (35%). Statistics show that 42% of Instagram users visit the channel more than once per day. 500+ million people use Stories daily and one-third of the most-viewed Stories come from brands; 50% are more interested in a brand when they see ads for it on Instagram.
The power of social channels to drive brand awareness and engagement is clear—audiences are open to hearing from brands, with native content that is authentic, real and provides a value exchange. If it is fun, engaging, or informative it drives even greater engagement. Use different formats to deliver experiences that customers would not otherwise have experienced—for example, attending an information class on natural ways to help break the cycle of sleeplessness—with health experts they might not have had access to. A smart amplification strategy is key to success, with paid media to ensure your brand reaches the desired audience.
TIP: Look at recurring revenue models for super growth (annuity income). Consider subscription and membership revenue such as a supplement membership for a 12-month period, inserting your product into a subscription box, for regular trial and awareness.
In the next instalment, The 6AM Agency’s Founder and CEO, Gillian Fish shares additional considerations and techniques to take a communications and media strategy to the next level and drive super-growth.
For further information or a free one-hour consult contact [email protected] + 61 400 200 441
 6AM Digital Imperatives White Paper, June 2020; Gillian Fish & Joe Purves