Women Fueling Health & Wellness – Past, Present & Future
A Tribute to Women During Women’s Health Awareness Week
As healthcare marketers we know that women age 35-64 make 80% of the healthcare decisions in their household, and that they utilize health services more frequently than their male counterparts. Source: US Department of Labor. Women are more likely to choose healthcare providers, schedule doctor’s appointments, and make medical decisions for their entire family.
For years this segment of female consumers has been a coveted source in the healthcare arena and their continued influence has grown beyond what one would consider “traditional” healthcare – extending to an overall, proactive approach to healthy living and wellbeing. Despite shifts in lifestyle and household composition, e.g. single parent households, mixed marriages, etc., these female influencers still have strong footing and continue to build traction. So why has their influence remained so powerful and how can brands continue to connect with them?
Women A Growing Population. A recent Mintel report demonstrated that women make up slightly more than half (50.8%) of the US population, and with the general population aging, it’s expected that women age 65-74 (Boomer+) will grow by 21.2% from 2013-2018. Moreover, the World Health Organization has reported that the life expectancy for women over the age of 50 is growing and, on average, women live longer than men. The result, an increase in demand for healthy aging solutions and care that addresses midlife and geriatric health needs including, comprehensive ambulatory services with preventive health, routine health screenings, and specialty care.
Engaging in Healthy Habits. Women realize that with a longer life expectancy, they will be faced with a variety of health concerns ranging from reproductive health, to bone health, to weight management, most likely prompting their decision to be more proactive about their healthy living choices and to support their interest in healthy aging. In fact, a recent Mintel report showed that women engage in more healthy habits than men, including exercise and healthy eating. Furthermore, women are more likely to use vitamins, minerals and supplements, with 54% of US women taking them regularly and demonstrating increased usage with age. Our government even plays a role in encouraging a proactive approach to health – with the Affordable Care Act, an annual well-woman visit is now considered a preventive service and covered by most health plans at no cost.
Building Brand Connection For Generations to Come. It is clear that women will continue to demonstrate their commitment to preventive health and their influence will extend beyond their own healthcare needs. Women instinctively have a need to be healthy and well for themselves and for the people in their lives – 82% of women believe there will be negative consequences if they don’t.
And, brands should take notice, with over two-thirds of women citing that brand preferences are influenced by those brands that motivate them to be healthy. So… the brands that genuinely speak to a woman’s internal motivations, inspiring them through the functional and emotional benefits of the brand vs. external expectations, the “shoulds” and societal standards, will build lasting connections. Today’s woman has a different attitude about health and wellness – women are seeking brands that motivate them to be healthy and well, those that not only impact them but generations to follow. Brands should dig deeper, beyond base level definitions and understandings, to decipher the nuances that will motivate women to believe in their brands.
Remember, National Women’s Health Awareness Week is May 11-17. Pledge to be well, show your support and don’t forget (or, remind a loved one) to schedule a well-women visit today.