When it comes to where European consumers are going to gather health information online, one trend is evident: The content must be local. Not surprisingly, language plays a major role in driving consumers to sites and content within their local market - also making a pan-European site difficult to achieve.
Within each of the ten countries, specific sites with local content emerged as the content leaders - with one surprising site mentioned across a number of the ten countries surveyed: Wikipedia. In the absence of major health portals with accredited content in many of the countries surveyed, consumers are turning to sites such as Wikipedia as a local content source with up-to-date information. Companies would be wise to ensure their products are adequately represented within Wikipedia entries across the various countries, and to also survey condition-specific treatment entries to certify that available options are presented accurately and completely. Of course, as some companies have learned - be vigilant in how you approach editing or altering Wikipedia content online. Ensuring complete content is one thing but selective removal of content is clearly another.
Additionally, given this dearth of country-specific health content in many European countries, companies can fill the gap of unmet demand by providing disease education content online. In a world of limited choices, even basic information is often met with enthusiasm by those seeking the latest diagnostic and treatment information about a condition.
5. In the Absence of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising, Online Content Is Critical
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Source: white paper derived from Cybercitizen® Health Europe and Taking the Pulse® Europe
Â© Manhattan Research, LLC, 2007