3 Ways Health Data Will Impact All Marketers

The popularity of smartphones means that businesses are gaining increasing insight into what consumers want – and exactly when and where. Location-based technology allows anyone with a smart device to find the nearest3 Ways Health Data Will Impact All Marketers restaurant, or shoe store, or coffee shop, or even individual items in a particular aisle of a store. People who use fitness or health applications can track their activity levels and other important wellness factors.

Of course, as the prevalence of location-based data rises, so do privacy concerns. Though consumers are certainly warming up to this type of data sharing, there is an overarching fear about what it all means in the grand scope of consumer privacy. This is especially true when it comes to health data. When consumers are tracked in this realm, does it cross the strict lines of privacy that lawmakers have tried so hard to protect through legislation like HIPAA laws?

It’s an interesting debate, certainly. On one hand, better health tracking benefits patients and can save time in the event of an emergency. On the other hand, health data has always been closely guarded because it can lead to things like discrimination.

But what does it all mean for everyone else? What can all marketers understand better about consumers, based on the health data debate? Why should non-health related apps and services pay attention to what happens with the information allowed in health technology? Here are just a few reasons that what happens with consumer privacy regarding health data will impact everyone else:

  • Consumers will become more aware. As the health tracking debate comes to the public surface, consumers who knew very little about how their smart devices track them will start to learn more. They may not like what they learn – and it could spell trouble for marketers in the future.
  • Consumers will expect more. Think of all the things your smartphone already does for you: gives you instant internet access, reads you your texts and emails, reminds you when it is your mom’s birthday or when you need to make an important phone call for work. As each part of our lives gets connected to smart applications, we expect more intuitive measures from everything else. This mentality will be heightened even more if health apps are fully integrated in what we use our phones to do.
  • Consumers will look elsewhere. As the laws in the U.S. are put in place to provide privacy protection on health apps, consumers will learn more about how data is protected in other countries. Expect issues like the right to be forgotten online to surface with more vocal support from the general public.

Overall the adoption of health apps will lift the mobile technology industry by mainstreaming a necessary area into smartphone usage. It’s important for all marketers to understand the implications of health-based apps and what the laws end up looking like surrounding them, because it will impact consumer behavior and expectations.

What do you think the laws should be when it comes to health tracking?

What Is The Virtuous Marketing Circle?

Image by Gavin Llewellyn.

I imagine that most of you will have heard of the concept of a ‘vicious circle’, those horrible situations where one thing going wrong leads to another, and every mistake compounds the first one.

I’m assuming most of you have also heard of the phrase ‘virtuous circle’, where everything turns out  for the best and feeds into the first awesome thing you did.

In terms of marketing, virtuous circles are very important, but with all the focus commercial marketing places on one-shot campaigns, client briefs and new opportunities, in can be hard to retain sight of these all-important virtuous marketing circles.

I think this is a mistake.


So How Do I Get A Virtuous Circle Started?

There’s no one way to start a virtuous circle, but there are a lot of methods that are easier and more reliable.

Human relationships are the best examples of virtuous circles outside marketing, so it stands to reason that they’re also awesome within that world.

I say something interesting to you, so you’re happy, and you say something interesting back in the comments section (hint hint!), and we keep adding knowledge to each other until we’ve come up with a complete system for world (marketing) domination!

Reaching out to important bloggers for marketing purposes means you’ve built a relationship just like that, but many marketers move on once they’ve got some PR, or a link, from their targeted influencer. Mistake!

To sustain a virtuous circle, you have to keep offering value to the relationship. Make sure that they think of you as an ally, or even better, a friend. How? By acting friendly! Simple, right?

What you get in return is a constant stream of positive mentions and feeling, with relatively little effort on your part.


Use Multiple Platforms

One of the coolest ways of generating and sustaining a virtuous marketing circle is using multiple platforms.

If your client lacks credibility as a thought leader, you might promote them on one social media platform, for instance. If it gets a good reaction there, you can use that as instant evidence of your client’s credibility on a separate social media platform, and another, and another – and then talk about the positive reaction on the first platform all over again!

Once people are talking about them, others will start to blog about and link to your client. Free PR. Once people are blogging about and linking to your client, you can promote these blogs even more on social media, building relationships and maintaining a constant source of goodwill on the internet.

It’s almost more of a virtuous snowball than a virtuous circle, as opportunities in one area of a campaign improve your ability to exploit opportunities elsewhere. Make the most out of it!


Be Creative!

Almost every area of marketing has links to some other area that can be exploited. Email marketing can be tied to social campaigns, social campaigns into search engine optimisation, and optimisation into fiddling with checkout processes, conversion rates and usability studies.

With almost everything feeding into almost everything else, it’s child’s play to generate a situation where your email marketing ends up promoting your PR, which feeds your blog, which feeds your email newsletter!

Virtuous marketing circles are everywhere, you just have to start looking for them.

James Duval writes about marketing for Strategy Internet Marketing, who are a digital marketing agency based in Bristol offering Pay on Results SEO and CRO packages.