Wikipedia Strategies for European Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketers

Country-specific health information sites reign again as the leading online disease and treatment destinations in regions across Europe, according to this years Cybercitizen Health Europe (www.manhattanresearch.com/ccheu) a strategic research and advisory service from Manhattan Research. This finding drives home the fact that language and locality are unsurprisingly two of the most important factors to consumers when looking up health and medical treatment information.

A common thread did weave its way through the top health site rankings in all of the surveyed markets Wikipedia. Continually-edited and available in hundreds of languages, the online encyclopedia provides consumers with up-to-date, local content that is ultimately affecting their healthcare decisions. Wikipedia plays an especially important role as a medical resource in the many European countries lacking comprehensive, accredited health portals.

Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies may not view Wikipedia as a traditional component of strategy planning, but as an increasing number of consumers rely on Wikipedia for health information, its critical for marketers to understand how this social media platform affects consumer opinion and ultimately treatment and product decisions. The majority of consumers who visit Wikipedia for health information reported that they expect pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies to monitor entries pertaining to their products. And even though companies arent able to control Wikipedia the same way they can a typical advertising campaign, it doesnt mean that the messages it sends consumers are any less influential instead, the fact that content isnt sponsored can add to an entrys credibility.

Manhattan Research offers advice to healthcare marketers looking to establish their own Wikipedia strategy:

- Make sure that brands and products are accurately represented within Wikipedia entries across European markets and that treatment options listed in disease entries pertaining to products are correct and complete. Use the following query in Googles search box to track down mentions throughout Wikipedia: "brand name" site:wikipedia.org (ex: advil site:wikipedia.org)

- Companies should only go as far as to ensure accuracy and completeness when monitoring and editing Wikipedia entries. Selective removal of factual content, even if its negative, can spark consumer and media disapproval.

- Keep in mind that Wikipedia is constantly updated. Establishing an on-going Wikipedia monitoring process and assigning roles can help ensure that efforts are continual.

Download the Cybercitizen Health Europe white paper with additional market data, trends, and strategies for companies looking to use technology to reach consumers and influence healthcare decisions in countries across Europe: www.manhattanresearch.com/research/white-papers/connecting-with-european...

For more information about the Cybercitizen Health Europe study and advisory service, visit www.manhattanresearch.com/ccheu

Author: Manhattan Research

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