September 26, 2011 Leave a comment
The complementary health care market is one of the few arenas that has not been hard hit by the current ongoing economic downturn. This is particularly true when it comes to nutritional supplements. The aging Baby Boomer population is fueling the upturn as are the legions of health conscious consumers who turn to supplements as an affordable, generally from their perspective, much less risky way to stay healthy compared to prescription drugs and other medical procedures,
According to “Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 4th Edition” by market research publisher Packaged Facts, it is estimated that “U.S. retail sales of nutritional supplements exceeded $9 billion in 2009, up 8% over 2008 sales. From 2005 to 2009, the market grew by a total of 26%, fueled by growing consumer awareness about health maintenance, in addition to pressure by the media and government to enforce product accountability.”
This shift has to do with an increasingly health conscious attitude, as well as the nutritional supplement industry’s efforts to focus on more science-based claims. During the past few decades the industry has made huge strides towards building its credibility in the marketplace. The effort has paid off. Packaged Facts forecasts annual sales growth in nutritional supplements will gradually improve over the next few years and sales will exceed $13 billion in 2014, yielding a compound annual growth rate of 7%.
Some national surveys estimate that in a given year, 40% of all Americans incorporate some type of complementary and alternative therapy into their healthcare routine. It is now abundantly clear that complementary medicine is definitely not a fad, as many had suggested in the 1960’s but is a dynamic part of our healthcare system. It is generally outside of the insurance umbrella and therefore must be paid for out of pocket, but this is one area where Americans are willing to spend their dollars.
That said, for those companies involved in the nutritional supplement or complementary and alternative medicine fields, reaching the target market is of tremendous importance. It is clear that the market is there and that these are consumers that are willing to pay money in order to help safeguard their health. The important part from a business perspective is to define the target market, pinpoint how and where to reach them and speak to them in a language they understand. A combination of public relations and social media outreach is generally the best approach since it reaches the market and offers the validation and legitimacy that comes with being featured in the media.
A well constructed, effective medical PR campaign educates, instructs, informs, and whets the public’s appetite to know more. On the marketing end, it also stimulates a target audience to take action, whether that be making an appointment, purchasing a product, or visiting a store. To effectively market in this arena, you need to offer a good compelling story that also educates and informs. Although not every product or service has a huge potential market, in the nutritional supplement arena you don’t need huge, you need a realistic, well-defined market. You’re job is to define that market, target them, promote successfully and speak their language. Do that and your in business to stay
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011