Tag Archives: healthcare

Consuming the Flu Vaccination: CDC Marketing Initiatives to Stop the Flu

December has begun and flu season is definitely among us as the weather begins to grow colder. The number of influenza vaccinations have increased steadily since 2005 and the 2016- 2017 distribution count is sure to maintain this upward trend. There is a heightened public concerned about the flu virus and has even raised the question to state legislator if the flu vaccine should be mandatory for health care workers and employees in other industries. The increase in flu vaccinations has sparked many debates regarding its validity, effectiveness, and safety. Despite, the number of vaccinations distributed have earned pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars annually. The vaccination industry dominated by five pharmaceutical powerhouses and collectively worth about $24 billion. However this steady increase did not occur organically, it is due to an aggressive campaign pushed by the Center for  Disease Control that promoted influenza awareness by targeting the audience, disseminating impactful marketing collateral, and utilizing social media.

There has been an increase in flu vaccination overall, but the demographics that were impacted the most were small children under the age of four and the elderly population. Since these groups are considered the most susceptible to viral infections, they are the top priority among all groups to receive the flu vaccination first. According to the CDC, about 47.1% of children under the age of four  were vaccinated in the U.S. during the 2014-2015 flu season. Children of this age group are consistently receiving vaccinations for various other viruses and illnesses, so this is also the most convenient demographic to reach. When children are brought in for physical examinations or other vaccinations it is easier for healthcare providers to “upsell” or convince the parents to also consider a flu vaccination. This is a similar circumstance for the elderly population. Since this group is also more likely to visit their healthcare provider frequently, it is more feasible to inform them about the vaccination and distribute it as well.

Although the CDC targeted a few age demographics, they still broaden their reach by creating  a social media campaign surrounding flu vaccinations. They launched the “#VaxWithME” selfie campaign to spread awareness. NFL football players, nurses, and many others participated in the campaign while often using  the caption “spread the word, not the flu.” This campaign helped to create conversations around the topic as well as gather endorsements. For the CDC, this campaign helped catapult them out of their normal audience and into the mainstream population and spread their message. This campaign also worked in conjunction with a variety of strong marketing materials.

The marketing slogan and flyers that  were created for  the flu shot awareness campaign left a clear and direct message that was difficult to dispute. Slogans such as “You have the power to fight the flu” and “no more excuses, you need a flu vaccine” paired with images of families, placed the responsibility on the consumer to stop the spreading of the flu virus. These slogans placed a heavy social responsibility on each person by implicitly calling the public to action. These marketing materials in conjunction with the CDC’s other efforts created a direct impact on the increase in flu vaccination distribution.

This year approximately 131.9 million flu vaccines have been issued during the 2016 – 2017 flu season and this number is increasing. A mixture of market research on the audience, social media campaigns, and bold marketing messages have caused this increase and the momentum does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Pharmaceutical companies will need to increase production of the flu vaccine to keep up with the CDC marketing efforts.


Ellandrea Mckissack is a Marketing Coordinator at qSample, a research and data firm based out of Chicago. qSample specializes in developing and managing specialty research panels that cover a wide range of audiences such as voters, general contractors, veterinarians, just to name a few. At qSample, she hones her inner marketing energy to gather raw data from our specialty panels, research the latest advancements in the marketing field, and most importantly craft methods to get information in front of people who need it the most – the consumers. For more information please contact her at ellandrea.mckissack@qsample.com

Pet Owners Spend Big on Healthcare

What would you do to save your dog or cat? If your beloved family pet was sick or injured, what would you be willing to pay for proper treatment? In a recent survey, 70% of pet owners indicated that they would be willing to “pay anything” for their pet’s health.

More than $55.7 billion was spent on pet products in the U.S. during 2013, and it’s estimated more than $58.5 billion will be spent in 2014. U.S. pet owners spent $27 billion on animal medication and visits to the vet in 2013.

Like their owners, pets often require medicine to regain their health after becoming sick or injured. A recent study by qSample found that less than 10 percent of pet owners shop online for their pet’s pharmaceutical needs. 70 percent fill prescriptions right at the veterinary clinic, but this can be expensive.

On average, dogs typically cost their owners about $8,000 over their lifetimes, while cats cost their owners around $10,000. However if your dog or cat needs immediate emergency care it’s easy to rack up a bill of $2-3K in a single visit. A visit to an emergency vet clinic can cost anywhere from $100-$400, and that’s before any tests or procedures. Emergency surgeries can cost anywhere from $2,000-$5,000, depending on the severity of the injury, but even after a surgery is over, the bills can still pile up.

Vet Healthcare Costs

According to a recent survey by Kroger Co., 61 percent of pet owners say they’d spend between $100 and $1,000 for life saving medical treatment. Another 15 percent would be willing to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for treatment. Ten percent of owners said they would be willing to pay $3,000 or more for medical care if their pet required it.

No matter where owners find treatment, it isn’t cheap. The best way to prepare for unexpected vet costs is with animal healthcare insurance. qSample found that 97 percent of pet owners surveyed had insurance, and 60% use VPI. Pets Best and Petplan were the next most popular choices, but only 8 percent chose each. Animal healthcare can be expensive, but most pet owners are willing to spend big for the ones they love.

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to large segments of general consumers, qSample cultivates high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include:
Mobile Users, Gamers, Voters, Contractors, Home Owners, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.

You can find more information by clicking on the panels tab above, or contact qSample here

What Is Driving the Growth in Medical Tourism?

Medical tourism, also referred to as international medical migration, patient migration and medical travel, is a new term but not a new idea. A market driven industry, Medical Tourism is shaped by the complex interactions of myriad medical, economic, social and political forces. Medical tourists embark on worldwide journeys for health care to lower costs, decrease wait times, and access medical services that aren’t available in their home country.

For patients from countries where a governmental health care system regulates access to health care, the reason to leave the local market is the desire to have timely treatment, circumventing delays associated with long waiting lists. Because national health programs and some insurance programs do not fund cosmetic surgery and similar types of services, patients seeking these services are driven to pursue medical tourism. Patients also travel to medical tourism destinations for procedures that are not available in their own countries. For example, stem cell therapy, unobtainable by many patients in industrialized countries, is available in the medical tourism marketplace. The now deceased Charlie’s Angels star, Farah Fawcett, struggled to find a cure for cancer three years ago, which ultimately took her to Germany for a unique procedure that was not available in the United States.

Resources are insufficient for people to comfortably purchase care in their local market, but adequate for them to buy care in lower-cost foreign facilities. An additional benefit is that another country provides privacy and confidentiality for patients undergoing plastic surgery, sex change procedures and drug rehabilitation; their medical records cannot be viewed by the myriad parties who can access these documents in the United States.

While much has been written about medical tourism and its impacts and ethics, little research has been conducted to quantify the reasons that consumers participate in it.

qSample conducted a study to target a wide range of global consumers on their experiences and consideration of medical tourism. The study used an international sample of potential medical tourists with an estimated 575 participants. Download the full white paper here.

by Rudly Raphael