Alternative Media: Web-surfing Seniors - Pharmaceutical Executive


Alternative Media: Web-surfing Seniors
Has your company reached out to the fastest-growing online audience?

Pharmaceutical Executive

In some ways, seniors represent an ideal, captive audience. Because they tend to have more leisure time, they are often willing to take the time to read in-depth information—assuming that it's relevant. The challenge lies in figuring out what seniors deem relevant.

The first step for marketers is to develop a better understanding of seniors' attitudes, behaviors, and needs. Executives should use data-collection techniques, such as surveys and polls, among other tools, to make informed decisions about how to market product offerings, as well as how to create relevant and personalized information for senior patients. Marketers can also glean information about their target demographic by studying the traditional medical sites seniors visit, as well as sites that appeal to seniors' hobbies and other interests. Further, placing advertisments on these sites can give a company great exposure.

In regard to search-engine optimization, all the standard practices apply for seniors as they do for other demographics. Marketers should research the search terms that seniors are likely to use (noting that key terms may be surprisingly similar to those used by other age groups) and optimize them to get the most return on investment.

Clearly, seniors have a unique set of needs. Understanding their online preferences and how they process information on the Web will help marketers keep this senior tech-savvy population online and engaged. They may need larger fonts and simple graphics, but like other online users, they still expect relevant, highly targeted content. As they become even more familiar with the Web and confident in their "surfing" abilities, their expectations will only increase. As Pew Internet Project statistics show, this is just the beginning of an era of senior empowerment.


Informed Medical Communications launched MrxHealth, which will focus on alternative marketing. launched as a consumer search engine for health information. HealthEd launched a Web site and print campaign to communicate the importance of patient education.


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The World Health Care Innovation and Technology Congress will use the VisionTree Conference Platform to collect input, enhance collaboration, and generate new ideas. The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation and the California Institute of Information Technology and Telecommunications partnered with Sun Microsystems to develop a regional health-information organization, the San Diego Medical Information Network Exchange project. Rosetta Biosoftware and Agendia will partner.


Maria Shields, chief financial officer of ANSYS, was selected as a finalist in the Pittsburgh Business Times 2005 CFO of the Year awards. Shaw Science Partners Web site, The Science of Sleep, which was designed for Takeda, won a 2005 FREDDIE award in the Web category.


Stephen Leicht joined the iAdvantage Software board of directors.


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