Patients live in a complex world of decision-making. They interact with many sources of information – from their friends and family, to various media channels, to their healthcare providers – all of which influence how they think about critical healthcare goals and treatment choices. Without being medical experts themselves, many patients must chart their own path through the seas of information, coming to their own beliefs about what is true and important for their care.
While patients may think their beliefs are rational conclusions based on the information they consume, these perceptions are also influenced by instinctual shortcuts that happen below the surface of conscious thought. Known as cognitive biases, these shortcuts can influence patient beliefs and drive decision-making without them ever realizing it.
Samantha Rodney co-wrote this blog post with Jacob Braude.
Let’s say I told you that we surveyed your peers, and 65% of them said that when they have a health concern, they usually go to the doctor with a preferred treatment in mind. Do you think this would influence your own attitude about going to the doctor with a treatment in mind? If you’re in the U.K., chances are it would—but if you’re a patient in Italy, not so much.
This is an example of social norms bias, the unconscious tendency to behave as you think others are behaving. We surveyed patients with chronic conditions across five markets in North America and Europe and found several differences in biased responses that have implications for pharma brand teams and their marketing strategies.
Hensley Evans co-wrote this blog post with Jessica Aguilar.
At long last, it has arrived. No, not your Amazon package—it’s your doctor’s appointment. Whether it’s an annual exam or an appointment with a specialist that took weeks or months to secure, appointment anticipation brings about several different feelings and behaviors for patients.
Above the surface, patients can rationalize why they feel or behave a certain way, but below the surface, most of their behaviors are automatic, uncensored and instinctual. The behaviors on autopilot are known as cognitive biases. It’s important for marketers to understand which cognitive biases are driving patient behavior so that marketing efforts are orchestrated as a strategic response to activate or mitigate each cognitive bias to meet behavioral and business objectives.