O-other people’s opinions, that is. Strangers.

Patients’ healthcare decisions are typically influenced by three things: Their (P)rior experiences, (M)arketing information, and input from (O)ther patients and online reviews. And it’s typically a zero-sum game – the greater the reliance on one source, the lower the need for the others. Doctors at a crossroads of (M) and (O) must decide how to tip the balance in their favor. Spend more on (M) or influence (O)? We argue the latter is significantly easier, more productive and cheaper!

But why are (O)nline reviews so appealing to post and read?

Three reasons:

  1. They’re free.
  2. They’re relevant.
  3. They’re anonymous.

As a kicker, Google has documented (O) as a key ingredient of the new purchasing process: Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), e.g. after seeing a stimulant (M), the consumer then often goes online, immediately searching for content to educate themselves before purchasing.

So what’s the balance of (O) and (M) for ZMOT in healthcare?

In a recent study by moz.com, 67.7% of consumer decisions were influenced by online reviews (O). Further, having just one negative review could cost you nearly a quarter of all potential customers who began researching your brand.

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