For centuries people have struggled to stay healthy as they age. Improvements in diet, medical care and understanding of the aging process certainly have helped to extend life spans and the quality of life.
Middle age and older consumers consider regular vitamin intake as one of the simpler means to maintain their health and well-being. But older consumers in particular may have evolving vitamin & supplement needs because they are more likely to experience changes in their health status. As a consequence, they are more likely to be taking prescription medications that can sometimes deplete certain nutrients in the body. For example:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) that manage acid reflux may result in lower levels of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium.
- Some high blood pressure medications can produce reductions in potassium and zinc levels.
- Statin drugs that are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol may reduce CoQ10 levels.
- Medications used to prevent blood clots can interact with some vitamins.
It’s common for physicians and pharmacists to discuss side effects with patients when a new medication is prescribed, adjusting dosage and vitamin selection based on the particular medications that are being prescribed. From a vitamin & supplement marketer’s perspective, the introduction of new medications can represent an ideal timeframe to be present with information about their products.
But how can vitamin marketers reach people as new medication regimens are being prescribed? Programs such as cardiac rehabilitation, which are usually hospital-based, reach large numbers of patients who have recently experienced a change in their cardiovascular health. These patients are frequently prescribed medications for cholesterol reduction, control of blood pressure, prevention of blood clots, along with drugs for maintenance of proper heart rhythm. Many are being prescribed these medications for the first time in their life, so they are receptive to learning about the benefits and side effects of the new medications. These issues are typically discussed with the patient by their doctor, the cardiac rehab staff and by their pharmacist. In many cases, patients come to rely on their healthcare professionals to a much greater extent than prior to the diagnosis of their cardiovascular condition.
Similar to the general population, heart patients are interested in a variety of vitamins and supplements to address their changing health condition. A recent study conducted by Signature Research among cardiovascular patients indicates the usage of a broad range of vitamins among this consumer segment. The report is available as a free PDF download, and includes:
- Types of vitamins & supplements taken
- Brands planning to buy next
- Health conditions experienced
- Patient demographics
A unique vehicle to intercept these patients is offered by a cooperative marketing program called Cardiac Directions, which reaches patients in the cardiac rehabilitation environment. The program provides a turnkey opportunity to target patients precisely as their dietary and medication regimens are undergoing changes. Advertiser-sponsored marketing and educational materials inserted within the program are hand-delivered to the patient during formal educational instruction by their healthcare professional, who provide initial discussions, increased awareness, heightened credibility and relevance for participating brands. Marketing materials can include product samples, advertising and promotional offers.
If you are a maker of vitamins and supplements, or a food marketer that offers a product fortified with vitamins, you may want to consider a marketing effort to target patients who are underdoing medication and dietary change. It could be an ideal context to introduce your brand and your product benefits to a highly receptive group of consumers.
For more information about Cardiac Directions, please visit our online media kit, or call us at +1-609-737-1110.