How To Build Brand Goodwill & Awareness for Disease States

As a part of my previous post on consumer driven health and the changes I see for Health 2.0 in the future that I wrote in the past, I discuss the importance of community as an important component and really critical for companies to begin to tap into for good.

The shift in social media requires that companies enter communities and conversations and provide value. There are many ways this could manifest itself but you can provide information value and build trust over time with the community as a trusted source of information and an entity that has the best interests of the community in mind. This would also put a human face on the company and break down barriers with the members of the community.

Good, important stuff to engage in social media, right? I also think the future will hold an increasing amount of cause marketing activities. I saw this example as being a good recent example driven by Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Natural products powerhouse Seventh Generation is teaming up with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on a Website that launches today, During the month of September (which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month), visitors to can earn money for research on the disease. For every person who signs up on the site, Seventh Generation will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
I'm not up on ovarian cancer, but I ardently believe we'll begin to see more and more of this type of advocacy and social media driven activity as a way to build awareness, goodwill and provide value to a community and for companies to demonstrate that they value and are interested in the overall health of the community. It will be a "sponsored by" type site have little to no branding, will be a very small social application and perhaps even reside in a social network ala the retail store Gap Facebook page. There is also a hashtag for Twitter #letstalkperiod.

Next in the immediate horizon is for influential bloggers and patient opinion leaders to begin to drive these activities themselves on behalf of a community to raise awareness, research funds, etc. This would, of course, move us closer to the end goal in Health 2.0 and what I termed the health care uprising where patients and communities begin to take greater control of their self-care, health and wellness.

It's happening now so it's not a stretch to say that this will become a centerpiece of marketing rather than a component in the future. I think this will be the way most of Rx/Dx marketing will happen in the future in conjunction with a regular, steady presence in social networks where you continually provide value to the community.

As a sidenote, I don't think it will be a stretch to say that not for profits will benefit from corporations moving in on their territory, partnering, and co-sponsoring as a means to raise awareness. In the end, the goal is cure isn't it?

That's what I think, what do you think? Let me know?
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