Digital strategy in healthcare marketing

This article is part of a series of articles on digital strategy in healthcare marketing. Read more.

At a glance

The tension around data-sharing, which is particularly acute concerning health data, is heralding in a new age of privacy, as governments, consumers and even some marketers now question the ethics of wholesale data gathering. This means that, in future, privacy, underpinned by trust, will be a key brand differentiator brands will need to navigate. Using results from a Wunderman Thompson APAC consumer survey, this paper shows how brands should proceed.

Why it matters

Throughout the world, consumers are expressing concern about how well their data is handled. According to a global IPSOS/World Economic Forum study in 2019, 64% of people don’t trust organisations to handle their data ‘in the right way.’ This finding comes as advances in technology are causing an explosion in the amount and types of data that can be collected, from fitness tracking apps to DNA services such as 23andMe.


  • We are transitioning from an age of optional privacy to the age of privacy as a key brand differentiator, with consumers being both excited about being able to track their health data, but also feeling a need for absolute control of it.
  • When it comes to health data, concerns aren’t only about identify theft or fraud, but the potential for abuse and discrimination, such as when an insurer refuses to cover customers with certain medical conditions.
  • Despite concerns, consumers are not opposed to sharing data, but they want a fair value exchange. In our study of Asia-Pacific consumers, most are willing to share anonymised data to benefit medical research, but 79% say they should be compensated for sharing such data.
  • Even in an era of privacy regulation, the onus is on brands to develop their own policies around personal data, including building best practices around privacy, consent, transparency and other issues.

Where to start