Learn how chronic condition audience insights sparked the development of Bezzy, our MM+M-nominated community platform that supports users and creates opportunities for pharma.
People living with chronic conditions crave connection and increasingly find it in online health communities. While these are powerful spaces for audience engagement, pharma sometimes holds back from these environments due to concerns about user-generated content.
In January 2022 Healthline Media launched Bezzy, a new brand and suite of community platforms for health conditions such as breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. We built this solution using the data rigor and audience-first approach that are foundational to reaching and engaging those with chronic conditions.
With Bezzy, we aimed to make a dual impact: to offer users a safe space for emotional support and education, and to bring pharma partners closer to their audiences through brand safe experiences and deeper target audience insights.
Identifying the Need for Chronic Condition Communities
Through our research we discovered that 13% of people living with a chronic condition rely exclusively on online or app-based communities for information and support for their health condition. Their main goal in using digital resources is to share and learn from others who share their diagnosis.
We dug deeper to learn more about this chronic conditions group, who are:
More likely to follow the advice of health influencers
More likely to be recently diagnosed
Younger, more educated, more diverse, and skewed male
More engaged and turning to digital resources for a wide range of needs
This segment of people is small but significant, showing an important pharma audience trend that is currently on the rise. Qualitative research conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that 65% of people living with conditions are using online community groups more often than before COVID-19.
The Bezzy Development Process
We set out to develop and launch a product that would resonate with the needs of this audience segment and serve as a brand safe ecosystem where pharma could reach targeted audiences.
Through the development process, our audience insights drove the design of our brand and platform. We wanted to create a sense of real “community,” a place where everyone could feel seen, valued, and understood. Core to the Bezzy mission are our partnerships with community guides, who share their own health journeys and support others through hosting daily live chats.
In developing Bezzy, the product and engineering teams took into account that different conditions have unique experience preferences. For example, we found that those with migraine or psoriatic arthritis tend to be more interested in expert advice and resources, whereas those with IBD and type 2 diabetes are more interested in live chats and videos.
Our content and marketing teams crafted value propositions to connect with each community, while the design team gave each Bezzy community its own unique visual identity, with distinct color palettes, ADA compliance, and a garden motif to symbolize growth and support.
Making an Impact on Bezzy Users
Following launch, we conducted a survey among Bezzy members to assess how well we are meeting their needs. Overall, we found they described Bezzy as informative, welcoming, and supportive:
81% find the content of conversations in the Bezzy forums to be valuable
81% are satisfied with the options to find like-minded people
71% feel Bezzy met their needs on their visit
We also gathered qualitative user feedback that points to the heart of why Bezzy matters:
“I can’t discuss MS with a person who doesn’t get it. And I dislike feeling like I’m being pitied. The site helps me reach out and encourage others as well as receive encouragement. I’m super grateful for this.”
“The very informative [resources], down to earth experiences, the authors of the stories. Some have teared me up because they were so close if not my experiences. Thank you so much for this forum. It is indeed life-changing for me.”
Bezzy’s Market Success and Pharma Integration
Since launching in January 2022, Bezzy has seen success in the industry. We’re honored that Bezzy has been named a MM+M finalist for Use of Data/Analytics or Innovation.
What’s more, the results since the launch speak for themselves:
The communities drove 39,873 new registrations across 9 conditions and over 1 million UVs since launch.
Since launch, we’ve seen a 131% increase in web registrations in Q2 compared to Q1. This tells us we are reaching the right audience and they are finding value in the communities.
We saw a 137% increase in monthly active users in Q2 compared to Q1, showing that members are returning month after month to re-engage with other members and the product.
Across all communities, we saw 14% greater engagement with forums, indicating that members are actively seeking connection and asking questions related to their conditions.
Through Bezzy, we’ve not only made an impact on people living with chronic conditions. We’ve also created an ecosystem where pharma partners can get closer than ever to their audiences. Through brand safe experiences and target audience insights, Bezzy offers a way for pharma to connect with high quality, condition-specific audiences.
Reach out to learn more about how your brand can reach chronic condition audiences through Bezzy.
SOURCES: 13%: HLM Social Influencer survey, Jan-Feb 2020, N = 1,000 people living with a health condition; 65%: HLM qualitative research about the impact of COVID-19 on the health of people living with a health condition, April-May 2021; 81%, 81%, 71%: Bezzy User Feedback survey, May 2022, N = 305 Bezzy visitors; 39,873, 1 million, 131%, 137%, 14%: GA and Mixpanel from Jan 1 - June 30 2022