When we decided to set the strategy for this company after I became CEO
in 2000, one of the most important decisions we ever made was to organize and drive this company around the simple premise that the consumer had to be at the heart of health care. Now there’s a lot of talk around that idea today. Six years ago there wasn’t anybody talking about it and there weren’t many people going down that path. If you think about health care and the way it operates and has for a hundred years — very paternalistic, no information — it’s a mother and father "may I" kind of environment. To have the consumer at the core of how it’s organized seems so simple and seems so right — except when you talk to health care people, who think it’s crazy. That decision was a big one and has really guided everything we’ve done for the last six years with varying levels of success…. What’s particularly gratifying is that the rest of the industry has now decided they’re going to go down this path, too. We get the benefit of having been at it for a while, and we also take pride in the fact that we may have helped nudge the industry toward consumers. (emphasis added)
Wharton also reports the Pew Internet and American Life Project finding that 57 million American adults now read individual blogs. But this does not impress one member of the marketing faculty, Xavier Dreze.
Blogs are the latest forum for people who have nothing to say that others actually care about. […] I don’t see the point. It’s a bunch of people writing their opinions, and those people have no credibility. The information content is very low.
Thank you, Professor Dreze. Consumer centricity, I guess this has to work it’s way through the health care industry before it reaches the marketing faculty of a major business school.
Hunter, Dan et al., 2006. To Blog or not to blog: Report from the front. Knowledge@Wharton: Managing Technology. October 18, 2006. here.
Useem, Michael and Stephen Wilson. 2006. An interview with Humana CEO Mike McCallister: Letting the Consumer Drive Innovation. Knowledge@Wharton, October 25, 2006. here.