Week 3: Research

Following on from the sketching activity I completed yesterday, I’ve spent today doing some more research which I hope I can use to inform my personas which I’m hoping to work on again next week.

I’ve been looking this week more at mothers of teen girls with endometriosis, which is my second main target group. I’ve also been trying to use the ABS website and other government sources such as the ACMA to see how mothers and women in the general age group of being the mother to a teen are using the internet, what they are using it for, and how they are using  it. This is hopefully to try and refine the way I deliver the campaign so that it can reach them as well as their daughters.

Some research notes are below:

  • 70% of mums now own smartphones
  • They have access to online tools, and use them to fight feelings of isolation and maintain relationships
  • The rise of Facebook, Twitter and blogs has given mums a place to congregate, share opinions and build friendships
  • Good ads have ‘themes of sentimentality’ also ‘humor’ and ‘depiction of mum as a do-it-all badass’
  • Keep it (ads) brief
  • Mums appreciate and value efficiency
  • Make it snappy and useful
  • Appreciate the diversity of mums
  • ‘Be Real’
  • Mothers appreciate honesty and realism in communications
  • Social media connects mums (and mum bloggers)
  • Facebook is the social media platform where mums tend to spend the most time
  • Facebook is best for a mainstream audience
  • Twitter targets a more affluent, tech-savvy mum
  • ‘Anything that comes from brands is inherently bias’
  • If they hear it from another mum, they are more compelled to purchase
  • ‘mummy bloggers’ can be a great tool for doing so
  • Focus on having a conversation and building a relationship

Source: Drell, L 2011, ‘7 Tips for Marketing to Moms’, Mashable, 29 December, viewed 30th March 2017, http://mashable.com/2011/12/29/marketing-to-moms/#GtKJJVBY7Eqk

  • Mothers are more likely to look at health and medical information (49% more likely) than average smartphone users
  • Brands should take a more targeted approach when advertising to this market

Source: Clark, J 2015, ‘Australian Mother’s Smartphone Habits Revealed’, Marketing Magazine, 13th May, viewed 30th December 2017, https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/australian-mothers-smartphone-habits-revealed/

  • Facebook groups for mothers are overtaking traditional playgroups as a source of trusted advice
  • Word-of-mouth in mothers’ groups and communities had fast become a major influence in mothers’ buying habits
  • Mothers’ primary source of sharing information used to be face-to-face at mums’ groups or playgroups but now virtual communities are growing in popularity
  • ‘mothers trust mothers’
  • Mothers tend to trust the opinions of other mothers when they recommend a product
  • There is siginificant strength of these non-face-to-face opinions in mothers’ groups and communities
  • Repeated interactions with the community and the accumulation of trust make the effect stronger still
  • The effect is strongest among mothers with the same number of children who are similar ages
  • Recommendations from other mothers are more powerful than any other structured promotion

Source: Pash, C 2014, ‘Australian Mums Trust Other Mums on Social Media: Study’, Business Insider, August 22nd, viewed 30th March 2017, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australian-mums-trust-other-mums-on-social-media-study-2014-8

  • Traditional devices (laptop and desktop computers) are most often used to access the internet
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of online Australians used a mobile phone as their main device
  • 12% nominated a tablet as their main device
  • In 45-45 age group, laptops were the devices used most often to access the internet (33%)
  • Use of internet varies by age in 18-44 age group, 100% used the internet, compared to 94% of those aged 45-64
  • People aged 18-34 are much more likely to use a mobile phone to access the internet (94%)
  • Those aged 35-44 used a tablet more than any other age group (65%)
  • 88% of online Australians engaged in online communications activities, including email, instant messaging, phone and video calls made via the internet
  • Participation in online communities and blogs also increased significantly – rising 10 percentage points to 54% of online Australians
  • 79% of Australians used the internet for research and information
  • 54% used the internet for blogs and online communities

Source: ACMA 2015, ‘Report 1 – Australians’ Digital Lives’, Communications Report 2013-14 Series, Australian Communications and Media Authority, viewed 30th March 2017, http://www.acma.gov.au/~/media/Research%20and%20Analysis/Publication/Comms%20Report%202013%2014/PDF/Communications%20report%20201314_LOW-RES%20FOR%20WEB%20pdf.pdf

  • Studies suggest that between 5-10% of menstruating women in Australia are affected by Endometriosis
  • Most women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis report that their symptoms started during adolescence
  • Adolescents are more likely to have lesions that are clear or red in colour and because of this they are sometimes harder to detect
  • It can be difficult for adolescents to distinguish between what is normal period pain and what is something more serious as they are still getting used to their periods
  • The have little means of comparison
  • Indicators that pain being experienced is not normal:
  • If pain is occurring more than on the first 1-2 days of period
  • If pain cannot be effectively managed with the use of antiprostaglandins or oral contraceptives
  • If the pain worsens over time
  • Having a family member with endometriosis increases the chances of also having the condition
  • Some parents may be reluctant for their daughters to go on the pill, fearing that it will encourage them to become sexually active earlier
  • They may also have concerns about exposing them to hormonal drugs at such a young age
  • Parents may find it helpful to think of the pill as just a medication that assists with endometriosis rather than a contraceptive, as in this case it is not being prescribed for contractive purposes
  • Gentle exercise can play an important role in pain management
  • Exercise can combat pain and alleviate feelings of depression and stress which can be common in those experiencing pain
  • Types of exercise that are suitable include walking and swimming
  • Period pain in adolescents should not be ignored or considered simply part of becoming a woman
  • If left untreated endometriosis can lead to long term consequences such as adhesions, fertility problems as well as emotional and mental health issues

Source: Braun, K 2015, ‘Endometriosis in Adolescence’, Women’s Health Queensland Wide, viewed 30th March 2017, http://womhealth.org.au/print/conditions-and-treatments/endometriosis

  • One in ten women affected by endometriosis, chances are you know a woman who has it
  • It takes an average of 7-10 years to diagnose
  • Experts call disease ‘silent epidemic’
  • Sufferer may not even know she has it
  • Sufferers will ‘almost certainly be forced to become a self-taught expert on the incurable disease’
  • Women with endometriosis cannot receive a complete treatment from one doctor because of its “complicated maze of symptoms” including pelvic pain, heavy or irregular periods, bowel and bladder symptoms and fertility problems
  • ‘it’s up to women to learn themselves to recognise what is happening
  • But it is very hard for a lot of women to learn all that by themselves
  • A lack of public awareness means women are falling through the cracks
  • Many women have never heard of endometriosis
  • Some think their symptoms are “just part of being a woman”
  • Doctors are also unfamiliar with the disease, they may not recognise it in patients, leading to a delay in diagnosis
  • Most emergency department staff do not recognise the symptoms, and women are left “dissatisfied, with no explanation and a lot of embarrassment and fear
  • The health system “appears to be oblivious to their suffering”
  • “There is very little awareness or understanding in the community or in places where you would expect to find it – educational institutions, hospitals, ambulance services and general practice”
  • Endometriosis is as common as Asthma or Diabetes, but is allocated only a fraction of the millions of dollars they receive each year in research funding
  • Last year, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) allocated more than $14.7 million to asthma research and $64.1 million to diabetes research, but only $837,433 was allocated to endometriosis research
  • The NHMRC funded a single grant application for endometriosis research in 2016
  • Low awareness is one of the reasons for lack of funding

Source: Perrott, K 2017, ‘Endometriosis: Health System “Oblivious to Suffering” of One in Ten Women Affected by “Silent Epidemic”, ABC News, 24th March, viewed 30th March 2017,< http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/endometriosis-health-system-oblivious-to-suffering-of-women/8331534

  • it can be helpful for you as a parent/guardian to think about the pain in two ways: the physical pain your daughter experiences and how it impacts both her life and that of the entire family.
  • Your daughter’s physical pain may include ongoing pelvic pain, painful periods, and less often, bowel and bladder problems.
  • How this pain impacts her life may include challenges such as: isolation from friends due to unexpected bouts of physical pain, not being able to participate in sports or other activities (because of chronic pain and/or fatigue), and anxiety over school work (because of absences).
  • Her chronic pain can take a toll on family members and other important people in her life, causing added tension and stress.
  • both you and your daughter may feel frustrated because her health feels out of your control.
  • Learning to manage life stress is essential when you are living with someone who experiences chronic pain.
  • Many young women with endometriosis feel overwhelmed with managing both their pain and their stress.
  • You may feel overwhelmed at times, too.
  • You can encourage your daughter to effectively manage her stress by helping her incorporate the following techniques into her daily life:
  • Exercising
  • Sleeping 8–9 hours each night
  • Taking naps when needed
  • Meditate daily
  • Eating 3 healthy meals a day with nutritious snacks in between
  • Doing things she enjoys when she feels well
  • Staying in touch with her friends in person, by phone, or online
  • Keeping up with her schoolwork (so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed or get behind) Learning yoga
  • Learning when to push herself and when not to
  • Keeping to routines as much as possible
  • Planning ahead with her for unexpected “flair–ups” of pain
  • Talking to a counsellor
  • develop her own personalized list of things to do when she is experiencing a pain flare–up.
  • It’s important that this be HER list of techniques that she finds useful and accessible when she needs it
  • Managing pelvic pain at school:
  • Know her pain tolerance threshold.
  • Talk with your daughter about what she can tolerate in school and what she simply cannot manage.
  • Urge her to communicate with close friends and how they can be supportive
  • With your daughter, identify an adult contact person at school. whom you both feel comfortable sharing your daughter’s endometriosis history, and who can be supportive and available during the school day.
  • Share information about endometriosis only with your daughter’s permission with the contact person, as well as teachers, school nurse, coaches, and friends.
  • Make a plan for pain at school. Talk with the school nurse and find out if there is a place at school where she can lie down if she has severe pain.
  • Urge your daughter to identify a person in each class (friend or teacher) who will e–mail her the homework assignment if she misses class.
  • Make sure your daughter has enough time in the morning to get ready for school. She may need to wake up earlier.
  • Don’t assume that every day your daughter wakes up in pain means that she has to stay home from school, or that the day is “lost to pain.” She should go to school every day even if she has some pain in the morning. It may be that her pain will get better or go away once she gets moving and is distracted. If her pain becomes unmanageable later in the day, she will have the option of getting dismissed.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for all teenagers. Your daughter should eat nutritious meals and healthy snacks and get at least 8–9 hours of sleep every night. She should also try to do some kind of physical activity every day, regardless of the pain. Activities could include, walking, riding her bike, dancing, playing a sport, etc.
  • Do your best to help your daughter stay on top of her schoolwork. If she needs extra help with a particular subject(s), she should talk with her teacher before the school work piles up.
  • It’s necessary for your daughter to keep in touch with her friends. She should try to talk to at least one friend every day either on the phone, via text messages, e–mail, or on a social networking site. She will feel less isolated and it will be easier for her when she returns to school.
  • Be proactive. Encourage your daughter to make a list of things she can do to manage her pelvic pain at school. Offer your help with any tasks that would benefit from adult assistance.
  • Managing activities, friendships, and chronic pain:
  • living with chronic pain can impact all areas of a person’s life, even those areas that are typically fun and enjoyable.
  • Your daughter’s pain from endometriosis can sometimes get in the way of being able to do things with friends both on a daily basis and for special events
  • Her friends, family, coaches and teachers may appear frustrated and discouraged when her pain causes her to decline social invitations or when she appears to avoid activities.
  • Your daughter may even worry about canceling plans too many times with her friends or not being a “good friend”.
  • Suggest that your daughter be in touch with at least one person outside of your family every day.
  • Encourage your daughter to organize activities that can be held at your house if it’s more comfortable for her to be at home
  • Make sure her close friends, coaches or activity directors understand that her pain is a real medical condition. Educate them.
  • If she does have to cancel with friends or family, or either of you realize she can’t participate in an activity as planned, try to take it in stride: explain promptly, offer alternative options, and help her to take care of the pain.
  • Complementary therapies for pain management: Some young women are helped by surgery, some by medication, and some with a combination of both. Adding complementary therapies to traditional treatment helps manage their pelvic pain more effectively.
  • Activities such as yoga, acupuncture and massage therapies can all help

Source: Centre for Young Women’s Health 2016, ‘Endometriosis for Parents: Helping Your Daughter Cope With Pain, Center for Young Women’s Health, 29th August, viewed 30th March 2017, http://youngwomenshealth.org/parents/endometriosis-helping-your-daughter-cope-with-pain/

The information I’ve found above will be useful in a few different ways. The marketing information will obviously, as above, help me specify the medium for the campaign. I think it will be beneficial to look at a website and social media campaign to appeal to mothers based on this information.

The second is the general information that describes the condition, as it identifies the lack of knowledge by multiple parties, including the patient themselves, and the feelings that sufferers often have associated with that. The facts and figures will be an important part of the information provided as part of the campaign.

Finally, the information which is targeted specifically at mothers of endo sufferers is very useful for determining what mothers need, what knowledge they might have or be lacking in, as well as some really practical tips that could help reduce the overwhelmed feeling many mothers of endo sufferers experience. This will also be really important information to include as part of the campaign, and will help inform the personas which represent mothers of teens wtih endo or endo symptoms.

That’s all for this week! Next week I’m hoping to have more persona documents done, and continue researching as much as I can. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!


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