If you couldn’t attend the 2019 Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Annual Executive Conference this year, or you were hoping someone else would write the recap for you to share with your colleagues, look no further for a shareable summary. The conference this year was structured a bit differently with a compact agenda spread across three days, but the sessions were jam-packed with extremely valuable content. Like previous years, there were plenty of opportunities to network – starting with the first-time attendee welcome reception.
One of the new aspects of the event this year was the CHPA Women’s Leadership Forum Reception on the opening night of the conference. This session highlighted networking and mentorship opportunities for conference attendees. At this event, CHPA also announced their partnership with “We” – a new organization focused on cultivating future female executives in the retail and healthcare industries. We are looking forward to learning more about “We” in the months to come and we hope to help support their mission.
On Monday, the event started off strong with introductions and welcomes from CHPA leadership. As the two days of sessions progressed, I identified three key themes impacting the global evolution of self-care.
The first theme that permeated across all the presentations was the expansion of the consumer healthcare market. The definition of the industry, originally only including over-the-counter drugs, has expanded quite a bit. The consumer healthcare industry no longer only includes OTC, but also includes health and wellness products, devices, and programs, preventative medicines, diet as a treatment, CBD, and really encompasses the treatment of the whole person. In session after session at the 2019 CHPA AEC Conference, it seemed the expanse of the industry continued to broaden. It’s an exciting time to be working in this field.
As all consumer products companies are realizing, the second theme we identified is related to the impact of data on the shopper journey. This year we heard facts and statistics from CHPA, IRI, Edelman, Google, and Catalina all designed to help manufacturers understand the opportunities to help serve patients better. From mobile site load time to online toothbrush sales, the impact of data on the consumer healthcare industry is evident. And, in the U.S., the consumer healthcare industry is having a big impact on the healthcare industry providing over $146 billion in savings annually. Each dollar spent on OTC medicines saves more than $7 for the U.S. healthcare system.
Another recurring theme at this year’s conference was the impact of the corporate brand on patient trust. Consumers value the integrity of a company and it is becoming as important as brand value. What does your company stand for? How transparent are you? Today’s consumers are belief-driven buyers and will take a stand with their wallet on issues that matter to them. The good news, according to a recent study that was presented by Edelman, is that trust in the consumer healthcare industry is rising.
The conference ended with two fantastic presentations about the teams of tomorrow and leadership in turbulent times. Both sessions remind us that no matter the product or service we sell, building the right teams and leading by example are important to our personal and professional successes. Although we have to wait another year before we can get together again at the CHPA AEC, you can stay connected to the latest consumer healthcare industry news by subscribing to Clarkston’s industry insights