Digital Advertising to UK Doctors, for Retirement Planning

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Digital Advertising to UK Doctors, for Retirement Planning

Part 1: Digital Marketing to Doctors and Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)

i) Targeting Doctors and HCPs as an Audience
  • A recent COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Survey by Accenture confirmed that nearly half of HCPs were restricting in-person visits from reps. A significant number of HCPs believe this practice will become permanent and consequently this has led to a drive towards more digital solutions. With the evolution of digital advertising and programmatic, digital marketers now increasingly target and reach HCP audiences with an unprecedented level of accuracy, and effectively measure campaign performance with more meaningful insights.
  • Advantages of Digital Ads include increased reach. As HCPs are constantly being educated and trained with the newest and most innovative technologies, the best place to connect with them is through their mobile devices, laptops and other forms of technology. Other benefits include precisely targeted audiences and expanded brand awareness, which is important to HCPs as the sales cycle can be long, and decision-makers may spend a great deal of time researching and evaluating options. Lastly, access to high value ad data and the ability to leverage a data driven analytics approach, along with more cost effective marketing strategies also bring significant advantages.
  • Online Advertising solutions tend to be more successful at targeting HCPs for a few different reasons. Firstly HCPs lead busy working lives, some of which are constantly on the move, visiting and consulting with patients, performing surgeries, researching recent medical discoveries or attending meetings. Reaching them involves '360-degree cross channel targeted communications' across a range of devices, smartphones, tablets and personal computers etc. Another consideration is time. HCPs have significant demands placed on their time, and in between patient visits, documentation demands and other administrative tasks, doctors must also find time for clinical research and professional development. Online advertising solutions provide marketers with the opportunity to select the most efficient times and situations to target HCPs, such as during work downtime or outside of endemic work-related websites.
  • Data-driven approaches to targeting HCPs hold significant advantages. Technology company Pulsepoint launched a platform called Health Marketplace, a database structure which provides marketers with direct access to healthcare audiences on thousands of premium health endemic and non-health endemic publishers. With Health Marketplace, healthcare marketers can more precisely, and in real time, meet the needs of their brands and campaigns with instant one-click access to specific inventory, data packages and health audiences. Other technological data driven solutions by Pulsepoint include Signal and Data Lab.
ii) Digital Channels
  • Email — Doctors and HCPs have proved notoriously difficult in responding to engagement via email. A 2021 report by Constant Contact compared email average open, click-through and bounce rates by industry. For warm (opted-in) contacts, while open rates were broadly in line with other industries, only Real Estate (5.54%) had a worth click-through rate than HCPs (6.28%) and this compared to the average for all industries of 9.57%. For cold (purchased) lists, the open rate was even lower, at 3-5%.
  • LinkedIn — Reportedly, 46% of HCPs were using social media for professional purposes, and LinkedIn is preferred by HCPs to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, due to it's more professional setting, increased control over profile privacy and discussions. LinkedIn provides several opportunities and advantages for targeting HCPs, such as providing healthcare marketers with the opportunity to participate in groups. Industry professionals tend to join specific related groups to engage with their peers, as well as to network. Contributing insight, engaging in conversation with content via comments, and sharing content in groups is one way marketers can build a relationship with potential clients. Other benefits include being able to leverage the use of sponsor postings, conduct research about HCPs specific interests and emerging technologies in the industry, develop insights in order to build campaigns with sophisticated targeting features, and employ data driven targeting.
  • Facebook — Facebook is a very rich source of personal information, and advertising can be targeted based on hundreds of different demographics. Facebook facilitates the targeting of highly specialized audiences, for which there are many advantages which can be used when focusing on HCPs. Some important benefits are the ability to run awareness ads within a geographic market, target audiences based on demographic profile, target new audiences that have moved into your area, target those highlighted by other life events, target based on page and group connections, and target individual HCPs specifically by using detailed targeting to have ads display for key HCPs in your geographic market.
iii) Marketing Strategies, Methods and Practices
iv) HCP Digital Marketing Examples and Collaborations
  • A top ten medical device and pharmaceutical company were showcasing a new cardiac medical device at a range of trade shows and medical conferences. The company wanted to target cardiologists specializing in heart failure, that were likely be attending the conferences, via their personal mobile devices. The aim was to drive more traffic to their booth and set up more client meetings. A cost effective digital marketing solution, leveraging mobile advertising and the use of a data driven analytics approach, was used to enable the identification, targeting and engagement of HCPs, deliver increased number of impressions and responses, and generate significant leads.
  • A leading medical device company targeting digital ad campaigns towards hospital c-suites. Due to a long sales cycle and complex product portfolio, a high quality data driven solution was required, making use of a third party database containing over 8 million HCPs and targeted ad placements across news, business and technology websites that c-suite employees were more likely to frequent. The results were a 'hyper-targeted' digital ad strategy, increased click-through and conversion rates and complete transparency.
  • JW Player, flexible video platform partnered with healthcare technology company Pulsepoint to provide a service enabling brands and agencies to reach HCP audiences in real time as they watch relevant, brand-safe video content on the JW Player network. The platform has 500 million average daily video impressions across over 12,000 media sites.

Part 2: Retirement Planning Services to Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) in the UK

Case 1 — Chase de Vere Medical
i) Background Information and Online Digital Footprint
  • Financial advice and wealth management specialists, offering consultancy services to UK doctors.
  • The company boasts 14,000 medical professionals advised, 58 specialist advisers across the UK and 15 years working with doctors.
  • Chase de Vere Medical are active on multiple social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
ii) How They Operate
  • Offer six main services; mortgages, NHS pension advice, retirement strategies, investment services, financial protection, and estate planning.
  • Their process involves an introductory meeting, gathering data and information, financial analysis and planning, recommendations, implementation and ongoing review.
  • After a period of strong financial performance, the company announced in 2020 that it was "actively looking" to make acquisitions. Chief executive Stephen Kavanagh confirmed the focus on "looking for other like-minded adviser firms to join", and "firms that are focused on providing exceptional client service and are committed to offering truly independent financial advice". It was also revealed that Chase de Vere had already taken over advice firm Ferguson Oliver Limited in October 2019. Previous takeovers also included the 2017 acquisition of Medical Money Management.
iii) Marketing Practices
Case 2 — Medics Money
i) Background Information and Online Digital Footprint
  • Consultancy Services provider specializing in doctors and medical professionals. Provide specialist medical accountants, financial advisers, and mortgage advisers to HCPs. The company was founded by two doctors.
  • Retirement planning for doctors aims to help HCPs build a tailored and robust financial plan (cash flow model) that will "become the focal point throughout your retired years".
  • Boast 20,000 members (doctors and HCPs) and 38 specialist advisers across the UK. Active across multiple social media platforms.
ii) How They Operate
  • Find an Accountant' service pairs potential clients with a dedicated independent specialist medical accountant. Provides advice on financial matters such as Self-Assessment tax returns, private practice income, NHS Pension tax charges, GP accounts and tax planning. Tailored service which aims to match individual requirements to the best available accountant.
  • Mortgage Adviser service assigns a 'whole-of-market' independent mortgage adviser that fulfills specific requirements. Process involves the gathering of information, a data driven approach to matching the client requirements to a network of specialist mortgage advisers, the selection of a suitable adviser and a free consultation.
  • Remaining financial advice, investment and wealth management services provided by specialist medical financial adviser service. Dedicated adviser provides information relating to NHS Pension, NHS sick pay entitlements, death in service benefits, ill health retirement and other financial matters. A free consultation is also part of the process.
iii) Marketing Practices
  • Provide a free CPD (continuing professional development) to HCPs who register their details for email communications. 8,000 doctors are currently signed up to this service.
  • Offer potential customers a free guide to claiming a tax rebate on costs for medical training and examination expenses, in exchange for subscribing to email communications and entering personal details. Also, provides website visitors with an online rebate calculator.
  • Publishes online specialist medical accounting blogs, each with tailored financial advice and information provided by industry experts and insiders, aimed at doctors and HCPs. Some common subject examples include NHS pension advice, tax implications, the impact of COVID-19, investments and retirement planning.
  • Encourage engagement through a series of podcasts, which target HCPs and aim to provide financial advice which aids better decision-making. Podcast is hosted by doctors alongside qualified chartered accountants and tax advisers.
  • Has formed strategic partnerships with the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund. These collaborations give them access to a wide range of HCPs and their information and data, enabling them to be targeted with specific tailored products and services.
Case 3 — Wesleyan
i) Background Information
  • Financial services mutual that provides advice and products to select professional groups, notably (but not exclusively) to doctors and HCPs. Other financial groups include teachers and lawyers.
  • Wesleyan have a long history of providing products and services exclusively for HCPs, for a wide range of different types including students, partners and consultants, and advise on many areas of financial planning such as NHS Pension Scheme, income protection and savings and investments.
ii) How They Operate
  • Services include protection plans, investments and savings products, insurance, pensions, mortgages, mutual benefits, commercial funding and financing and others.
  • Wesleyan's digital transformation and modernization journey is helping the company achieve their long-term goals of 'putting customers first'.
iii) Marketing Practices
iv) Results and Accomplishments
  • Wesleyan partnered with marketing agency AlphaQuad, seeking to expand their digital presence and widen their customer base through online channels. AlphaQuad helped design and created a Digital Marketing Strategy that used an integrated approach to online marketing covering a wide range of channels and digital communications. Included activity such as search engine optimization, content marketing, affiliate and aggregator opportunities, paid advertising, social media marketing and email communications, alongside user journeys and conversion optimization. Wesleyan were presented with a comprehensive two-year Digital Marketing Strategy that included a road map of activity outlining the techniques recommended to achieve their business goals. In the first year, significant gains were made on ROI, CTR and product sales via related channels.
  • Wesleyan also employed the services of another agency, in order to help raise the profile of the business to their target audience.
Case 4 — Cavendish Medical
i) Background Information
ii) How They Operate
  • Cavendish's unique selling point is their in-depth understanding of HCPs and their specific finance needs. They recognize the time constraints placed on doctors and other HCPs, and understand the nature of the complex financial dealings, and therefore their solutions are tailor made with this information in mind.
  • Financial planning advice focuses on protecting assets, managing wealth and planning for retirement while leaving a legacy.
iii) Marketing Practices
  • Cavendish provide free webinars open to HCPs and independent practitioners where they can engage in interactive sessions with advisers. Registering involves joining a mailing list and opting in to communications from the company.
  • Cavendish have also been involved with live events targeting HCPs with talks and expert advisers on financial matters. Such events present an opportunity to network with those inside the industry, as well as leverage data collected from those who register their attendance or opt into communications.
  • Cavendish Medical partners with the Confederation of British Surgery (CBS) to offer guidance service specifically to CBS Members.

Did this report spark your curiosity?


  • "Contextual advertising refers to the practice of placing ads on web pages based on the content of those pages. For example, this could be ads for running shoes on a news article about running, or it could be ads for laptops on a tech ecommerce site. This is done through contextual targeting on an ad network, which involves segmenting ads based on parameters like keyword or website topic."