Healthcare Advertising Trends
The healthcare industry advertising trends need a push into brand awareness and digital marketing. Consumers are already there and are waiting for healthcare companies to catch up. The caveat for many companies in the healthcare industry is not funding, but privacy and regulatory rules. The main company positioning trends are looking at the current brand and trying to create something new that will focus on improving growth, performance, and a unique experience for consumers, doctors, and employees. Marketing trends focus more on doctors as employees and consumers as researchers which affect purchases of products and services and of digital advertising. Advertising spending is on social media, content ,
personalization , video , and lead generation. Advertising agency spend was not publicly available but we did identify amounts that healthcare companies are spending as well as advertising agency revenues.
A company positioning is a critical need in the healthcare industry and making the company unique from the competition is a must. Some current trends in company positioning are:
1) Auditing the current brand- Companies need to study the market carefully and look at consumer reactions to what they are currently offering.
2) Identify the market- Take a look at the market, develop the companies position, and make the companies products and services appeal to the market.
3) Spotlight the brand on an opportunity to strengthen growth and performance- Find the key ingredient that the consumers have a driving desire for and why they want it. Market the brand developing that desire and determine your leverage for it over your competitors and use it to drive growth.
4) Engineer the brand and develop its new name- The structure of the brand is strategic. Many areas of the healthcare industry are confusing because of mergers and acquisitions. The companies naming structure will be key.
5) Identify and create unique experiences for consumers, doctors, and employees that will improve growth and performance- Create initiatives that will develop an alignment between patient and brand. Publicize this new strategy internally and externally to get the new message across. Being consistent will help raise brand awareness and become a name that is recognized.
The healthcare industry marketing trends are shifting yet again. With hospitals purchasing physician offices and digital taking off rapidly, there are several to focus on.
1) Doctors are turning into employees as hospitals are gobbling up physicians offices. 21% of physicians are now employed by hospitals, 14% are employed in clinics owned by hospitals and 14% are employed in private entities owned by hospitals. Less than 10% are contractors. This removes a doctors' ability to be the final word on purchases for medical devices and services. In addition, doctors are having much less influence on healthcare with all the researching on the internet.
2) Patients are researching medical information. In the past, the doctor diagnosed and then treated the illness. Today, consumers are using the internet to research illnesses, drugs, and treatments. The statistics show that one in every three Americans will attempt to read online and diagnose a medical condition. 72% of users on the internet say they have looked online for information regarding healthcare. 47% have researched information about doctors and 38% have researched hospitals. The most common search topics are specific diseases, treatments, and information on doctors and hospitals.
3) Consumers and Payers should be where marketing is targeted. Depending on the products or services offered, the key players are now consumers, payers, and providers. According to the MM&M /Ogilvy CommonHealth Healthcare Marketers Trend Report 2016 93% said physicians are still the primary target, followed by payers and then patients.
4) Traditional marketing is on its way to the bottom. Digital marketing is the way to go. The MM&M study showed that for many of the healthcare fields social media was the popular digital marketing budget spend. Patients who search prior to making an appointment was 77%. Results show that three times as many consumer visit hospitals sites based on searching online. Nearly 50% of consumers who use their mobile phone to research go ahead and book the appointment. Healthcare websites are going to undergo transformations with new content for brand awareness. Mobile advertising is expected to grow by nearly 30% in 2018. Native ads are also expected to grow as marketers find ways to blend it into original content.
5) The decision process is finalized based on digital content. Statistics show that before scheduling an appointment consumers do the following:
77% of patients did research.
83% viewed the hospital sites.
54% viewed health insurance company sites.
50% viewed health information sites.
26% viewed reviews sites.
Budgets on advertising continue to grow, much more in the online realm than anywhere else. Phizer has spent $1 billion on advertising its top six selling brands. While the shift to digital marketing has been slow for healthcare than most other industries, it's time for it to catch up. Consumers moved rapidly to online viewing and marketing companies are pushing healthcare companies to put their resources on digital media forms. Consumer base many of their decisions on what they are seeing and reading online. There is an issue that healthcare companies must pay attention to and that is privacy and regulatory rules.
According to the CMO survey, of the 3347 marketing professionals that responded, 50% of them said they planned to increase budgets in these 5 areas.
1) Social media
5) Lead generation
Advertising Agency Spend
The amount that healthcare companies spend on advertising for current data was not publicly available. We were able to find a report from Kantar Media 2016 that showed the 2015 information on advertising spending dollars, but not specific agency spends.
We also researched two healthcare marketing agencies to determine their revenue and customers and those were Wax Custom Communications and Influence Health. They were at $9.8 million and $11 million in revenue respectively. Some clients that advertise with them are Humana, AvMed, Richmond University Medical Center, Atlantic Health System, Cleveland Clinic, UC Health, Care Plus Health Plans, and Baylor University Medical Center Dallas.
In summary, the advertising trends in the healthcare industry are shifting somewhat and a revitalization is needed for many companies. These are to redo brands and distinguish themselves from the competitors in the areas consumers are asking for. Digital advertising in healthcare must catch up to the consumer. Doctors do not have as much authority in the past due to two reasons which are that physicians' offices are being purchased by hospitals and consumers are doing a lot of researching on their own. The top 5 areas that need to be addressed in advertising spend are social media, content, personalization, video, and lead generation. Lastly, while advertising agency spend amounts was not publicly available for healthcare companies, some healthcare advertising agencies are disclosing revenues around the $10 million mark.