As we mentioned in the first blog post of this series, MM&M has recently released their findings from a survey of leaders and executives in the healthcare industry to discover where healthcare marketers are spending their time and money.
This piece will dive into who healthcare marketers are partnering with, what channels they’re using, and who they are targeting as their primary audience.
Healthcare Marketing Partnerships: Agencies vs. Consultancies
There is a fairly even mix between healthcare companies choosing to increase or decrease their use of consultancies.
When it comes to digital and full-service consultancies, 64.5% of respondents said they plan to spend the same amount, compared with 28% who plan to increase spending and 7.5% who plan to decrease their spending.
For big 5 or boutique agencies, 68.8% plan on sticking with the same spending, compared with 18.3% who plan to spend more and 12.9% who plan to spend less.
For those respondents who plan to increase their use of consultancies, the number one reason was to avail themselves of the scale of consultancy offerings. Other reasons included a desire to shake up their current thinking, an increase in resources to bring in outside partners, and the fact that they received subpar results from programs with other agency partners.
The number one reason for those who plan to decrease their use of consultancies or keep it the same is being happy with their existing marketing and strategy partners. Other reasons included not requiring consultancy-type services, lacking the required budget to bring in consultants, and not being aware of healthcare offerings from consultancies.
What Channels Healthcare Marketers are Using
We all know there are multiple channels for marketing, and taking an omnichannel approach is critical to reaching your target audience.
Here’s a breakdown of the total percentage of budget spent on different channels from highest to lowest:
Sales reps: 15.3%
Paid advertising (digital): 12%
Content marketing: 9%
Social media: 7.6%
Professional meetings: 6.5%
Market research: 5.7%
Search engine optimization (SEO): 5.2%
Sales materials: 4.7%
Video/non-linear TV: 4.6%
Earned media: 4.6%
Direct marketing: 4.6%
Paid promotional advertising in print, TV, and radio: 4.5%
Point of care: 3.9%
Advocacy relations: 2.6%
Mobile apps: 1.5%
As you can see, digital marketing is getting the bulk of the marketing budget, except for mobile apps.
Interestingly, although sales reps get the highest spend, the amount spent on them has decreased by 22.5% as more companies are turning to digital tools rather than in-person sales reps.
Who are Marketers Targeting?
So, with all of this time and money spent on healthcare marketing, who are marketers targeting?
The primary audiences for the survey respondents are consumers, HCPs, and payers. The breakdown in 2020 for all respondents was:
In 2021, the breakdown of all respondents was:
So, we can see that today’s healthcare marketers are putting roughly the same amount of time and money into marketing toward HCPs, but slightly more toward consumers and somewhat less toward payers.
This emphasizes the need to take a digital approach to healthcare marketing rather than relying on sales reps. In particular, social media, print, and radio advertising are critical channels marketers are using to reach consumers.