Marketing in Health Care: Ad Budgets Move From TV to Digital

BY Kathy Crosett
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There’s money to be made from marketing in health care: $36 billion to be exact. That global figure comes from Zenith Media’s Health Care Advertising Expenditure Forecasts. In both 2019 and 2020, health care providers plan to increase their ad budgets by 3.6%.

Marketing in Health Care

The Growing Power of Digital Advertising

Although 3.6% is a big increase, marketing in health care spending's growth is not as big as advertising as a whole. This year, overall advertising's growth rate's increases will amount to about 4.8%. However, that doesn't take much away from health care's achievements in advertising. At least $15.9 billion of ad spending last year in the U.S. resulted from health care provider activity. 

Over the past few years, marketing in health care relied primarily on television advertising to get messages to consumers. Over half, 54%, of the typical health care marketer’s ad budget went to TV. With scrutiny by regulators on the rise, health care marketers are shifting their focus. This year, out-​of-​home health care advertising will likely jump 15% over last year’s level. And digital ad formats will grow beyond the 34% of media mix share they had last year. Analysts predict spending on digital ad formats will rise at least 16% this year.

Consumers are spending more time researching health conditions online. In that regard, they make prime targets for marketing in health care messages. Zenith analysts believe that “successful health care companies of the future will be the ones that eventually become viewed as lifestyle brands.” Personalized treatment plans will become the norm as wearable devices feed consumer data to health care service providers. 

The Rise of Direct Selling

Another change in the marketing in health care vertical is the rise of direct-​to-​consumer product delivery. Products that can be sold over-​the-​counter will increasingly be sold online instead of in traditional stores. As these business models develop, online ad spending to support them will increase as well.

In the local marketplace, consumers notice advertising, whether it’s from urgent care clinics or primary care physicians. With digital advertising becoming so important in the space, your clients need to know where they stand vis-​a-​vis the competition. You can let them know by running an Digital Audit and then sharing the results that can serve as a discussion outline for ad planning. The tool is available at AdMall from SalesFuel.