Healthcare marketing has inherent difficulties.
In an industry where the product takes centre stage, how can a company create a meaningful corporate brand that adds value? And beyond the product, what go-to-market innovations can be found in a realm where data security is paramount?
These are just two of the questions facing healthcare and pharmaceutical companies as marketers evolve strategy in response to consumer behavior.
New personal and professional technology and a revolution in media consumption are quickly changing the patient landscape.
In an effort to get the lay of the land amongst healthcare marketers, Econsultancy conducted an online survey in partnership with Ogilvy CommonHealth and OgilvyRED.
The Healthcare Study: Organizing Marketing in the Digital Age report presents findings from 150 qualified respondents from mid-market to large pharmaceuticals, medical device and direct healthcare providers.
Here’s a flavor of the findings. Download the report, which is free to registered users, for more detail.
What will force healthcare to innovate?
Although no one trend dominates, the data below shows three areas concerning over half of respondents.
Changing patient behavior with respect to healthcare research and procurement is highlighted by 75% of respondents. Patients are active in an increasing number of digital channels, making targeting and personalization a more complex but potentially rewarding task.
The rise of the digital healthcare provider, able to use multiple information sources (such as e-consults as well as electronic health records) is recognised by 58% of respondents as impacting marketing over the next two years. Significantly, 26% selected this factor as the most important.
New sources of data about patient behavior and treatment efficacy are cited by 52% of respondents as likely to impact on healthcare marketing.
This data may be new (revealed by new medical technology) or newly available through aggregation and analysis by more sophisticated software and computing.
Healthcare is lagging on marketing tech
While web analytics, a CMS and some social measurement are used by over half of the survey respondents, other technologies represent easy wins and medium-term targets.
Testing and optimization is only being used by 37% of respondents, when steady improvement is needed to argue for increasing digital budgets.
Marketing automation (30%) and personalization (26%) are used by less than a third of respondents. Using large datasets efficiently across key channels such as email, website personalization and search requires investment in these two areas.
Speed is more of a challenge than security with healthcare data
Data alignment and analysis may be at the root of the challenge for healthcare marketers.
This chart shows the lack of preparation for emerging data sources (66%) as well as over half (53%) of respondents who are unprepared to collect high volumes of data at speed.
For the 44% of respondents who are unprepared for the use of CRM data (and other existing data) in marketing campaigns, this current lack of integration could be further compounded by new and emerging data sources.
Healthcare Study: Organizing Marketing in the Digital Age is available to download now, complimentary to registered users.