Digital marketing is not typically the first avenue considered by healthcare marketers trying to reach patients and customers. Yet, patients are becoming more tech savvy: doing research online to find the right doctor, treatment, or medication. There are many benefits for marketers that bring digital marketing in healthcare.
Digital marketing uses data to run smart campaigns, allowing for high levels of customer targeting and technical sophistication. Marketers can use data to locate specific types of audiences in specific geographic areas, such as ‘people who have recently purchased asthma medication in Colorado,’ for example. Or they can use their current consumer lists to create look-alike audiences that are extremely similar to their current customers, increasing the likelihood that people who see their ads are those most likely to buy their products.
Digital marketing reaches customers where they engage – on mobile and other handheld devices, and across social media platforms. Data-driven campaigns also take the guesswork out of marketing with robust analytics. Digital advertising provides immediate feedback on how campaigns and campaign elements are performing. This feedback allows for quick adjustment and optimization while the campaign is still running.
Case Study: New Tactics
Recently, a neurology brand wanted to engage with their patient population. Unfortunately, they were competing with everyone else in the space – meaning that ad inventory wasn’t readily available, and what was available was very expensive.
Instead of simply accepting their current situation, the company used programmatic buying tools to find patients on new channels. Diversifying their media mix and bringing digital marketing in healthcare improved engagement and reduced their overall costs.
Digital Marketing in Healthcare Advertising
While overall spend in healthcare advertising is still relatively low, it’s growing – and is expected to grow exponentially, especially in medical and pharmaceutical fields. Regulations and privacy concerns are still holding some companies back, but those objections are lessening over time. In fact, a recent survey of marketing executives in the healthcare field indicated that 70% of them would invest in digital marketing.
Long Term Benefits
Many marketers in the healthcare field only look at the price of inventory and aren’t willing to spend more than a limited amount of ad dollars for digital marketing. The problem with this approach is that ad spend on digital media is often higher in the beginning and then reduces over time. If a marketer shuts off ads within the first month, then they may not be fully taking advantage of their campaigns.
Digital marketing is new to the healthcare field, but it will become more commonplace over time. Marketers that figure out their digital strategy now will have a long-term advantage.