MM&M recently released a survey report detailing where healthcare marketers have spent their time and money over the last two years. The information in this report is relevant for today’s healthcare marketers who are challenged with finding innovative ways to stay relevant in this age of rapidly evolving digital strategies and technologies.
In this three-part blog series, we’ll dive into who was surveyed, what the results were, and how those results will impact healthcare marketers in the near future. We will also discuss how the MM&M report compares to other recent studies.
Who’s Involved in the Survey
The survey respondents are leaders in their organizations. They are divided between director-level employees (62.4%) and C-suite executives (34.4%).
The respondents are employed by biotech companies (18.3%), devices/diagnostics companies (25.8%), and pharmaceutical companies (55.9%). Because the majority of respondents come from pharma, the results may be somewhat more helpful for marketers in the pharmaceutical industry than in other aspects of healthcare.
The employer size is split between those that make less than $500 million (38.7%) and those that make over $500 million (51.6%). The remaining 9.7% of respondents did not answer the question about the size of their employer.
How Marketers are Managing Their Budgets
As far as the number of brands in the budget, most respondents have more than six brands in budget. Interestingly, the second most common answer was one.
Another interesting find is how annual marketing budgets changed from 2019 to 2021. Overall, the mean marketing budget went from $12.5 million in 2019 to $7.2 million in 2020 to $8.3 million in 2021.
The survey broke down marketing budgets by specific industries (e.g., pharma, biotech, and devices).
The mean marketing budget for pharma in 2020 was $8.8 million, compared with $9.0 million in 2021. The mean marketing budget for biotech was $7.0 million in 2020 compared with $8.8 million in 2021. The most significant jump came from devices, which had a mean budget of $2.2 million in 2020 compared to $6.3 million in 2021.
So, we can see that, even though pharma, biotech, and devices/diagnostics companies spent more in 2021 than 2020, they aren’t yet back to spending as much as they did pre-pandemic.
However, this doesn’t mean that these companies aren’t as interested in marketing in 2021 as they were in 2019. On the contrary, MM&M points out that the survey indicates a willingness among these companies to build a more flexible media plan that prioritizes digital marketing. As a result, these companies can stretch their budgeting dollars further and still reach a broad audience by making digital investments.
Branded vs. Unbranded Marketing
In addition to shifting how much money they’re spending on marketing, healthcare companies are changing their priorities when it comes to branded and unbranded marketing.
Most companies (62.4%) plan on keeping their branded marketing budget the same, compared with 33.3% that plan to increase it. Conversely, only 4.3% said they plan to decrease their spending on branded marketing.
The results for unbranded marketing were similar to branded marketing. Most companies (70.93%) plan to keep their unbranded marketing budget the same, compared with 22.58% that plan to increase it. Only 6.49% said they plan on decreasing how much they spend on unbranded marketing.
HealthLink Dimensions is Here to Empower Healthcare Marketers
We’re just getting started analyzing the data from MM&M’s recent survey. Make sure to read the next two blogs in our series, where we’ll go into more detail about exactly where and how healthcare marketers are spending their money.