In this final post of our three-part blog series covering MM&M’s recent report on the state of healthcare marketing, we’ll look at implications for marketers as we move into 2022. We’ll also compare how these findings stack up with other similar surveys.
Implication 1: In-Person vs. Virtual
The last two years have seen a dramatic shift in how much time, and money healthcare marketers devote to digital marketing initiatives. As we enter a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be more opportunities to return to in-person marketing.
In 2020, 46% of marketers planned on reaching HCPs through in-person events and meetings, such as conferences. That number dropped to 40% in 2021 as these events shifted to virtual formats. In 2021, 33% spent nothing on that channel, pivoting their budget to target other digital channels instead.
Because people have gotten so comfortable with virtual formats, marketers will likely see a mix of in-person and virtual events taking place in 2022 and beyond.
Implication 2: Nonpersonal vs. Sales reps
During the pandemic, marketers are shifted to nonpersonal promotional (NPP) channels, such as email marketing, white-space targeting, and other third-party tools.
The survey found that 37.6% of marketers reallocated money between sales reps and NPP in 2021, compared with 62.4% who did not. Most respondents (70%) plan to continue using these tactics in 2022, which means there may be fewer sales reps and more time and money devoted to digital marketing.
Implication 3: Campaign Management
Unsurprisingly, many respondents admitted to needing to revise, relaunch, or otherwise alter an existing healthcare marketing campaign between 2020 and 2021. Most (70%) of the time, these changes needed to happen because of pandemic-related disruptions.
Other reasons for needing to quickly alter a campaign included a new competitive entrant, access issues, under-performance, new brand leadership, label change, drug shortage, and other external market shifts.
Even though the pandemic is not the same today as it was two years ago, things can still happen quickly. Therefore, Healthcare marketers will need to continue to be agile so they can adapt to changes as necessary to maximize their marketing campaign efforts.
What are Other Surveys Saying?
The MM&M survey is just one of many focused on healthcare marketing.
For example, Cardinal Digital Marketing’s recent survey validates the finding that digital marketing will remain important for healthcare marketers moving into 2022. They found that 10% of healthcare marketers plan on spending their entire budget on digital marketing. In addition, Cardinal’s survey found that the top three digital marketing strategies being targeted are SEO, paid social, and Google ads.
Another recent survey from Geonetric found that digital strategy is overtaking content as an essential marketing tool for healthcare companies. It also found that leaders feel significantly more capable with digital strategy now than they did in 2020. Their findings of digital marketing budgets align with MM&M, noting that digital marketing budgets in 2021 were higher than 2020 but still behind pre-pandemic times.
The good news for marketers is that budgets are expected to increase or stay the same for most companies in 2022.
MM&M’s survey found that 37.2% of respondents reported a higher marketing budget in 2022 than 2021, while 48.8% said it will remain the same. Conversely, another 14% said their marketing budgets are lower for 2022 than 2021.
Regardless of your marketing budget, HealthLink Dimensions has the tools you need to implement a digital marketing strategy that will propel you forward in 2022. Our expertise in email marketing deployment, SMS marketing, and programmatic marketing can help you stretch your budgeting dollars to reach a wider audience.
Learn more by contacting us today!