HealthDecember 06, 2019

The state of healthcare marketing

We delved into the newest Kantar Media data to find out who and what physicians are engaging for medical information.

The newest Kantar Media Sources & Interactions data just was released, and journals are still king of content: A whopping 98% of physicians reported that they read the current issue of medical journals.* The data also affirms that email marketing is effective, more physicians are reading the digital versions of journals, and physicians actively seek information from pharma and device sales reps.

Here’s a rundown of the health of pharma marketing, according to the new Kantar data.

Print vs. digital

Print retains its hold on the market: 91% read the print edition, but only 56% read the digital version.* Many of the respondents to the survey noted that they prefer the print edition because they easily can take notes or tag pages for future reference.

Readers frequently supplement the print version with the digital version, as evidenced by the fact that 79% of respondents claimed they use both.* Some readers prefer the digital edition because they easily can find what they're looking for, and they enjoy the interactive design.

Email marketing

Physicians receive an average of 6.86 email newsletters per week and read an average of 3.28 per week (that’s a 47.81% open rate!), which is roughly the same as last year’s results.*† Upon receiving an email newsletter they find interesting, 20% of physicians open it right away, and 57% read it within 24 hours.* According to Smart Insights, emails in the healthcare industry are opened about 24.83% of the time, so it appears that physicians are much more responsive to emails than the rest of the market.

Advertising at conferences

72% of physicians who attend conferences visit exhibit halls to learn about new products and procedures of which they were not previously aware.* And a majority of conference attendees also seek out information about products and procedures of which they already were aware. Be sure to bring materials to conferences that will raise awareness and educate physicians about your new products.

Seeing sales reps

Physicians often are unsatisfied with the information sales reps present them at meetings. According to a study conducted by DRG Digital/Manhattan Research, pharma sales reps present information physicians already have seen in more than half of all meetings.

One way to charm physicians is to leave behind educational materials they can give to patients. Print magazines and print materials such as brochures are found at 53% of physicians’ practices for use as patient education materials.* This suggests sales reps should bring information for the physician, as well as branded educational materials such as anatomical charts for their patients.

The state of healthcare marketing is robust, and the newest data is unequivocal: Multichannel campaigns work best. Place your ads in reputable journals—print and digital editions—and their email newsletters, equip your sales reps with patient education materials, and train them to present information that physicians can’t find elsewhere. This new data from Kantar Media buttress the effectiveness of marketers who operate by consistently engaging physicians via journals, digital materials, and in-person touchpoints; it should encourage everyone else to adopt just such a multichannel approach to engaging physicians.

*Kantar Media, Sources & Interactions: 2019 Medical/Surgical Edition
†Kantar Media, Sources & Interactions: 2018 Medical/Surgical Edition

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