“Are you into healthcare advertising?”
“Oh! It involves so much medical jargon, and little opportunity for creativity! Do you enjoy your job?”
I have been part of several such conversations, and through this blog, I would like to touch upon some facets of healthcare advertising that may partly undermine (and partly reinforce!) the stereotypes associated with this field.
Based on data from a 2015 US-based study, nearly $10 billion is spent by the healthcare industry into advertising and marketing. Despite the huge amount of money involved, the healthcare advertising segment is often typecast as “lacking in creativity/innovation” and “boring”. Well, this is not surprising considering that every print, website, banner, and video advertisement gets scrutinized by a medical review team and needs to pass a rigorous risk mitigation assessment. In fact, dissemination of safety information takes up almost half of a 30 second TV spot and rules for short-form messaging may run up to 10-15 pages. With such extensive regulations in place, it is often difficult to be creative! Most advertising professionals, therefore, create campaigns that are safe and obvious to avoid getting caught in the legalities of the system.
In addition, creating advertisements from data provided by doctors, is quite challenging. The key is to understand the underlying motivation behind the drug/campaign from an emotional perspective, including purchasing decisions and consumer behavior.
Future of healthcare advertising
How can healthcare advertising evolve in the near future? Here are a few pointers:
1) Optimizing advertisements for mobile phones (smartphones) and using social media apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, as marketing platforms
2) Developing smart (read: social-media shareworthy) content that is interesting, fresh, reliable, and authoritative
3) Individualizing marketing delivery systems using digital marketing tools: Contemporary marketing methods identify user interests and deliver timely, personalized and relevant content on a one-to-one basis
4) Target patients by location: Such a strategy can adapt the advertisement according to social and personal preference of the audience, and also inform them about nearby facilities
5) Going live! “Programmatic video” is the new buzzword in the field, and according to some estimates, it will account for the majority of digital video spending over the next couple of years. Programmatic video basically uses real time data and presents video advertisements to precisely qualified customers at exactly the right time.
Overall, it can be concluded that healthcare advertising may not be as creative as the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment; however, the challenges it poses make it all the more interesting to work in this field. With the evolution of new marketing strategies, the constraints of healthcare advertising can prove to be an asset in a non-conventional marketing set-up of the future.
Turacoz Healthcare Solutions provides high quality end to end scientific/medical writing support to the industry and academia. We expertise in different kinds of medicomarketing solutions like leave behind literature (LBL), slide-decks, posters, newsletters, patient education materials, customized books/booklets, visual aids etc. Turacoz strongly follows good marketing practices backing every product claim with scientific relevance and ensuring that the message rightly resonates with the target audience.