Healthcare marketing departments have cut media spend and paid advertising by 38.5% due to COVID-19, with many top initiatives becoming a lower priority. So reveals Binary Fountain in a new study [download page] exploring what healthcare marketing looks like at this unprecedented time.
In its survey of more than 300 healthcare marketers, Binary Fountain found that crisis communication is now understandably respondents’ biggest priority, cited as a top initiative by the largest portion (48%) of respondents. This was followed by updating online directories (33.9%) and email marketing (32.9%). Content marketing, which was respondents’ top initiative before COVID-19, has dropped down the list of priorities, with branding also seeing a significant fall in priority status.
Aside from crisis communication, updating online directories and SEO are the only other priorities to have risen since COVID-19, as healthcare marketers likely work to make their organizations more discoverable.
With a rearrangement of priorities, spending has naturally been impacted. Media spend on paid advertising has taken the biggest hit during the pandemic and is down by 38.5%. What’s more, as an indication of what will likely be ongoing employment troubles across the professional world, spending has been cut on contractors (down 36.8%) and team members (down 36.2%). Other areas facing cuts have been digital marketing projects (down 28.3%), agencies (down 28%) and content marketing (down 25%).
That being said, healthcare marketers appear to be doing what they can to make the best of these challenging times. The survey highlights a number of projects and initiatives in the works for the period after COVID-19 (whenever that may be), many of which appear to be an effort to adapt to a world in which social distancing could become more commonplace. As such, telehealth initiatives take the lead (50.3%), with physician directories and online appointments being the second-most common plan among healthcare marketing teams (42.8%). These teams are also planning to resume paid media and ads (36.2%), increase brand awareness (35.9%) and email marketing (35.9%) and update/optimize listings (32.6%).
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 304 healthcare marketers fielded between April 15-18, 2020.