Healthcare advertising growth fell significantly below the predicted market rate of 4.8% in 2019, likely to be lower – 4.3% in 2020  

Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast has predicted slow but steady growth of 3.6% overall for both 2019 and 2020 for the healthcare sector. The reason cited is increased healthcare costs and decreasing prices.

This figure falls below 4.8% and 4.3% growth rates that were predicted for the market through 2019 and 2020 respectively. Regional variations are more extensive in healthcare, largely due to widespread use of television advertising.

The out-of-home and internet advertising are now increasingly finding favor among marketers to raise brand awareness due to their ability for market target and personalization. Personal health tracking is also another fast-growing sector that enables brands to offer a personalized service.

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According to experts, the future of healthcare services and its marketing increasingly depends on data and bleeding-edge technology. The increased use of wearable devices that monitor vital signs not only provides people with a greater understanding of their health but also captures a lot of data. This is increasingly being used to create personalized treatment plans. With such customized plans for healthcare and lifestyle, very near in the future, successful healthcare companies will be viewed more as lifestyle brands.

Another reason for healthcare advertising’s slow growth is Google’s E-A-T algorithm. For those looking for health information, especially the local providers, Google is still the top search engine. Last year, when Google confirmed that its algorithms would put a higher emphasis on EAT – Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness, millions of healthcare websites had their search engine rankings dropped. The update was also nicknamed ‘Medic’ because healthcare websites fell in the search engine rankings, en masse. Experts believe that the algorithm is likely to get stronger, and if Google has no way to verify the trustworthiness and legitimacy of the content, it will become difficult for prospective patients to find the brand online. Healthcare websites now need to step up their content even while providing a better overall user experience.

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The increasing life expectancy and incomes will feed the future demand for healthcare services and products. This makes the current time a lot more promising to invest in brand awareness.

Over the next twelve months, more healthcare organizations will try programmatic buying as it is easier than advertising, and targets the right messages to the right people at the right time.

Hospitals are also expected to use tactics like re-targeting, geo-fencing, social media advertising, search ads, and highly targeted campaigns to ensure that messages are uniquely targeted to prospective patients. Experts think that while many organizations will attempt programmatic buying, only a few will succeed. This is due to lack of cohesion throughout campaigns and poorly defined patient personas.

While there are many ways that the healthcare industry as a whole will use to advertise and market themselves, only a few will succeed. This can further reduce the growth. In this time of trial and error, it will be interesting to understand the marketing techniques that pass for the healthcare industry.

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