Marketing’s 5-Year Plan: Implications for Healthcare Marketers – Part 1
In their October 8, 2012 issue, Advertising Age’s Matt Creamer predicts what marketing will look like in the next five years. I thought it might be instructive to dissect his predictions and infer their implications for healthcare marketers.
For 2017, Creamer predicts:
- TV will still own the biggest piece of the marketing pie
- Big data will come to the TV screen
- Measurement should focus on outcomes, not reach
- [Agency] compensation problems need to be fixed
- User experience will be the new 30-second spot
- Marketing and tech teams will merge
He also suggests [agency] client conflict should be loosened up and [agency and production] patent trolls should be killed.
Not all of these trends will neceesarily impact healthcare marketers, but let me comment on five that I think will.
ONE. TV Will Still Own the Biggest Piece of the Marketing Pie at 36% of advertising spend (as forecast by eMarketer). Online advertising will be right behind at 31%.
I think these numbers are conservative given digital’s growth, the fact that mobile advertising is in its own category and is growing like wildfire, and the fact that marketers are starting to realize how dumb television really is as an advertising media.
Digital media (including mobile) allow you to measure audience response that in ways that TV does not. It offers the ability to attract better target audiences, personalize content, get information on your targeted audience, measure behavioral changes, and track the effectiveness of campaigns in real-time.
Healthcare marketers continue to adopt digital at a slow pace. There’s a lot of “wait and see,” waiting to hear what the FDA will suggest, seeing what the competition will do, etc. On one level it amazes me, the consumer internet has been around since 1996-1997, hit the mainstream in 1999, but in 2012, pharmaceutical marketers are still dipping their toes in the water. But HC marketers are smart. The new generation of marketer expects to use digital and is pulling the conservatives into the digital space, pushing the envelope with social media, and leveraging new digital tools as soon as they emerge.
Five years from now, in 2017, healthcare marketers could kill the 30-second pharma spot and move exclusively to online advertising. Why? The patent cliff means no more blockbusters to advertise. And if there are no more blockbusters to advertise, why spend money on a medium that is not targeted and offers only limited measurement. All it would take is one of the big pharmaceutical companies to say no mas to DTC TV ads and all other pharmacos would follow.
TWO. Mobile Advertising Spend Will Grow From 1% to 5%. It is predicted that mobile internet access will surpass wired connectivity in 3 short years. Given how fast things move, it will probably happen next year.
Creamer cites SonyEricsson stats that say by 2017 85% of the world will be on 3G mobile devices and 50% will be on 4G networks. Data traffic will be 15 times heavier than it is today (how much of that traffic will be genomic data?). Small pocket-sized screens will be the most important screens of all.
I find these numbers to be extremely conservative and also disappointing.
Let me play pundit again. Mobile right now is like the Internet in 1999.
One of the reasons is the proliferation of apps. Last year, there was some discussion on how HTML5 would kill native apps (that is, apps that live on iPhone or Android). But I could see a rapid move away from apps.
Personally, I hate apps and I’m not alone. Apps are an ugly pain in the ass. They clutter up your phone, you can only run one at a time and they make you beholden to Apple or Android. Each app, according to Gartner’s Ian Glazer, “has access to a variety of piece of information… some specific to you…” some specific to your friends, a lot of it being shared with third parties that you’re not even aware of.”
Apps today are like Microsoft Office used to be until the online office tools came along and all you need is a browser to draft and store any document securely in the cloud. A really great mobile browser (like Dolphin) will drive the development of better mobile browser-based apps and individual apps will disappear.
The mobile opportunity for healthcare is huge. Healthcare marketers have just begun to tap into this emerging medium, but the savvy ones understand mobile allows you to reach healthcare providers at the point of care, allows very precise audience segmentation, and the same types of measurement as all digital marketing. As mobile ads become more prevalent and HIT companies look for additional sources of revenue, more ads will be served up to mobile devices.
END PART ONE. HERE’S PART 2.