Is healthcare marketing fit for the future?

Healthcare marketing is an industry more usually attuned to supporting the health of others, but with so many changes and pressures, we knew the industry itself would benefit from a thorough health check.



What happens in an already fast-changing environment when a mixture of pandemic, technological acceleration and social change disrupt accepted norms? 

Stagmar surveyed just over 100 of the most influential healthcare marketers across the globe. These were Top Tier marketers, with 80% being Director level and above, and a similar proportion (79%) coming from the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technology segments. 

The insights the marketers shared with us are powerful, informative, and clear. 

There was a consensus amongst the Marketers that we are entering a period of unprecedented change. Almost universally, our respondents shared their belief that the importance of marketing will be significantly higher in the future that it has been in our immediate past. And they made it clear that what got us to today, will not lead us through tomorrow. 

It is time for marketing to step up to the plate and put change into practice.

Given the indisputable need for stronger marketing, how does the industry fair in terms of its marketing capabilities? Around 7 in 10 rated the industry’s understanding of products as excellent, but alarmingly less than 10% recorded similar levels of confidence when asked about their organisation’s understanding of marketing and customers. In normal times this would be a cause for concern, but with the advancing challenges facing the sector, our respondents recognised that the moment for change is now.

The leaders were very clear that creativity and innovation must be the cornerstones of our new way forward. But there was a very pessimistic view about the industry’s ability to be creative. When asked about the relative creativity of healthcare marketers not a single respondent could rate it as 5/5 and only 20% 4/5. The majority concluded simply that we lacked creativity.

Failure to think differently is always unhealthy in marketing: but in today’s world our respondents fear it could be fatal.

Digital, though slowly adopted, has fared reasonably well. About half felt they were behind the curve, and the rest ahead of the curve. This is an industry that sees itself as varied, but with strong vital signs. A deeper look confirmed a strong desire to be omnichannel with regard to delivery, but hardly anyone felt their organisations were truly omnichannel yet. 

Our 100+ Top Tier respondents also recognised that the way forward depends on the transformation of our people, rather than process or technology. Talent in the industry is certainly high, but the View from the Top suggests our industry desperately needs more courageous minds, rather safe pairs of hands. 

So is the industry fit for the future? The Views from the Top are that the raw ingredients are there, but that there are areas of urgent need. Find out what in the full report here.
 


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