Author: Peter Jones, Head of Local Sales, PREMION
Healthcare has become a fundamental consideration in every aspect of life. Businesses and consumers alike are keenly focused on how quickly the vaccine roll-out will hit the general population. Moreover, safeguarding employees and customers is now a table stakes requirement of doing business.
While healthcare once lagged other industries in the adoption of digital tools, the pandemic has dramatically narrowed the gap with a heightened focus on the patient-centric experience. Hence, we have seen an accelerated shift in the consumerization of healthcare — from the convenience of scheduling, payment, and reimbursements to patient care. For instance, prior to the pandemic, just one in 10 consumers had tried telehealth. Forrester projected that virtual care visits soared to more than 1 billion in 2020, and nine out of 10 patients that have tried virtual visits, said it was more convenient than other ways of getting care.
Consumers are embracing the shift to digital healthcare access and are seeking a higher level of convenience. This also coincides with more aging millennials that are starting families and becoming healthcare decision makers —a cohort that’s technology and data-driven. They tend to value convenience and cost savings over continuity, and are more likely to visit a retail clinic instead of their primary care provider (PCP) — a trend that was further propelled during the pandemic as more consumers sought out nearby walk-in clinics for COVID-19 testing and non-urgent health needs. In fact, almost one-third (32%) of consumers said COVID-19 increased their usage of retail health clinics, according to UPshow’s Healthcare Ecosystem 2021 study.
With patients demanding better services from healthcare providers, healthcare businesses are investing in new innovations to enhance patient services—to be safer, more efficient and convenient. In fact, a PwC survey found that positive experiences have a greater influence on consumers' healthcare purchasing decisions than for other industries. The future of patient care is about connecting with consumers to fully understand their needs, by leveraging technology and human connections to create efficient and personalized experiences.
To capture the hearts and minds of health-focused consumers, healthcare advertisers are rethinking their media mix and evolving their message to emphasize how they’re improving the patient experience to stay relevant and drive growth. With the surge in streaming TV viewers, healthcare marketers are increasingly vying for the attention of this highly engaged audience with connected TV (CTV) / over-the-top (OTT) advertising.
CTV viewing skyrocketed during the pandemic and is now the universal form of TV viewing. According to a recent Leichtman Research Group study, there are now nearly 400 million CTV devices in the U.S. Eighty percent of U.S. TV homes have at least one CTV device and 64% of U.S. TV households have three or more CTV devices. As advertisers shift even more dollars to this medium, eMarketer projects U.S. CTV advertising will soar to $11.36 billion in 2021 and $18.29 billion in 2024.
Now more than ever, consumers choose healthcare providers or wellness brands that have established trust and a personal connection with them. With the spike in ad-supported OTT viewing, healthcare advertisers are primed to reach an engaged audience that’s highly receptive to receiving brand messages of health, safety and care. A recent MRI-Simmons study found that among OTT viewers, 72% have consulted a medical professional in the last 12 months and more than half (53.1%) of OTT viewers understand the importance of visiting a doctor when they feel ill. Of consumers who research information for various treatments, 82% are OTT viewers.
Furthermore, healthcare is a highly localized business. Healthcare marketers need to reach consumers where they live and work (albeit remotely these days), and ads need to be contextually relevant and well-targeted. The addressability of OTT enables healthcare businesses to target local audiences at scale. These advertisers can target by designated market area (DMA), states, zip codes, and combine this geo-targeting with interest categories.
Healthcare marketers need a trusted CTV/OTT advertising partner that can execute locally in reaching the right consumers at the household-level, track conversion, and reduce wasted impressions.
Premion is a proven partner in driving measurable outcomes for many healthcare brands. We have successfully executed a multitude of campaigns for hundreds of healthcare clients across local, regional, and national health and medical services businesses. Interested in diving deeper? Let’s have a conversation.