Medical Professionals are the gatekeepers to the pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and technologies that drive health care. The estimated total of $3.8 Trillion in health care expenditures for 2019 is projected to rise to $6 Trillion by 2027 and 19.4% of GDP. For a wide range of products and service providers, marketing to medical professionals is their lifeblood.
They span a range of specializations, from neurology to dentistry, from physical medicine to rehabilitation, and many more. Each of these practice areas has particular requirements, and therefore cost factors, for providing care. It is incumbent on medical marketers to ensure products and services are precisely targeted to the special needs of each one. All operate under the same mandate for medical excellence and operational efficiency. As societal needs evolve, fulfilling the growth prospects for a specialty becomes a partnership between industry and the medical profession.
Now COVID-19 has affected everyone involved with healthcare, from drastic increases in ER and ICU demand, to medical supply chains being stressed. Meanwhile everyone is waiting for a vaccine as the country lurches between locking down to opening up amid nationwide spikes in cases.
It’s Harder To Get Medical Attention
Used to be the relationship medical industry reps had with doctors was personal, even cozy. Trade and DTC ads laid the groundwork for the personal sales call. Conferences, workshops and entertainment built on the process. In 2008, 80% of health care professionals were accessible to reps. By 2017 that number was less than half. Moreover, individual practices are declining in number. Groups are growing. The latest figures show 44% of physicians were employed by hospitals or health care systems, a number that is increasing.
New Practices – Independence At A Price
As with any new business, planning and preparation are crucial. Practical, informed choices must be made for every aspect of practice establishment. By some estimates, it costs as much as $100,000 to open a medical office. Financing, real estate, equipment, staffing, insurance, practice management systems and more contribute to this cost. As a result, exciting marketing opportunities for proactive brokers, bankers, attorneys, insurance agents, HR/staffing agencies, device suppliers, pharmaceutical reps, advertising services and more come into focus.
Wherever They Are, You Must Be
Marketing to medical professionals means treating each as an audience of one. Personalized, multi-channel campaigns using phone, email, and digital media open doors both real and virtual. Quality data is essential to connecting with this exceptionally valuable, if often elusive audience.
The following infographic provides a deeper dive into the dynamic world of medical professionals, in more granular detail (Download PDF):