As the world of health and pharmacy marketing diversifies its media mix, there has been a surprising beneficiary: digital audio platforms.
The Veeva Crossix 2022 Healthcare Advertising Trends Report examined data from 230 US life science campaigns. Its goal was to identify trends in year-over-year behavior among consumers for some $6 billion in advertising investment in 2021.
Unsurprisingly, the results showed that media plans are diversifying and pharma is adopting a different mix of channels. Connected TV and video streaming are among the channels whose use has increased in 2021.
But the report’s biggest reveal is that the use of audio messaging has increased among healthcare brands. In 2021, 50% more campaigns included digital audio programming compared to 2020, with particularly significant growth in women’s health and preventative medicine.
According to Asaf Evenhaim, CEO of Veeva Crossix, audio has become a viable – and valuable – option for pharmaceutical marketers. He noted that the rate of new patients starting with digital audio increased by 11% and that audio ads were 120% more effective than digital display ads.
“It’s an interesting observation that consumers are spending more time in these audio environments because audio has compelling attributes for the industry,” he explained.
Evenhaim added that the trend is new.
“Audio is an emerging channel that historically hasn’t been used as much by the industry,” he continued. “Consumer behavior is changing and the industry is finding a compliant way to use the channel, as well as ways to measure it to ensure their investments are delivering results.”
The revelation about the impact of audio comes as more pharmaceutical companies have embraced health and science-focused podcasting to reach patient audiences.
Despite the chain’s recent gains, however, there are still plenty of opportunities for expansion. It’s worth putting the results into perspective: of all ad impressions examined by the report, 80% were digital displays, 9% were online video, 8% were streaming video, and only 1% were audio. .
“If you think about digital advertising, the vast majority of it has always been display,” Evenhaim said. “Audio is emerging as an emerging new channel for the industry and still has plenty of room to grow.”