Social media prioritised in healthcare marketing, study says

Research from marketing agency Five by Five has revealed that social media is considered the most important aspect of marketing when new healthcare products or services are launched.

The research consisted of 730 senior marketers across the UK, US and Australia and included 70 brand marketers working in the healthcare sector.

The majority (80%) of marketers now prioritise social media in their launch marketing plans with TV advertising being considered by only 24%. This is in line with the wider marketing industry, where 74% of marketers now prioritise social media.

Email ranked second within healthcare among the most important channels. 63% of marketers cited it whilst 57% regarded sales promotion. Direct mail came fourth with 50%, while PR made up the top five with 41%.

The research indicated that traditional advertising such as press advertising, experiential and digital display are no longer attracting attention when it comes to building awareness for new products and services.

According to the study, the use of social media may correlate with the time it takes for a product to launch, which has shrunk over the past five years.  58% of participants said that they usually only have six months or less to prepare for a product launch.

In addition, 60% said they use social media to support their new product development whilst 51% said they believe the biggest benefit of social media channels lies in generating awareness prior to the product being launched.

Martin Flavin, creative director at Five by Five, comments: “Social media has become the most important way to generate buzz for new products and services before they appear. Shareable content and social engagement allow brands to create a groundswell of pre-launch interest in a way no other channel can match.”

The study also asked marketers how they feel launch marketing has changed over the past five years. The majority (73%) said they now think launches cost more and 86% said they believe that they are now able to make better-informed decisions about their product launches.

Meanwhile, 77% of marketers in the healthcare sector think the creative ideas around product launches have become braver over the past five years. While nine out of ten (91%) believe launch campaigns are now more measurable.

Michelle Mitchell, strategy director at Five by Five, said: “Deadlines have got tighter, and costs have risen – but marketers now are more informed about their product launches than ever. This increased knowledge means that campaigns are braver, smoother and more effective.”




Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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