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Healthcare & Pharma See Big Uptick In Digital Advertising Spend

October 29, 2020 Sarah Cavill

The march of digital advertising across verticals continues. Although healthcare and pharma were more likely in the past to rely on traditional advertising tactics, there have been significant upticks in digital advertising spend for this lucrative industry. According to U.S. Healthcare and Pharma Digital Ad Spending 2020, a report by eMarketer, “The coronavirus pandemic restricted many of these [more traditional] in-person touchpoints, which caused both the B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) aspects of the healthcare and pharma industry to further embrace digital advertising.”

Healthcare And Pharma Is The Second Fastest Growing Sector For Digital Ad Spending

eMarketer reported that the health and pharma digital advertising spend is expected to reach $9.53 billion this year, up 14.2% from 2019, second only to consumer electronics and 7.1% of all U.S. digital ad spending. The impact of COVID-19 has been a defining factor in the growth of digital advertising in 2020. With healthcare and medical treatments front and center for many consumers, it makes sense that health and pharma brands would be moving their advertising into digital channels to reach audiences where they are spending their time.

Search And Display Are The Most Used Ad Formats For Healthcare And Pharma

According to the eMarketer report, “spending on display will grow 15.7% in 2020, reaching $4.04 billion, making it the fastest-growing format in healthcare and pharma. However, 55.6% of digital spending will go toward search, compared with 42.4% going toward display.”

Interestingly, health and pharma brands and retailers spend less of their advertising budgets (57.5%) on mobile, where the average share of spend is 68%. The heavier desktop spend is possibly because the healthcare and pharma audience skews older and therefore may be more comfortable at a desktop, instead of mobile, device. Additionally, much healthcare and pharma advertising requires lengthy accompanying legal copy, which can sometimes display better in desktop format.

Digital Advertising Is A Must Have For All Industries This Year And Moving Forward

Advertising budgets have been impacted this year in a way that few industries could have foreseen, but digital advertising has been a breakout star in 2020. Optimized digital advertising strategies help brands and retailers engage consumers who are online more than ever and often with greater need, particularly in healthcare and pharma. Industries that transition to digital advertising must stay strategic and agile, reaching consumers when and where they are shopping and ready to spend. 

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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