HCP Marketing Trends 2023: 23 HCP Marketing Stats for 2023

When it comes to going digital, healthcare provider (HCP) marketing has been behind the pace. However, the pandemic caused a rapid shift that forced healthcare solutions providers to finally make the move. Here are the top HCP marketing trends you should be aware of as you start working on your 2023 marketing plans.

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HCP Marketing Trends: The Healthcare Market

The healthcare market is constantly evolving as science and technology continue to advance, and along with that, the ways healthcare services are distributed and paid for continue to shift.

  • There has been a significant increase in digital marketing targeting healthcare providers (HCPs) over the last 5 years. (McKinsey, 2021)
  • Digital advertising spend for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is projected to hit $15 billion in 2023. (Insider Intelligence, 2022)
  • Compared to other industries, healthcare made the switch to digital late . . . but very suddenly. (Insider Intelligence, 2022) – See chart below
  • 89% of all hospitals have implemented an EHR system. (Definitive Healthcare, 2021)
  • 84% of physicians were offing virtual visits as of April 2021. (McKinsey, 2021)
  • There has been a 240% increase in the number of connected wearable devices, including those with healthcare-related capabilities, between 2016 and 2022. (Statista, 2022)
  • As recently as 5 years ago, medtech companies spent no more than 20% of their marketing budget on digital marketing, but 2020 saw them begin to shift their budget toward digital methods. In fact, 1 in 5 had redirected at least 50% of their marketing budget to digital. (McKinsey, 2021)
  • 82% of HCPs say they have seen pharma companies change what they communicate about, delivering not just product information but also support that meets their most pressing needs. (Accenture, 2020)

Digital Ad Spend by Industry in Billions (Normalized Data)

hcp marketing trends 2023 - spend

HCP Marketing Trends: Demographics

Overall, doctors are getting younger, small practices are being bought up, and HCP marketing is changing. While we generally don’t focus a ton of our targeting efforts on traditional demographics, they are important to keep in the back of your mind.

  • As of May 2022, there are approximately 1 million active physicians in the United States. (Statista, 2022)
  • California has the highest number of practicing physicians at just over 117,000. (Statista, 2022)
  • Wyoming has the smallest number of active physicians at just over 1,200. (Statista, 2022)
  • 2019 was the first year that the majority of US medical school students were women, with enrollment at 50.5%. (AAMC, 2021)
  • The average age of doctors is 53.2 years old. (Becker’s ASC Review, 2022)
  • 94% of final-year residents are 35 and below. (Health eCareers, 2021)
  • Boomer and GenX doctors will soon be outnumbered by millennials. (Journal of Medical Regulation, 2021) – See chart below

Distribution of Physicians by Age

hcp marketing trends 2023 - age

HCP Marketing Trends: Pandemic Marketing Shifts

Where money is being spent is shifting as healthcare permanently changed thanks to COVID-19. Here are some of the huge changes that seem to be sticking around.

  • Three-quarters of HCPs prefer to maintain or increase the amount of virtual (vs. face-to-face) engagements since the pandemic. (BCG, 2021)
  • 83% of Americans prefer to continue using telehealth services after the pandemic for non-urgent consultations. (Healthcare Finance, 2021)
  • 43% of HCPs placed restrictions on who could enter their offices for professional reasons, with 44% maintaining the restrictions for the foreseeable future and 28% making them permanent. (Accenture, 2020)
  • 87% of HCPs want either all virtual or a mix of in-person and virtual meetings. (Accenture, 2020) – See chart below
  • Only 10% of doctors want to go back to in-person meetings. (Fierce Pharma, 2022)
  • Doctors are also attending fewer conferences in person for a variety of reasons like limited budgets, childcare responsibilities, and staffing shortages. (The BMJ, 2022)
  • Post-COVID, 40% of MDs would like to receive more medical and scientific information. (BCG, 2021)
  • Over half of doctors say they don’t receive regular content on medical developments and education, scientific data, or product education. (BCG, 2021)

Preferred Meeting Format of HCPs

hcp marketing trends 2023 - covid

So, what does this all mean? How can your organization stand out and maximize digital impact?

How to Make an Impact in 2023

Marketing to doctors and other healthcare professionals is not the same as marketing razor blades or enterprise software. It’s more regulated. More nuanced. More science-based. It’s also completely different from direct-to-consumer—even for the exact same product. Your agency needs to understand that and know how to communicate with your audience.

At the same time, you can’t just convert your traditional approaches into a digital format and call it done. That results in wasted money, suboptimal branding, and exasperated and confused clinicians. You need an agency that knows exactly how to target the precise audience you want to reach with appropriate content on the right platforms.

A copy-and-paste digital approach will not work on this audience.

You also can’t just force a traditional HCP marketing approach into a digital model.

Our Recommendation: Find an All-Digital HCP Marketing Expert

You need someone that understands exactly how to balance traditional and digital methods. Here at glassCanopy, we’ve been working in digital marketing in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. We offer start-to-finish content creation and lead-generation campaigns that introduce HCPs to your brand and convert leads into sales. We’ve been doing this long enough to deeply understand how the shift to digital is impacting the industry, and we use our proven strategies to create a predictable marketing funnel machine.

  1. Target your prospects with the marketing content that would typically be provided by a rep.
  2. Nurture them with additional content to provide information and establish trust.
  3. Use your sales team to reach out, make connections, and offer quick scheduled demos.
  4. Schedule the demo. (We’ve found it takes about 7 touches to actually get on their calendar even after they’ve asked to be contacted—so persistence is key at this point.)
  5. Close the deal.

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Jen Beall

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