Matter Health Survey Reveals Brands Are Prioritizing Multichannel Marketing Programs to Grow Awareness and Customer Base

By Matter

Research Highlights Growing Trends in Healthcare Marketing Investments, Agency Partner Preferences and AI Usage.

BOSTON, May 1, 2024 – Matter Communications – a Brand Elevation Agency that integrates PR, marketing, and creative services – today released findings from its 2024 Matter Health Marketing Outlook Survey. The survey of healthcare marketing decision-makers revealed insights into top priorities in 2024 including product/service awareness, agency partnerships and the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Survey findings uncovered the top two priorities for healthcare marketers in 2024 are increasing awareness for their product or service (26.3%) and reaching a specific audience (22.4%).

Agency Partners Remain a Valuable Investment for Marketers

When asked about their current agency relationship and budget plans, 94.4% of respondents said they are currently working with a PR/marketing agency, with 63.5% planning to either increase or maintain their current investment this year.

Most healthcare marketers (77%) that don’t work with an agency plan to hire one this year, stating that offering PR, integrated marketing and creative services is the most important factor for selecting an agency partner (38.5%). The other top factors include:

  • Industry-specific knowledge: 30.8%
  • Budget/cost/financial model: 15.4%
  • Media relationships/results: 7.7%
  • Big idea generation/creativity: 7.7%

“We’re witnessing a dramatic shift among our healthcare partners toward using a multichannel approach,” said Paul Berthiaume, Senior Vice President of Matter Health. “As healthcare complexities evolve, marketing leaders are leaning on agency partners with specific industry expertise to drive strategic marketing and communications programs across diverse channels – all under one roof. The results of this survey underpin the value that an experienced agency brings to the activation of multichannel programs.” 

Product/Service Awareness and Customer Targeting Top Healthcare Communications Goals

Healthcare marketers noted that their top communications goals this year are:

  • Growing product and/or service awareness: 26.3%
  • Targeting specific customer audiences: 22.4%
  • Becoming a category thought leader: 17.7%
  • Supporting sales: 17.2%
  • Building brand awareness: 16.4%

When asked the top area where they plan to prioritize marketing/communications budgets in 2024, respondents’ number one answer was SEO and SEM (13.4%), followed by:

  • Marketing Operations: 10.4%
  • Content Marketing: 9.9%
  • Media Buying: 9.9%
  • Creative + Design: 8.6%
  • Social Media: 8.6%

Matter’s analysis: Given the complexities and nuances healthcare brands face in growing awareness with their specific audiences, marketing leaders are exploring a diverse mix of tactics to cut through the noise. Supporting program pillars of PR and corporate comms with SEO/SEM and content strategies seems to be a winning formula for many as they look to activate their messages across multiple channels to effectively drive market interest.  

Nearly All Healthcare Marketers are Using AI

The application of AI is on the rise across healthcare, and healthcare marketing is no outlier with 98.4% of respondents currently using AI tools to some extent:

  • 46.6% of respondents often use AI tools for their marketing/communications programs
  • 38.4% sometimes use AI tools for their marketing/communication programs
  • 13.4% rarely use AI tools but plan to increase their use in 2024
  • 1.3% never use AI tools but are planning to explore the value in 2024

For those respondents using AI tools, the marketing areas where they are seeing the greatest benefits are:

  • Content development: 28.5%
  • Identifying trends: 25%
  • Predictive analytics/customer insights: 23.3%
  • Programmatic advertising and media buying: 15.4%
  • Competitor analysis: 6.1%
  • Research: 1.8%

Matter’s analysis: PR and marketing agencies should embrace the use of AI in ways that support – not replace – the deep knowledge, experience, and always-on approach that humans offer. Marketers should not rely on AI to make decisions or take on tasks that demand a human touch, like building strong media relationships, but should consider utilizing the technology to gather critical insights, support creative and strategic problem-solving, and streamline administrative processes.

Members from the Matter Health team are attending upcoming industry events including Swaay.Health from May 6 – 9 and NESHCo’s Annual Meeting taking place May 29 – 31 in Newport, RI. If you plan to attend either or both of those shows, we welcome the opportunity to connect live! Please reach out to us at matterhealth@matternow.com.  

Research Methodology

The 2024 Matter Health Marketing Outlook Survey was fielded by a third-party provider between March 3rd – 8th, 2024. The online survey research collected responses from 232 healthcare CMOs and marketing decision-makers across several sectors including health tech/health IT, medical device, payer, provider, pharma, biotech, consumer health, home care and women’s health.

About Matter Communications

Matter is a Brand Elevation Agency that integrates PR, marketing and creative services into campaigns that inspire action and build value. Founded in 2003, with offices spanning North America, Matter works with the world’s most innovative companies across healthcare, high-technology, consumer technology and consumer markets. For more information, visit https://www.matternow.com.

Contact

Matter Communications

Paul Berthiaume

Senior Vice President, Matter Health

pberthiaume@matternow.com