The rise and rise of digital budgets
Spending on digital promotional and educational activity will continue to rise while promotional budgets for print decline
The digital revolution is changing the way budgets are allocated and spent by pharma’s commercial and medical functions in 2022 and beyond, according to new research from Reuters Events Pharma and Elsevier.
The resulting report, titled The New Era of HCP Engagement explores how the accelerating changes and fast emerging trends post-Covid in marketing, commercial, sales and medical affairs are affecting and will continue to affect budget and resource allocation in the near future.
It reveals how in the promotional space, digital channels are already leading the way. And commercial spending in digital is set continue to take an ever larger share of promotional budgets as print's share of spending continues to dwindle.
By 2025, spending on digital promotion is expected to increase as a share of total promotional budget from 63% to 78% while spending on print promotion is expected to drop from 35% to only 21%.
Budgets for educational spending in marketing and medical affairs will rise in the next three to four years, and will be led by conference/meeting webcasts spending (66% of respondents expect a budget increase), education platforms (64% say it will increase), CME (59%) and patient education materials (58%).
Increases in promotional budgets in the next three to four years will be the greatest in digital advertising (with 44% expecting increases of 10% or more), followed by virtual meetings and events (where 31% expect 10%+ increases).
When it comes to the most important factors that influence the decision-making processes in promotional activity, respondents overwhelmingly chose quality of content and physicians’ needs (92% and 85% of respondents respectively saw these aspects as very important).
The results show that product, brand and marketing teams retain a high influence on promotional spending, compared with their colleagues in digital. A decisive majority (80%) of respondents see the product / brand marketing function as having high influence, while only slightly more than half (52%) see digital/social media/email marketing specialists as having high influence. Sales, meanwhile comes far behind - with only 28% seeing it has having high influence in promotional spend.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, medical affairs has the largest influence on educational spending (74% say it has high influence) followed by product/brand marketing at 45%.
The survey reveals that online platforms dedicated to providing healthcare professionals with product-specific or disease-related content are now mainstream, with 78% maintaining one.
The top three most important content types respondents identified were: treatment guidelines (chosen by 78%), CME courses and activities (66%), and webinars (68%).
For the full report click here.