Health marketers see CTV/Streaming and GenAI as top trends, research finds

Connected TV/streaming and generative AI (GenAI) are the priority consumer trends for healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers, new research has found.

Mediaocean’s 2024 Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Advertising Outlook Report, which surveyed leading pharma and healthcare marketing industry professionals, found that 59% viewed CTV/streaming as the most important consumer trend. Health businesses look to be elevating their advertising strategies by delivering engaging commercial messages and innovative ad formats, serving their consumers more personalised content. GenAI (52%) followed closely behind in the poll, demonstrating that the hype around ChatGPT and large language models (LLMs) is still growing and is now being closely followed by advertisers.

The research also explored how GenAI is predominantly being used by healthcare marketers, with data analysis (35%) leading the way, followed by market research (32%). Surprisingly, copywriting (20%) and image generation (12%), both of which are presently capturing consumer interest, lagged a way behind, suggesting that advertisers are unconvinced by the contextual limitations of AI-generated content as opposed to the emotional depth and creativity of the human touch. The result could also reflect the growing scrutiny upon AI-generated content due to regulatory and compliance issues, especially in the pharmaceutical space.

65% of respondents said that they would be increasing ad spend in both social media and digital display, heading a potential wave of investment into nearly all advertising channels. The research revealed strong optimism within the pharma and health industry, forecasting a busy period for marketers. Ad spend into CTV and search are also both forecast to rise heavily, with 60% and 59% of respondents planning more investment respectively. Print media looks set to continue its decline, with 40% saying they were looking to cut back in this channel.

Also, health marketers appear to be concerned about the ‘cookieless future’. Performance marketing (55%) was cited as the most critical capability this year, however the significant presence of measurement & attribution (44%) reflects advertisers worries around cookie deprecation. Third party cookies have long been central to delivering data-driven advertising strategies, however Google’s planned phase-out to limit cross-site tracking will make this significantly more difficult. In its report, Mediaocean highlights first-party data as a key part of the path forward for the industry, calling for advertisers to find and test alternative measurement solutions to prevent important audience segments becoming invisible.

The research also shows that health marketers still believe they suffer from a creative-media gap, with 89% stating that their media and creative processes and technologies were not fully synchronised. Brands who overcome this gap can unlock fantastic growth potential, with improved team workflow, market intelligence and messaging relevance.


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