Health & Wellness Companies Estimated to Spend $400 Million on Consumer Point-of-Care (POC) Communications in 2014
First study of its kind by ZS sizes the fast-growing POC marketing channel
EVANSTON, Ill. — Dec. 2, 2014 – Health and wellness companies, including pharmaceutical firms, see increasing opportunity in doctors' offices, pharmacies and hospitals – also known as the point-of-care (POC) channel – to reach and engage with patients primed to receive information about their health. In turn, many have made significant investments in their POC strategies.
This is a primary takeaway from the 2014 Point-of-Care Research Study by global sales and marketing consultancy ZS. The study found that consumer-facing POC marketing spend in the U.S. has increased 10 percent year-over-year since 2010 and is expected to reach $400 million by the end of 2014.
POC refers to sponsored education and marketing materials available for patients and caregivers in health care venues – from televisions and digital screens in waiting rooms and brochures at pharmacy counters to wallboards and tablets in hospital settings.
Conducted by ZS and sponsored in part by the Point of Care Communication Council (PoC3), this study – based on interviews and secondary research – was designed to estimate the current size and potential for growth in the POC channel.
According to ZS estimates, investments in POC marketing have grown eight times faster than overall direct-to-consumer (DTC) spending since 2010. Currently, about 87 percent of the total POC market spend comes from pharmaceutical companies (general and over-the-counter). Other companies that leverage POC channels include biopharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and consumer-packaged goods companies that sell health-oriented products.
"More and more of our pharmaceutical clients consider POC promotions essential to their integrated marketing campaigns," said Hensley Evans, principal at ZS and leader of the firm's patient consumer marketing practice. "Reduced investments in sales forces and an increased focus on targeting the patient are some key drivers of the industry's greater investments in POC communications. Consolidation of POC marketing vendors has also helped marketers achieve scale with their POC investments in recent years."
The ZS study provides an independent view of the size, growth, best practices and power of the POC channel, according to Christine Franklin, executive director at PoC3. "For the first time, there is a consolidated view of this channel, which will further the adoption of POC communication and how it helps improve patient health care outcomes."
Health care industry leans on the POC channel
A key takeaway from the study is that as patients and caregivers visit POC venues more frequently today than ever – and spend more time waiting in these venues – they are eager to consume the various educational materials at their disposal. In fact, POC has the reach and scale to connect with a large number of patients when they are most focused on their health.
"The POC waiting room is a pivotal place and time for consumer exposure to health care information and branded materials. When patients and caregivers trust the source and absorb these materials, they are likely to bring that information into (and ultimately influence the direction of) their treatment discussions with a physician," said Evans.
Several factors will continue to drive growth in POC spending, which ZS expects to exceed $500 million within the next two to four years. These include new technological innovations that further expand the reach and scale of POC channels, health care industry changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act and spread of Accountable Care Organizations, a growing POC audience (which will include baby boomers) and a continuing decline in the size of the pharmaceutical sales force.
In that vein, ZS advises pharmaceutical companies to be prepared for what's ahead by leveraging POC in their marketing programs wisely.
"POC marketing is different than many other marketing channels because it must address the evolving needs of many patients who are at different POC venues multiple times throughout the course of their treatment journey. An effective strategy begins with taking a patient perspective of the experience. When marketers map out where their patients go and their thought process and behavioral patterns along the way, they can tailor marketing messages accordingly and effectively," said Evans.
To learn more about the 2014 Point-of-Care Research Study, download a copy of the study's findings here.
ZS is a global leader in sales and marketing consulting, outsourcing, technology and software. For more than 30 years, ZS has helped companies across a range of industries get the most out of their sales and marketing organizations. From 21 offices around the world, ZS experts use analytics and deep expertise to help companies make smart decisions quickly and cost effectively. ZS comprises multiple affiliated legal entities. Learn more at: www.zsassociates.com.
About the Point of Care Communication Council (PoC3)
Founded in 2013, the Point of Care Communication Council (PoC3), represents healthcare media and information service companies at the Point of Care (POC), including physician office, hospital and pharmacy venues. On behalf of its members, the association advocates for the effective use of the POC channel to advance health and healthcare outcomes.