US Pharma & Healthcare Marketers Up Their Digital Ad Spend

October 29, 2020

eMarketer US Healthcare Pharma Digital Ad Spend Forecast Aug2020Last year healthcare advertising spend growth in the US was well above that of total global healthcare ad spend. This year could have a similar trend, with data from eMarketer showing that pharma and healthcare digital ad spend in the US is expected to grow by 14.2% to reach $9.5 billion.

The growth in digital ad spending in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, fueled by the healthcare industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, makes it one of the fastest-growing industries, second only to computing products and consumer electronics, which is set to grow by 18% year-over-year (y-o-y).

Although healthcare and pharma’s 7.1% share of all US digital advertising pales in comparison to Retail (which accounts for 21% of total US digital advertising), it represents more than the Entertainment (5.2%) and Media (4.7%) industries. Its share is also just shy of 3 times more than the Travel industry (2.4%).

The largest share of digital ad spend for healthcare and pharma goes towards mobile advertising (57.5%), which is below the average across all industries, of 68%. As such, pharma and healthcare has a greater skew towards desktop (42.5%) than the total industry average.

Healthcare advertisers will spend some 55.6% of digital spending on search, with 42.4% going towards display, per eMarketer’s estimates. Despite search gaining the largest share of the industry’s digital spend, display is the fastest-growing format, up 15.7% over 2019.

eMarketer also expects healthcare digital ad spend to continue its growth in 2021, with an estimated rise of 18% y-o-y to reach $11.3 billion. That said, it will account for a slightly smaller portion of total digital ad spend (6.9%) in the coming year as other industries rebound at a greater rate.


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