Last 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.