Right Place, Right Time: How Health Care and Wellness Companies are Capitalizing on the Rapidly Growing Point of Care Communication Channel

Hensley Evans, Aaron Mitchell, Jinan Martini & Pragati Anand

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Point of care (POC) communications, a historically small piece of the consumer-facing communications mix for health and wellness vendors in the U.S.1 represents a growing opportunity for brands to reach patients and caregivers in settings where they are especially focused on their health and wellness: at the doctor’s office, pharmacy and hospital.

According to our new study2, changes in the health-care market, technological advances, consolidation among POC vendors, the emphasis on patient outcomes and the increasing importance of preventive care and patient adherence are driving the POC channel to become a more important part of integrated marketing strategies. Based on qualitative research, ZS estimates that consumer-focused POC marketing investment has grown 10% annually since 2010 — nearly eight times the growth of direct-to-consumer marketing spending overall — to reach $400 million this year. To succeed in POC, marketers need to design POC-specific strategies that consider the patient experience; select, create, and adapt content to the channel; track and measure its impact; and integrate POC messages with their overall DTC promotional and patient communication strategies.

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1. Health and wellness vendors are a group led by pharmaceutical manufacturers, but also include over-the-counter medicine companies, pharmacies, health plans, and consumer packaged goods companies selling health-oriented items.

2. ZS Associates conducted research for this study sponsored in part by the Point of Care Communication Council (PoC3). This study reflects the independent findings of ZS. ZS, a global leader in sales and marketing consulting, outsourcing, technology and software, is not a member of PoC3. For the purposes of this study, we focused on consumer-facing point of care communications and have excluded communications focused primarily on health-care professionals.