You’ve probably spent hours searching for the latest stats on healthcare marketing. We know the feeling. It’s hard to find a single source that has all the stats you need, in one place, with no fluff or filler.
That’s why we created this list of healthcare marketing statistics. We took care to curate only the most relevant, up-to-date information, so you can get back to doing what you do best—working your magic!
These statistics are great for sharing with colleagues or clients too: they’re easy to read and understand, and they make their point clearly and concisely. They’re also a great way to start an email or presentation on any topic related to healthcare marketing.
General Healthcare Marketing Statistics
1. 59% of Americans consider patient reviews to be an important factor when choosing a physician.
Americans love customer reviews, and it turns out that they’re not just shopping for a new pair of shoes or looking for a cool date spot—they’re also using reviews to choose physicians.
Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) Americans consider patient reviews to be important when choosing a physician, according to a new survey.
The survey asked 2137 adult patients about their views on online reviews and how they use them when choosing a doctor. The results showed that 59 percent of respondents considered online reviews to be either very important or somewhat important when making their decision about where to seek treatment.
This is good news for physicians who have been working on an online presence for some time now, as it is becoming increasingly clear that online reviews are becoming an essential part of how patients choose their doctors.
2. The median annual operating budget of hospital marketing departments is $3.1 million.
As the healthcare industry continues to grow, so does the importance of marketing.
But when it comes to marketing, hospitals are up against some pretty stiff competition.
Compared to the $3.1 million annual operating budget of the average hospital’s marketing department, retail healthcare providers like CVS spend more than $100 million on advertising and promotions.
This means that hospitals are spending a tiny fraction of what retailers are investing in their marketing, despite the fact that they are fighting for the same patients and potential customers.
(Digital Commerce 360, MediaRadar)
3. Mobile and digital platforms account for 44% of healthcare marketing costs.
The most recent stats show that 44% of the marketing costs for healthcare products and services are spent on mobile and digital platforms—and that number is only expected to increase. While traditional TV still holds a firm grasp on audiences, with 33% of all advertising dollars going towards that medium, its cost effectiveness seems to no longer justify an investment.
This statistic is significant because it shows how much marketing has changed in recent years. In the past, it was common for businesses that sold products or services through TV ads to spend most of their marketing budget on those ads.
Nowadays, however, businesses have realized that they can get better results from investing in other types of marketing—especially digital and mobile ones—because they offer more flexibility and allow companies to reach more customers at lower costs.
4. The majority of patients (80%) use their smartphones to identify or interact with physicians.
Patients are increasingly turning to their smartphones to help them manage their health. In a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers found that 80% of patients frequently use smartphones, to either identify or interact with physicians.
This means that doctors need to be prepared for patients who are expecting them to have an online presence. It’s also important because it shows how much patients value online access to their doctors, which can affect how they choose providers and how well they follow through on care plans.
5. 77% of clinicians report that patients are accepting of nontraditional care venues.
(PwC Health Research)
This is an important milestone in the evolution of healthcare. Traditionally, the only way to receive healthcare was at a hospital or doctor’s office. Now, with the internet and new technologies, patients have more options for getting their medicine and treatments—and it looks like it’s working!
More than three-quarters of clinicians (77%) of clinicians report that they are satisfied with the quality of care their patients receive at nontraditional care venues.
Patients are getting the care they need, even if it isn’t coming from traditional health care providers.
This is good news for everyone involved in the healthcare system: consumers get more choice in where they get their medicine; doctors have more options for treating patients; and insurers can offer lower premiums because their customers are getting what they need without having to travel far from home.
A new study shows that Americans are increasingly using social media as a tool for health care. The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that 75 percent of Americans use social media to investigate their health condition.
The reasons for this increase are varied: some people find that social media helps them feel less alone in their experience, others are looking for support from other patients or medical professionals, and still others simply want confirmation that they’re on the right track with their treatment plan.
(PwC Health Research)
Healthcare Marketing Through SEO Statistics
The above figure translates to almost 70,000 queries per minute. According to the health professionals working at Google, nearly 7% of all searches are health-related. They include questions about symptoms, conditions, medication, and health insurance.
8. The largest portion of prospective patients, or 57%, use search engines to find general information about hospitals
The stats also show that 29% of them also use the research to evaluate specific features, while 28% compare the offerings of different facilities. A much less significant percentage, or 21%, use search engines to discover new hospitals, and only 16% research the hospitals they already know about.
(Think With Google)
9. 77% of patients say they use search engines to research hospitals before checking into one.
According to a recent survey, most prospective patients use online research to get more information about hospitals.
In addition to search engines, 76% say they look at hospital sites, while 52% also look at health information sites. Only 49% of patients say they get their information on hospitals from their physician’s office, while 34% get it from family, friends, and colleagues.
Finally, 32% of them say they get information on hospitals from TV, 20% from magazines and just 18% get it from newspapers.
(Think With Google)
10. Hospital research takes more than two weeks for 48% of prospective patients.
Moreover, 61% of them say they visited at least two hospital websites before deciding where to check-in. Patients confirm that the hospital’s brand plays a significant role in their decision, as 94% agree that the facility’s reputation is important.
Furthermore, 90% say it is important it accepts their healthcare plan, while 86% believe it is important that their physician recommends the hospital. For another 85%, it is important that the hospital uses the latest technology, while only about 51% consider the recommendation of their friends and family as important.
(Think With Google)
11. Most prospective patients, or 49%, start their search path by searching their conditions/diseases.
In addition, 35% begin their research by looking up their symptoms or departments they want to book. The percentage of patients who start their research by searching for the brands is just 10%, and only 6% start by looking up treatments and procedures.
However, things turn around by the end of their research process, and 48% of prospective patients finish their research by searching for brands.
Moreover, patients who book healthcare services online conduct 15.3 searches on average, while those who don’t only do 4.5 searches.
(Think With Google)
12. 61% of prospective patients search for healthcare services while at home.
However, 27% also say they research while at work, 21% do it while visiting a family member or a friend, and 16% even search while at the doctor’s office.
The statistics further reveal that patients who research on their mobile devices watch more videos related to their research and are more likely to book an appointment. 44% of the mobile researchers schedule appointments, as opposed to the 34% of patients who only use a computer.
(Think With Google)
13. 53% of prospective patients never watched a video about a hospital because they didn’t know such videos exist.
Of those that did watch hospital-related videos, 42% found them on hospital websites, 31% on health insurance information websites, 30% on health information websites, and 29% found them on YouTube.
Furthermore, 64% of patients say they watched such videos to get more information about hospitals, while 56% watched them to better understand complicated treatments and procedures.
Finally, 43% say they watched testimonials from other patients, while 32% watched other content created by patients.
(Think With Google)
14. 53.4% of prospective patients believe that finding a healthcare provider is time-consuming.
Despite all the digital resources available online, more than half of prospective patients believe the research process takes too much time, and 52.6% also believe there is not enough information at their disposal. Additionally, for 48.5% finding a service that accepts their health insurance is difficult, while 41.2% struggle with appointment availability.
There are also 30.8% who say that it is challenging to find healthcare providers in their area, and another 30.3% say it is difficult to find services for the treatment of their specific condition.
15. 38% of patients rely on online search, healthcare directory, or a review website when choosing their primary care provider.
Another 22% rely on the information they find on insurance websites, and 1.4% rely on social media.
In total, 61,4% of patients rely on online resources to find a suitable primary care provider. On the other hand, 30.6% of patients rely on referrals from their close ones or current healthcare providers.
With the 5.8% who rely on the recommendation of their insurance or benefits manager, a total of 36.4% of patients rely on word-of-mouth referrals rather than online resources.
16. 52.5% of patients who use search engines for healthcare research do it by entering the type of doctor they need and adding “near me.”
This type of query is by far the most common way prospective patients use search engines to look up health-related information.
Only 16.6% enter the specific name of the specialist or the provider they want to learn about. In addition, 13.1% of patients enter their condition or needed treatment, and add “near me” in the query. 9.4% look up the name of the facilities they are interested in, and only 6.2% use maps to find the closest hospital or clinic.
17. 50.4% of patients prefer using their laptop/desktop computer to search for healthcare services.
The patients’ preferences are evenly split in this regard, as 48.6% prefer researching their mobile devices. However, only 15% of them use voice assistants to search for healthcare providers.
18. 31.5% of healthcare facilities don’t have a local listing online.
Given that 8.68% of other businesses lack a local listing online, the percentage of healthcare facilities that lack such information is about 3.6 times greater than the average.
To make matters worse, 48% of the listed facilities contain errors in their basic address information, and 29% of them have listed an incorrect phone number.
19. Medical facilities have an online median conversion rate of 3.6%.
The above figure is 1% lower than the online median conversation rate for all industries, which stands at 4.6%.
Alternative treatments have one of the worst conversion rates at only 2.9%, while the general medical facilities are close to the median, with 3.4%. Cosmetic procedures and dental facilities have above the median conversion rates, with 3.8% and 4%, respectively.
Healthcare Marketing Through Reviews Statistics
20. Google is the most likely source of healthcare provider reviews for 48.8% of prospective patients.
Other popular sources include popular websites such as WebMD (32.8%), Yelp (22.8%), and Healthgrades (21.8%). Additionally, 16.8% of patients say they look for healthcare provider reviews on Facebook, while 16.3% say they don’t look for reviews.
21. 83% of patients who already booked appointments say they reviewed the hospital’s website before booking.
In addition, 54% say they were looking at websites of health insurance companies, 50% checked health information sites, and 26% read reviews created by other patients. However, the majority of them, or 56%, booked their appointment on the phone, 23% booked in person, and only 21% booked it online.
After their appointment, 50% of them shared their experience with their close ones, 12% posted about it on social media, and just 6% posted a review on an appropriate website.
(Think With Google)
22. 30.1% of prospective patients always read the online reviews about a healthcare provider they were referred to.
Another 30.5% of patients say they do this frequently, 27.1% do it occasionally, 10% say they do it rarely, and only 2.3% of patients say they never read online reviews.
Statistics further reveal that a rating of four out of five stars is acceptable to the largest portion of patients, or 48.5%. A three-star rating is good enough for 35.5%, while 6.4% only find providers with perfect, five-star ratings acceptable.
23. 71.5% of patients who read online reviews about a healthcare service consider the quality of the review as important.
The factors that decide the quality of the review are the credibility of the source, its helpfulness, and feedback.
Moreover, the doctor’s average rating is considered to be important by 53.3% of patients, and so is the recentness of the latest review, according to 48.2%. Another 44% also consider the total number of reviews, while 26.8% believe the availability of reviews on multiple websites is also important.
24. 62.2% of Baby Boomers say they’ve used the internet to research healthcare services and providers in the last 12 months.
According to the stats, younger generations are more likely to use the internet for this purpose. The data reveals that 75.3% of Millennials + Gen Zers have used the internet to research healthcare services and providers in the last 12 months.
However, the data also reveals that the use of search engines is prevalent across all generations when researching. 84.3% of Baby Boomers and 83.3% of Millennials + Gen Zers rely on search engines, such as Google and Bing, to look up healthcare providers.
Healthcare Marketing Through Paid Advertising Statistics
25. The US healthcare and pharmaceutical industry spent $10.95 billion on digital advertising in 2020.
According to estimations, the industry’s digital ad spending reached $12.22 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $13.63 billion by the end of 2022. Furthermore, future projections predict that the industry will exceed the $15 billion digital marketing expenditures mark by 2023.
26. The average cost per click for paid search advertising in health and fitness is $3.97.
The above figure is slightly above the average cost per click across all industries, which is $3.53. However, statistics show that the average click-through rate on paid search advertising in health and fitness is 5.94%, slightly lower than all industries’ average, which is 6.18%.
In addition, the average cost per lead generated through paid search advertising in this sector is $41.68, also higher than all industries’ average of $41.40.
Finally, the average conversion rate of paid search advertising in health and fitness is 10.39%, considerably higher than all industries’ average of 8.82%.
27. On average, diet and weight loss centers or products spend $2,000 on search ads every month.
Out of all healthcare subcategories, diet and weight loss spends the most money on paid advertising through search ads. This branch also pays the highest average cost per lead at $75.19. However, addiction recovery pays the highest cost per click rate at $7.77.
Interestingly, massage therapy pays the lowest cost per click at $1.73 and the lowest cost per lead at $15.80, but has the highest click-through rate at 8.49%.
28. The average click-through rate on display ads in the health and fitness industry varies between 0.10% and 0.15%.
Just like with search ads, the diet and weight loss branch spends the most money on display ads as well, with $1,000 per month, on average. Fitness and personal trainers pay the highest average cost per click at $6.11, but the highest average cost per lead is paid by hospitals and clinics at $127.74.
In addition, opticians, glasses, and contacts, as well as hearing aids and care facilities, pay the same cost per lead, while all the other healthcare subcategories pay less. Unfortunately, while paying the highest cost per lead, opticians get the lowest click-through rate at only 0.97% from social ads.
The highest click-through rate of 1.90% goes to assisted living, elder, and home care services.
30. The average open rate for healthcare and fitness marketing emails is 21.48%.
In addition, their average click rate is 2.69%. In comparison, the average open rate across all industries is 21.33%, and the average click rate is 2.62%.
This stat shows that the average open and click rates for marketing emails in the healthcare and fitness industry are just above all industries’ average.
31. 43% of all visits to hospital websites are coming from search engines.
Additionally, visitors driven by searches have a slightly higher conversion rate, at 4.4%, than the traffic from other sources, which is 4.2%.
Statistics show that even when prospective patients see a healthcare service ad, 35% of them do more research using search engines before they take any other actions. Only 21% consider the advertised hospital before further research, and just 5% contact the hospital immediately.
(Think With Google)
Healthcare marketing is continuing to evolve as technology becomes more sophisticated and patients become savvier. The industry has come a long way in recent years, but there is still room for improvement.
Healthcare marketing is an essential part of any healthcare organization, and these statistics show that. From the importance of online presence to the power of SEO and content marketing, there are a number of ways to reach your target audience.
Keep these statistics in mind as you plan your next healthcare marketing campaign, and you’ll be on your way to success.
If you need help getting started, or if you want to chat about any of these stats in more detail, we’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!