OTC Healthcare Marketing Needs to Go OTW — On the Web
About 61 percent of the growth in over-the-counter sales comes from e-commerce, which is possibly why healthcare marketers are starting to see competitive interest from possible cloud players. This online sales figure comes from research tallied between May 2016 and April 2017 by L2 and is “suggesting a change in consumer behavior and a demand for more robust e-commerce strategies,” reads the announcement about the report released on Wednesday.
“OTC Health Care U.S.: Amazon Performance” notes that OTC products are classified as consumer packaged goods, for the purpose of marketing and sales. But other CPG products are performing far better in e-commerce than OTC items, L2 says. (All OTC goods are in the “challenged” category in terms of going online, with the exception of personal care OTC products, L2 says.)
Ironically, in examining OTC brands’ slow dip into the e-commerce space, L2 studies a stiff OTC product competitor to legacy brands: Amazon.
Amazon, Google and Salesforce are entering online healthcare marketing waters this year.
“Since 2011, large consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms have shed $20 billion in share to smaller, independently owned companies,” reads the report’s executive summary. “Revenues for small CPG brands grew by 3.1 percent in 2016, while sales for large, established players' enterprises declined by 0.5 percent.”
Online sales will soon reach the tipping points that overhauled the music and book industries. L2 says 2020 is that tipping point for health and beauty products.
Here’s what L2 says OTC healthcare marketers need to know in order to succeed on the Web:
Brand Isn’t As Important Online
Searches begin for OTC e-commerce sites based on consumer symptoms, their concerns or their inquiries into ingredients, writes L2. About 31 percent of online searches relate to brands, reads the research.
Best OTC Marketing Options for Large Brands
Index brands fare the poorest in the OTC pain relief category and may be able to benefit by using Amazon Marketing Services, the L2 research says.
Also, they can employ tactics that their competitors may have trouble imitating—subscription campaigns and bells and whistles (in the form of “merchandizing features and fulfillment options.”)
Target Marketing Bonus Option for OTC Marketers
L2 says the “baby care” OTC option of personal care products is going gangbusters. OTC marketers could take a take a look at that product category and emulate it.
What do you think, marketers?
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Related story: Amazon May Join Cloud Race for Healthcare Dollars