Since our Voice of the Healthcare Industry Market Outlook report in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single member of the healthcare community, both personally and professionally – and at every level of the supply chain, from manufacture to bedside care.
Manufacters, agents, dealers and distributors
Among the manufacturer, agents, dealers, and distributors sector, two thirds of respondents reported that they are now looking to expand the range of products they offer within their current market (66%) over entering new markets with the same product range (29%) or other strategies (5%). This is particularly true for companies with an export rate of below 50%.
Of the companies surveyed with a higher export rate (more than 50%), however, almost half see entering new markets as their strategy for growth. In Africa and the GCC, the strategy of expanding product range within current markets is even more prominent, at 75% and 77% respectively. Trade exhibitions were identified by this sector (and particularly manufacturers) as the main focus for driving new leads at 51%, over social marketing, email marketing, content marketing, digital advertising, society events, digital directories or print advertising.
However, the importance of trade exhibitions has reduced slightly from 59% in December 2019. Email marketing in particular has seen a high increase in focus, from 25% in December 2019 to 34% in May 2021.
Content marketing, social media, digital advertising, and digital directories have also seen an increase in focus, while society events and print advertising have dropped in focus slightly for driving new leads.
Trade exhibitions are particularly important for companies with higher export rates. This lead generation activity is especially important to manufacturers, agents, dealers and distributors based in Europe, with 69% of respondents choosing this over other activities.
Interestingly, the GCC region places more importance on digital directories than other regions at 27% – high above social media (15%), digital advertising (15%), society events (12%) and print advertising (19%).
Clinics & medical practices, private hospitals & public hospitals
When asked about the most important factor in ensuring a satisfactory patient experience, opinion came down firmly on understanding the patient’s needs. 45% chose this over other aspects, representing an increase from 39% in 2019.
These healthcare providers were also asked about attracting patients by location. The trend is clearly towards attracting local patients, with three quarters of the respondents stating they were very or extremely interested.
This compares to 54-58% that responded with the same levels of interest in attracting international patients from neighbouring countries or other regions.
When asked about the strategies deployed in response to the pandemic, the most prominent activity carried out by governments and healthcare regulators has been a nationwide vaccination programme, followed by quarantine measures, PCR testing, mask wearing and contact tracing technology.
Only 33% placed restrictions on domestic travel, and even fewer made border closures or carried out sterilisation of streets and public spaces.
About the report
The Voice of the Healthcare Industry Market Outlook 2021 survey was designed by Informa Markets to understand the impact that the pandemic has had on four key areas of the industry: manufacturers and agents, dealers and distributors; clinics and medical practices; private hospitals and public hospitals; government and health regulators; and charities, non-profits and NGOs.
Through GRS Research & Strategy Middle East we asked 1,600 respondents worldwide about the financial and operational impact of the events brought by the pandemic.
The survey also looked to assess how the industry has responded to the pandemic, and how key players have evolved their business strategy. We also asked participants to reflect on how the future will look, and what key trends they are now anticipating.