Patients who start conversations with their doctor are more likely to recall an ad seen at the point-of-care

Patients who initiate discussion with their doctors are more likely to have been exposed to healthcare advertising. Where? It’s no surprise that TV is #1 with a large percentage of initiators saying they saw a healthcare ad on TV, according to the 2013 MARS OTC/DTC Study.  TV still leads in dollars being spent for DTC ads. But the second most mentioned source of healthcare advertising is at point-of-care, in the doctors’ offices. These patients who are discussing their health with their doctors are much more likely than all adults to have been exposed to advertising in the waiting and examination rooms. This might suggest that exposure to point-of-care advertising has an impact on making patients more knowledgeable so they can discuss their ailments and treatment options better with their physicians. Magazines ranked third, narrowly behind doctors’ offices.


Initiators are aware that they saw advertising on TV and in the doctors’ offices however recall varies by the patients condition or ailment.  For many ailments, it’s those ads in the doctors’ offices that are more likely to be fodder for a conversation with their doctors than the TV ads. Those suffering from bipolar disorder, gout, diabetes, ADD, allergies and severe pain are much more likely to recall seeing an ad at point-of-care than on television.

Point-of-care information gives consumers that last opportunity before going in to see the doctor, or for some that first look, to gather more information about health and treatment options. And consumers most definitely value information found in their doctors’ offices.

More adults indicated that, as a source of healthcare information, they value POC media (magazines, TV programs, ads, brochures, pamphlets and wallboards founds in offices) ahead of traditional media (magazine articles, TV programs, radio programs and newspaper articles).

Taking that one step further, we found that those who discuss their health with their doctors value the media that’s available at point-of-care. Almost 3 out of 5 said they value media in doctors’ offices and 80% of them are action takers; that is, after being exposed to healthcare advertising they took some kind of action. What kind of action? They are much more likely to discuss ads with either their doctor or close one like a friend or relative, they react to direct response vehicles, they go online to do some additional research at a pharma company’s site and they are likely to switch to another brand (either prescription or over-the-counter).

For more insights on how consumers react to point-of-care media, download this deck.

Kantar Media’s MARS OTC/DTC Study helps agencies, marketers and media make better healthcare media and marketing decisions. It ties multimedia consumption to medical ailments, pharma brands, attitudes and opinions about healthcare and many other data points. A large sample of about 20,000 respondents provides stable and reliable information across categories and brands. Gain insights into category and product usage for 500+ OTC and Rx remedies, detailed information for 70 health conditions, including treatment options and much more.

Search article