The Nigerian healthcare industry is divided into different segments, including health and fitness, skincare, digestive & internal remedies, vitamins & minerals, cold & cough remedies, analgesics, accident and emergency and incontinence. While healthcare is very conservative and highly regulated for patients’ safety, there has been increasing importance on Advertising and marketing for public health advocacy and the promotion of pharmaceutical products for the general good.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, an AHIP study shows that pharmaceutical companies spend 37% more money on sales and marketing than on research and development of new drugs. Also, as part of PwC value creation levers for the Healthcare sector in 2023, microtargeting, omnichannel orchestration, automation and digital experience came third on the list to show the importance of marketing. Overall, advertising spend in Nigeria’s health and fitness sector reached US$3.65m in 2022 with big players such as i-Fitness Gym, Clinix Healthcare and LifeCare Partners Limited. The importance of advertising and marketing cannot be overstated, especially during a major health crisis, such as HIV/AIDs, Ebola, Lassa fever and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important in shaping people’s perception of public health, as it is usually influenced by environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic factors.
Healthcare marketing, over the years, has proven to be an effective tool for changing people’s perceptions of public health because of its wide, heterogenous and persuasive nature. Although, healthcare advertising campaigns can be designed to target specific groups of people, such as those at risk of a particular disease or those who are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors. An example is the promotion of cigarettes, “ Smokers are Liable To Die Young campaign.” This campaign is an example of a public health campaign targeted at smokers and their loved ones.
There are different ways that both the public and private sector can promote their products, services and public announcements, including their customer experience, content marketing, SEO optimization, social media marketing and advertising. While the pharmaceutical companies, such as May & Baker Nigeria Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc and Emzor Pharmaceuticals wants to sell their medicines, antibiotics and all, the government and public health advocacy seeks to improve the health of communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention, and detection and control of infectious diseases. Given the importance of public health as a crucial component of our communities, changing people’s perceptions of public health helps to ensure effective integration.
Healthcare advertising is well devised and deployed for there to be awareness about public health policies which will then alter the perceptions people have of public health. This is important so as to motivate people to change behaviors.
Several brands in the Nigerian market have implemented healthcare advertising campaigns that have helped to change people’s perceptions of public health.
For example, Lonart has done quite a number of TV commercials. One of the most famous commercials was about a Court case between the State vs Malaria. This was aired in the three main tribes in Nigeria. The campaign was major to encourage people to take action as soon as possible towards malaria- one of the most important public health problems worldwide that has led to the cause of morbidity and mortality in African countries where young children and pregnant women are most affected. Their different campaigns cut across to some West African countries as real people are seen talking about malaria or taking action against it.
Also, during the Covid -19 pandemic that happened in 2019/2020, several brands launched a “save a life” campaign that was highly successful as it was known that people stayed indoors during the pandemic to save the lives of their loved ones.
Healthcare advertising in Nigeria has, to some extent, helped change people’s perceptions of public health through communicating important health messages and a high increase in awareness of the importance of public health while encouraging people to take action to protect themselves and their communities. Successful health policy advertising campaigns, such as those mentioned above, have shown that advertising can be a powerful tool in altering perceptions and reducing the burden of public health diseases.
There are different ways that PANDORA can help both the public and private sectors promote their products, services and public announcements, including their customer experience, content marketing, SEO optimisation, social media marketing and advertising. Which will improve the health of communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention, and detection and control of infectious diseases.