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Healthcare Digital Marketing: Staffing Outlook

Do you have enough staff and the right skillsets on your team to deliver on your digital marketing objectives?

It’s a question we get asked all the time. What’s the average size team for a healthcare organization like me? And the answer might surprise you.

Every year when we embark on our Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends Survey, we do a deep dive into staffing. From team sizes, to team structure, to top areas for staffing investments, healthcare marketers are hungry for data on how their teams stack up.

Healthcare digital marketing teams

Understanding staffing needs and what skill sets need to be represented on a team are imperative to digital marketing success. It’s important to note as you review this data, respondents were self-selected into the roles of leader, average, and laggard, based on how they responded to the question: “Are you ahead or behind your competitors?” across 21 functional areas including website design, social media, and digital advertising.

Let’s see what this year’s data says and healthcare digital marketing teams – and how it compares to past years.

Average team size

When looking at mean team sizes, leaders have 19 full-time equivalents (FTEs), average organizations have 13 FTEs, and laggards have 8 FTEs. And, while it’s important to note leaders tend to be bigger organizations, these size differences account for only a portion of the differences in team sizes.

bar graph showing variations in team size

This is similar to 2019 results where leaders had the largest teams with 20 FTEs while average organizations reported 11 FTEs, and laggards reporting 9.25 FTEs.

Although bed size isn’t always the most meaningful way to compare organizations, it does give a basis to evaluate team sizes and it was one we used in 2019. Overall, teams had a median size of 3.5 FTEs per 100 beds.

Team structure

For the majority of respondents – 51% – digital marketing is most often integrated into a centralized marketing function. When that doesn’t happen, digital marketing is most likely to be a standalone team (32%) or live on a team that is distributed by facility or region (8%).

That question wasn’t asked in 2019, but we did ask about department ownership. Across all respondents, the person charged with guiding digital marketing tactics most likely lives in the marketing department. Outside of marketing, the percentages vary. Within the C-suite, executives from communications, I.T., and finance can play significant roles.

Top staffing areas for growth

Overall, email and marketing automation and video production have the highest planned net increase in staffing.

However, looking at each unique segment tells a different story. Leaders are investing in digital advertising, digital strategy, mobile app development, and SEO. Average organizations are investing in marketing automation, CRM, intranets, digital strategy, and content marketing. Laggards are focusing on hiring more in the areas of video production, website management, content development, and CRM.

chart showing the net increase and decrease in staffing

The single biggest area of growth for 2019 by a wide margin was digital advertising, followed by digital strategy, video production, content marketing and development, and CRM.

Outsourcing trends

When looking at areas organizations overall are most likely to outsource, web hosting and web development top the list followed by digital advertising and web design. Areas where leaders are more likely to outsource than their average and laggard counterparts include local search or business listing management and content marketing.

In 2019, efforts most likely to be outsourced were digital advertising (including paid social and search), web design, web development, and web hosting. It was also noted in 2019 that leaders tended to outsource more than their average and laggard counterparts in the areas of mobile app development, email or marketing automation, analytics, local search, and business listing management.

Download the full results

Staffing is just a small snippet of the data available in the full report. Download it today and learn more about how digital marketing in healthcare gets done.

If you’re reading this and upset your team is much smaller than your peers, we’d love to help. Many clients use us as an extension of a lean internal marketing team and our subject matter experts will make sure your digital marketing tactics are setting you up for success.

And if you have ideas on survey questions you want included next year or you want to be part of our popular Advisory Board, drop a line to hello@geonetric.com with the subject line, “Digital Marketing Survey.”

Healthcare Digital Marketing: Staffing Outlook