A focus on the health sector

  • See ’Salary averages by sector’ table in ’Related Files’ to the right
  • Click here to read the cover feature: Marketers show resilience in the face of the squeeze
  • Click here to view a case study on gender issues
  • Click here to view Craig Inglis director of marketing at John Lewis’ viewpoint

If you are a marketing manager looking for a healthy salary, then look no further than the healthcare sector. Marketers who choose this career path stand to make an average of £52,000. That’s £4,200 more than a marketing manager working for a hi-tech brand and a huge £16,400 more than the average income for those toiling in the publishing industry.

One reason why healthcare commands such a premium might be the dynamism of the sector. As Camillo Pane, Reckitt Benckiser’s UK general manager told Marketing Week last November: “Speed is our crucial differentiator.” Getting brands to market quickly has helped the company expand, leading to its acquisition of SSL, the maker of Durex and Scholl.

While marketers might be attracted to more glamorous industries, such as alcohol and automobiles, there is actually a lot of innovation within the healthcare industry, argues Mathew Hart, who until last June was marketing director at Nuffield Health.

Hart was drawn to working for Nuffield because of its “innovative approach”, he says.
His own path into the business was unusual, having been group marketing director at Lastminute.com before holding a joint marketing and commercial role at Cannons Health and Fitness. When that chain of gyms was acquired by the private hospital and healthcare charity he found himself at the centre of a transforming business.

“Nuffield took the decision to try to put
the customer at its heart – that was one of the reasons behind the Cannons Health acquisition – to get further up the food chain,” Hart recalls. Preventative health is easier to market to gym members than patients referred by a GP. “The company decided to get behind the customer and marketing – it hadn’t had a board position for marketing before,” says Hart.

As well as a career opportunity, this evolution opened up new challenges with a strong commercial focus. “I have worked in a few companies where marketing is not viewed as a true business function. But I believe it is at the heart of the business and as a marketer you have to be able to show the return on investment – what the business is going to get back – not just look to pick up awards,” he says.

Healthcare professionals are often thought of as having a vocation, rather than a commercial career. But as Hart’s experience at Nuffield – and the significant salaries on offer for marketers – show, this is a sector that is changing fast.

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