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Key Digital Trends Pharma Marketers Need to Know - ePharma 2016
Key Digital Trends Pharma Marketers Need to Know - ePharma 2016
Key Digital Trends Pharma Marketers Need To Know in 2016
February 29, 2016
Chief Media Officer
We’re a health-centric media firm
that connects brands with
consumers when and where they
will be most receptive to messages
Key Digital Trends Pharma Marketers Need to
A Common Investment Model – 70/20/10
“Tried and True”
• 70% of digital budget
• Tactics you can
measure and track
back to the business
• 20% of digital budget
• Last year’s
contributes to the
business, but less
• 10% of digital budget
• Solid ideas we can’t
figure out how to
measure yet (but will)
First issue with
tactics - Scale
Second issue with
One Approach: Programmatic Contextual
with long tail web
Works well for many
audiences – patient,
HCP, Payor, etc.
Contextual targeting within
Important Things to Remember
Insist on pricing transparency Tease out audience based on
site, complexity of concept
Need contextual/conceptual data Whitelists, whitelists, whitelists
A Different Approach
One Approach: Multichannel
Tag and code assets
properly for easy
indexing by search
plays a big role
Mix channels like
YouTube and VOD
with paid contextual
video and social
Starts with J&J’s blog, but
doesn’t stay there
Multichannel helps drive
Important Things to Remember
Don’t forget SEO and DAO Don’t limit video assets to web
Content assets must employ both
push and pull strategies
Content competes across subject
A Multichannel Approach
What Were We
ways to engage
• A display ad
• A new in-office
What Did We Get?
• Difficult app
room to use only
• Ubiquity, but
difficult to reach
people in a
• Expensive in-
One Approach: Align with Multichannel
apps. Support with
paid media, as well
Pay close attention
and adopt a cross-
Paid Media should amplify
Most DSPs and trading
desks can extend TV
Many can geofence to
Important Things to Remember
Mobile may represent your last
chance to get a message in front
of a patient or HCP prior to the
“Year of Mobile Health Data” is
the new “Year of Mobile.”
Start with target media
All apps need to be supported. If
not, consider a partnership with
an existing app.
Multichannel Consumption Approach
For more information on Underscore,
please contact Brandon Buttrey
Notes de l'éditeur
Opening the eMarketing University today are Lauren Boyer, CEO and Tom Hespos, Founder of Underscore.
Underscore is a health-centric media agency that operates across all forms of media, with a keen eye toward your HCP, Patient and Payor targets and how and when they’re most receptive to messages. But enough about us…
We’re here to relate some expertise today on developments in emerging channels, and talk to you about key trends you need to know. Now, we’re not just talking about the latest shiny object to debut on the eMarketing scene. That’s what the exhibit hall is for. What we’re here to talk about is what some of the new channels promised us we’d be able to do with our marketing, what we actually got, and what we can do with reliability today.
Speaking of shiny objects, we wanted to talk about an investment model that seems to do very well with our clientele. It’s the 70/20/10 model, and you might already be familiar with it. The model encourages experimentation by putting the bulk of your paid media dollars into “Tried and True” tactics – things you know work, and you can track their impact right to your bottom line. On the other end of the spectrum, you’re putting 10% into purely experimental tactics – new things you’ve never tried before and that are a bit less measurable. In the middle, you have “Showing Promise,” which is the 20% you’re investing in what was recently “Experimental,” but was successful for your brand, but needs some work on figuring out its contribution to the business. Today, we’re not going to talk about “Tried and True,” but instead, focus on the other 30 percent – tactics you should be testing and getting a better handle on.
Problem is, healthcare and pharma has a reputation for lagging behind other industries when it comes to implementing new ad tech. As of last year, healthcare & pharma bought only a quarter of its digital ads programmatically, but the rest of U.S. industry buys over half its digital ads that way. Now, before we come down on pharma for its risk-averse ways, part of the reason this number is lower is probably because of the customization our digital ad programs require. We do a lot of custom programs with specialty vendors in the sector. So we have trouble scaling the programs we tend to execute because they require customization. That’s the first problem with testing new things.
The second issue is that new tech and new methods tend to overpromise and underdeliver. It’s 2016, and we’ve been hearing every single year for the past 10 years that “It’s the year of mobile.” Meanwhile, it took until last year for mobile ads to surpass desktop ad spending.
So here’s the pattern. New tactics and new media evolve, there’s a cycle of hype that can potentially last years, and then we end up experimenting with new tactics and finding new and better uses for them. Those new uses might be completely different than what we set out to accomplish, but we land on what works. So the key is figuring out how to drill through the digital hype, do our own testing and keep an open mind.
Take programmatic ad buying, for instance. We’ve been hearing for years that this is the future of buying and selling digital ads. But healthcare and pharma buy only a quarter of their ads this way.
Meanwhile, programmatic buying tech is responsible for the majority of the innovation spending in the digital advertising category. And we were supposed to use the resultant tech to decrease our overhead costs when we bought media, to make the media work harder for us, and to more accurately identify our target audiences, whether they be patients, doctors, payors or whoever. And programmatic was supposed to get us into market earlier and let us be more responsive to our media investments and how they were performing, because you could control the flow of dollars in near-real time.
That’s what we were promised, but what did we really get? I’m sure many of you have seen this slide that describes the players in the programmatic space. And if you haven’t, I won’t be the last to show it to you. We got a convoluted, confusing programmatic ad space. And then there were the very valid concerns that the ads weren’t doing what they were supposed to. We heard a lot about poor viewability, ad fraud, undisclosed markups, ads running where they’re not supposed to, spooky or non-compliant ad targeting, and a lot that might have turned us off to the sector entirely.
But there’s learning in all the hype. Here’s one place we’re chugging forward with programmatic…
Contextual targeting represents an opportunity for most pharma and healthcare brands advertising today. Many of us might be familiar with working with top health publishers to put together programs to reach patients or HCPs that deal with a specific condition or treatment, and the most valuable places to be within those programs are around content that deals with that condition or treatment. But what about the rest of the Internet? What about the cancer patient who isn’t spending all his time researching chemotherapy on WebMD, but instead reaches out to a message board support group in some deep corner of the web? What about the doctor who conducts some of his research outside of the typical journal sites? How do you reach them? Programmatic Contextual is a way to do that without breaking the bank. The idea is to scour the web looking for context and related concepts. You’re not using any data to target beyond what’s available within the content of the Internet’s public pages, so ad targeting doesn’t creep out patients. And you can extend your reach without worrying about a lot of what makes programmatic tough to justify.
To do this, you need an engine that spiders web pages and classifies them according to concept. At Underscore, we have an engine built into our trading desk that does this, but there are plenty of programmatic ad partners you can use in order to buy Programmatic Contextual inventory. It’s important, though, to limit the environments your ad should appear in. We do this with a whitelist approach – pre-approving all potential ad environments. Many others use a blacklist approach that opens them up to fraud or worse. You also have to insist on price transparency by auditing how much you’re paying for ads versus data versus external vendors. And you also need a list of keywords and concepts that relate to the treatment or condition.
With all due respect to the other track, we think Content Marketing is ripe for experimentation as well. Patients and HCPs can’t always be relied on to seek out the information you want to convey, so you often need to put it in front of them yourself. Pharma and healthcare marketers often do this by producing a lot of content assets that live on the website and in other channels. But much of the time, the strategy for getting those assets in front of the right patients or doctors can be an afterthought.
With content marketing, though, healthcare marketers were promised the ability to get patient testimonials, KOL videos and other expensive-to-produce assets in front of the right audiences. In some cases, we were promised a solution to the “viral” challenge.
But what did we get? A not-very-level playing field where long-form content had to compete for attention with things like clickbait. I screenshotted this the other day on a well-known health publisher’s website under an article on AFIB, and its promoting its own content alongside that of advertisers. Picture if your long-form AFIB video had to compete for attention with chicken recipes, or your expensive KOL video had to fight for attention with weight loss videos. What we got with some of the early paid content marketing tactics was an expenditure on assets like videos and patient testimonials, but few reliable or projectable ways to promote them or get them in front of the right people.
But we learned.
Getting assets in front of the right people involves a lot more than “If you build it, they will come.” Healthcare marketers need a multichannel approach – not just paid, owned and earned, but using multiple channels within each. Buying programmatic video ads to tease a longer-form video asset. Ad buys within KOL social communities. Using native ads to get your content into the flow of HCP content consumption streams, Cost Per Engagement networks – these are just some of the tactics used to push engagement with longer-form assets that change minds.
J&J has a number of disease awareness videos that live within its main YouTube channel and its own blog, but the videos don’t stay there for long. A combination of smart tagging and sharing helps them to travel. Bloggers write about the videos, they’re discussed on message boards, wikis, and everywhere else. We don’t have firsthand knowledge of how this campaign was put together, but we do know that we see these videos in a much wider variety of places – and success like that cannot come from owned/earned alone.
You need a multi-channel strategy that leverages not just vehicles where people are searching for things related to your assets. You also need to get it in front of them reliably. Remember that only a small number of people are going to search you out. Everybody else doesn’t even know you’re there, so you need to provide ways they can discover you that leverage paid placement. Also don’t forget that a lot of other digital advertisers want people to discover their content, and they’re not just your direct competitors – they could be advertisers looking to reach a health-minded audience.With everything that we’ve said about relying on paid media, don’t forget to index your assets appropriately, take traffic benchmarks, and measure everything about how you’re being found. Basic SEO is a bare minimum – really, healthcare marketers need to be thinking about digital asset optimization – how to make their content easily found when it leaves spaces they control and goes out into the wild.Finally, be open to different places that videos can exist other than on video-sharing sites and your own website. Consider Roku channels – others that reach your target, or even launching your own. Video On Demand. Content recommendation engines.
Mobile. Let’s talk about some of the hype, and some of what it actually delivers.
What did mobile promise the healthcare marketer? Well, with apps, it promised a more direct and friction-free way to talk to patients and HCPs. It promised a way to get to people who were light consumers of other media and were thus tough to reach. And it promised us a whole host of new in-office possibilities from HCP-specific apps to functionality that could get patients answers inside the doc’s office.
But what did we get? When we made apps, we found them lost in the vast app discovery engines. And then we found that most consumers can only use between 5 and 9 apps regularly. Smartphones and tablets became ubiquitous, but our apps were difficult to find. Those companies that made significant penetration into docs’ offices sewed it up pretty well, and thus they were expensive and apt to forge exclusive relationships, sometimes with our competitors.
What did we learn?
We learned we had to support our apps. Once again, “If you build it, they will come” is NOT the approach. Consumers and HCPs can select from thousands of apps, and reserve time to use only a handful very often. So if we’re aiming to speed ad adoption, we can’t rely on organic app discovery. We need to amplify it with paid media in addition to owned and earned. When we’re trying to use mobile to reach light consumers of other media, we need to be able to efficiently and effectively identify people who we’re reaching in other channels, and tailor mobile buys accordingly so that we’re extending reach cost-effectively. We can do that with a reliable cross-screen partner, or one that can process our offline buys to find the people who haven’t been reached by them. And finally, we can supplement what we’re considering for mobile in-office with things like geofenced ads (around the doc’s offices) that can be bought cost-effectively and still reach patients seeing specific specialists.
Some important things to remember about mobile… If we want to use it to reach people we’re not reaching with our other media buys, we need to study their habits exhaustively. At Underscore, we research consumption habits, plans and schedules so that we can identify the people we need to get on mobile and not anywhere else. If we want to engage patients or HCPs with our own app, we can’t leave those apps unsupported and leave our audience to their own discovery process – it doesn’t work unless it’s supported. We need to think of mobile’s role in the doctor’s office and how critical it can be to prompting that doctor conversation. And, looking into the future, we need to follow developments on the part of mobile manufacturers and app developers in the health data space. The hope is that the devices not only carry health data, but help collect it through internal apps or external wearables. And there are likely opportunities to come in that realm.