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Top 5 Trends in Physician & Pharma Advertising

It is well-known that pharma is slow to adopt new advertising technologies. This is tied to the slow moving process for advertising approval based on FDA regulations. However, over the last few years, the following techniques are gaining popularity in healthcare advertising.

  1. Mobile – Mobile is the primary new opportunity for advertisers looking to reach HCPs. About 50% of HCP traffic is entering sites on mobile devices and more medical media publishers are offering strictly mobile ad buys.
  2. Programmatic – Programmatic refers to using ad buying software to purchase display ads rather than going through the traditional, manual RFP and insertion order process. Programmatic display has been around for over eight years; Google has offered it inside Adwords. Programmatic is more efficient and less costly than traditional advertising. With new programmatic exchanges, dedicated solely to advertising on medical media sites, programmatic is becoming more palatable for pharmaceutical advertisers.
  3. Physician Authentication and Targeting – Authenticated physician targeting is becoming mainstream as medical publishers identify larger segments of specialty physicians. The primary way that physicians become authenticated is when a publisher drops a cookie on an authenticated physician’s computer. This cookie is then stored in an ad server and ads may be pushed out to the physician on other websites as the ad server recognizes the cookie. Physician authentication is the golden egg for pharma advertisers – reaching physician specialties with ads for specialty drugs.
  4. Social Media Integration – So far, pharma has mostly engaged social media for corporate awareness, educational content, or consumer engagement. Here are a few examples of some realistic social media campaigns that eHS has implemented and have met their metric goals:
    • Twitter chats for both HCPs and consumers to raise awareness of a disease state by engaging them directly in conversation and as a consequence gaining more Twitter followers for the Twitter profiles involved in the chat
    • Facebook paid and organic content to drive both HCPs and consumers to an educational Facebook page
    • Facebook paid campaign to drive HCPs to an educational website where pharma ads are displayed
  5. ROI Measurement – ROI measurement of pharma marketing campaigns has been around for a while; however, it can be expensive. Old school programs like Vizu offer brand awareness measurement by surveying people who were exposed to a marketing message. However, now IMS offers a tool to measure physician exposure and Rx lift on campaigns. Yes, I said, “Rx lift!” But the campaign has to be big, really big because the analytics can run $75-$100K and up. So it’s only practical for campaigns of $300K and up, and even then the ROI analytics may be 25% of your costs. If the campaign isn’t big enough, the sample size is too small for statistical accuracy and the expense too large for smaller ad buys. However, look for pricing to come down as IMS competitors get into the ad campaign ROI measurement sphere.

Interested in any of these technologies? eHealthcare Solutions can help your campaigns with cutting edge solutions. Contact eHS today.

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