Alternative Media: Stop, Click, and Listen - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Alternative Media: Stop, Click, and Listen
Flashier rich-media advertisements add flare and functionality to otherwise static ads.


Pharmaceutical Executive


Pharmaceutical brand managers also can embed interactive symptom selectors within an online advertising unit to engage consumers and better educate them on potential conditions and treatments. Symptom selectors allow individuals who think they may be potential candidates for a specific treatment or medication to select from a list—again, within the ad unit—of symptoms they are experiencing.

After data entry is complete, the ad unit provides an assessment based on selected symptoms, and detailed information on potential treatment options. The ad also captures opt-in information, and e-mails the user a copy of his or her assessment to print out and share with a doctor.

Data Mining

Although rich-media ads are typically used to enrich the customer experience and provide an increased level of health-related information, they also provide pharmaceutical brand managers with an innovative tool for increasing brand interaction and acquiring customer data. By including interactive components and data-collection tools in an online advertising campaign, marketers can gather valuable customer information and stimulate brand awareness among their target audiences.

For example, a rich-media ad unit for a new pharmaceutical brand could feature several video segments of potential candidates for a new television commercial. Online users could view each of the proposed commercials—directly from within the ad unit, without having to leave their current online destination—and vote on the commercial they like best.

At the end of this campaign, pharmaceutical brand managers have not only gained a clearer indication of which commercials resonate with their target audiences, but also created an increased level of brand awareness and interaction among the desired patients.

Data-collection tools, such as registration data, contact details, and information requests, provide pharma brand managers with another means to generate leads. Data-collection fields are defined as standard HTML forms, so they are as easy to design as the data-collection fields on any standard Web site. Online users fill out the form elements within a panel on the online ad and submit the information to a server-hosted submission script to process the data.

As a result, pharmaceutical brand teams receive valuable customer data and actionable leads, while consumers receive greater information in the form of hard copy brochures/education kits, or discounts on products.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

As pharmaceutical brands shift to an online state of mind, they need to engage users in ways that foster longer brand-interaction times and deliver content-rich experiences. Rich-media advertising addresses these needs and allows brands to extend the reach of their campaigns both online and off.

Ultimately, the end goal in all pharmaceutical-related advertising is to educate the consumer and positively improve compliance and adherence. Rich-media ads allow for a non-intrusive, fully interactive brand experience that ultimately leads to a more informed doctor–patient dialogue and empowers consumers to take a more active and educated role in their healthcare.

Chris Saridakis is CEO of PointRoll. He can be reached at


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