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Embracing Programmatic Advertising to Enhance Targeting of HCPs


The precision of programmatic advertising is reshaping the way life sciences brands engage with healthcare professionals, offering enhanced personalization, scale, and optimization in today's digital landscape.

The majority of life sciences brands have embraced digital marketing practices to engage their key target audience, the healthcare professionals (HCPs), through pin-pointed messages. Achieving the same level of targeting through traditional means, where a sales representative is expected to see a physician in person, is not as easy as it may seem. Although a laborious task, it’s still a crucial route forpharma brands. But today, engaging physicians is now done very well via a combination of strategies, with a mix of both in-person and digital initiatives.

Harshit Jain, Founder and Global CEO, Doceree

Harshit Jain, Founder and Global CEO, Doceree

Growing adoption of programmatic technologies

The popularity of programmatic technologies has soared among pharma marketers. Having observed the success of consumer brands in harnessing the programmatic approach, pharma marketers are increasingly leveraging this digital avenue to connect with HCPs

Programmatic advertising is the automated purchase and placement of media, harnessing data analytics to ensure messages reach the intended audience at the most opportune moments.

Advantages of programmatic advertising

Personalizes experience for HCPs

Serving the same message to the entire spectrum of your target HCP audience proves to be a futile attempt with little or no resonance to the information shared. What works well is personalizing the message for each HCP, which programmatic technology makes possible—AI-enabled programmatic platforms help customize marketing campaigns for each HCP, which is not feasible manually.

Leveraging diverse data sets allows for a nuanced understanding of HCP behaviors and preferences. Drawing from these insights, programmatic technology seamlessly directs relevant content to them at optimal moments across the appropriate channels. Programmatic technology facilitates better communication with HCPs, allowing marketers to provide physicians information that suits their individual needs.

For example, in a case in which a pharmaceutical major was struggling to improve script generation due to a fragmented environment without real time insights, personalization marketing tactics proved transformative. Working closely with the company’s marketing team, specific business outcomes were defined. Point of care (POC) channels were selected for inbound communication and the HCP audience was segmented based on criteria aimed at enhancing prescription generation. Business rules were then strategically applied to showcase personalized brand messages to targeted HCPs tailored to their specific actions during clinical consultations. Real-time data allowed the company to decisively adapt their strategy throughout the campaign, yielding a much higher return on investment.

The client was able to gauge digital behaviours of targeted HCPs and serve them messages at moments of highest relevance, prompting physicians to take an appropriate action, especially around the prescription stage. The approach also helped the client activate personalized journeys. The strategy tripled script generation for the product of the client over the course of a six-month campaign.

Enables omnichannel marketing

With programmatic as a foundation, connecting different HCP-frequented channels through omnichannel strategy can be achieved conveniently. This ensures scale as more than one channel is utilized to reach the target audience. As programmatic covers an array of supply-side platforms and ad exchanges compared to traditional media, it allows brand marketers to reach more HCPs while still remaining targeted in its approach. Programmatic makes it easier to reach the target audience by finding HCPs where they are active across channels. Beyond this, marketers can create useful customer journeys, integrating content and channels on the basis of the specific needs of the HCPs.

For example, a top-tier pharma brand in the cardiovascular sector faced challenges when entering a new APAC market where it had no prior footprint. Their goal? To effectively penetrate this fresh territory and connect with local cardiologists. Collaborating closely with their digital and marketing team, it quickly became apparent there was an initial need for heightened market awareness. Using Doceree’s platform, an omnichannel strategy was crafted, harnessing a blend of email, WhatsApp, endemic, and telehealth channels, each tailored with precise contextual and HCP identification capabilities. Across an 8 week campaign, there was a notable surge in engagement with cardiologists, as evidenced by the significant website clicks during the campaign's run.

Optimizes campaigns in real time

To optimize a campaign, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of ad creatives that convert HCPs and the targeting specifications that engage most physicians. Understanding their peak engagement times, preferred channels for brand interactions, and key connection points are equally essential. These insights allow marketers to navigate bottlenecks countered during the tenure of the entire campaign.

However, working with multiple publishers makes it difficult to gather meaningful insights, not to mention the added difficulty of instantaneously analyzing and leveraging them. Programmatic healthcare technology offers marketers the means to access real-time data and fine-tune campaigns on the fly. This proactive approach guarantees enhanced optimization and, crucially, improved results at the close of campaigns.

Provides transparent reporting and measurement

Programmatic technology offers greater transparency, control and improved performance measurement capabilities. By providing access to in-depth analytics like impression trends, audience reach, performance metrics (CTR, eCPM) and engagement metrics (clicks, conversions) and converging all data points at one place, it allows marketers to track performance and optimize ad expenditure. Activating HCP-focused campaigns with programmatic technology provides precise information around performance, allowing healthcare advertisers make data-driven decisions that have remarkable impact on business objectives.

Embrace programmatic

There are many benefits that programmatic advertising offers to healthcare marketers, including precise targeting, improved personalization, greater transparency and control over spends. For advertisers with ambitious growth aspirations, synergizing programmatic technologies in conjunction with traditional marketing methods are indispensable in order to achieve scale.

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