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Programmatic Advertising Is Taking Over Display Ads: How Can Life Sciences Companies Benefit?

Programmatic advertising is taking over display ads: How can life sciences companies benefit?

Programmatic advertising is transforming the way businesses get the word out about their products and services. Using software to automate processes like submitting a proposal request and negotiating with a publisher brought greater efficiency to marketing departments and new possibilities for targeting communications at the right audiences. This shift toward drawing on data and advanced algorithms to connect with potential customers has made an especially powerful impact on online display ads.

Organizations are discovering major advantages in a data-driven approach to purchasing online ad space, and life sciences companies should take note. With advanced strategies and reliable data on their side, companies specializing in pharmaceuticals and medical devices can find powerful uses for programmatic advertising in their marketing campaigns.

Programmatic advertising today

“Programmatic advertising is reaching new levels of widespread adoption.”

This year, programmatic advertising is reaching new levels of widespread adoption across many different industries. A forecast from eMarketer projected that 82.5 percent of all U.S. digital display ad purchases will occur through automated channels, with these transactions adding up to $46 billion this year. That’s $10 billion more spending than in 2017, and this trend could be a sign of even bigger things to come: The report predicted that programmatic ad buy will exceed $65 billion by 2020.

As the tools for targeting specific consumers or businesses grow more robust and effective, an increasing number of organizations are seeing the value in a programmatic strategy. By using cookies to determine the demographics of users and analytics to watch for key performance indicators, advertisers can tailor a strategy to capture the attention of potential customers. With algorithms deciding when to make a buy, it’s feasible to keep advertising efforts both on target and under budget.

However, a good programmatic strategy is about more than securing space at a lower cost. Making these efforts successful depends on utilizing extensive, reliable data about the intended audience and monitoring relevant metrics. Advertisers must prioritize quality interactions that move toward conversions, rather than simply racking up clicks.

Digiday suggested that viewability, a metric measuring the impressions a user actually sees, should be a primary focus. Many display ads are placed but never viewed by the intended audience because they don’t scroll to the right point on the page. More specific standards for when ads are considered viewable may be one of the most important developments ahead.

Life sciences firms and programmatic ads

While a wide variety of organizations have embraced the possibilities that come with automating ad purchases, the life sciences industry has been slower to act. The strict rules guarding patient privacy and restricting the use of data have been an obstacle to the adoption of programmatic advertising at firms specializing in medical products. However, there are ways to develop a powerful, data-driven strategy for targeted display ads without running afoul of restrictions laid down in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Advertisers and publishers can develop segmentation by using non-confidential data about users’ interests in particular conditions or symptoms. With careful removal of any identifying information, it’s possible to direct ads toward individuals who may be personally affected by a condition or have loved ones who are. However, life sciences marketers can avoid much of the red tape and extended approval processes from legal departments when they focus on an entirely different audience. Programmatic advertising can be an important tool when making contact with the medical professionals who are involved in purchasing decisions for their practices or institutions.

Programmatic advertising offers new opportunities to get through to audiences.

The data to connect with physicians

As shown by the HealthLink Dimensions Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report for 2018, most doctors and other providers prefer news, product updates and information about educational opportunities via email. Still, when a message is one of many piled up in an inbox, it can be an uphill battle to catch and hold the interest of the recipient. Using other channels to promote medical products, in addition to physician email marketing, can help to form productive relationships and drive sales.

Segmenting messages and getting them to the right audiences at the most opportune time calls for a great deal of information. This is especially true when it comes to marketing to professionals with extremely specialized interests like doctors. To engage healthcare providers and get them started on the path toward a purchase, marketers must base their efforts on accurate, current information.

Any strategy for communicating with medical professionals must begin with a database that includes essential details like email addresses and institutional affiliations. Marketers and salespeople can segment their messaging by taking into account the information from insurance claims, discovering what conditions doctors treat most often and their preferred methods. With advanced business intelligence, life sciences organizations can use emails and display ads to direct providers toward the most relevant educational materials and clinical findings.

When developing a programmatic advertising initiative, marketing and salespeople need to act on information they can count on. Data cleansing assists in generating worthwhile leads, managing relationships and maintaining transparency for compliance purposes. With data append services, marketers can fill in gaps in these vital details and eliminate duplicate entries, building their campaigns with confidence.

Marketing has undergone a major shift with the rise of programmatic advertising. Life sciences companies can find opportunities to boost interest in their products by making the most of the automated tools that are now available. The key to making programmatic display ads part of an effective campaign is using quality data to segment and deliver all communications.

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