Programmatic is revolutionising Healthcare advertising
In 2021 the share of global digital advertising using programmatic platforms exceeded 70% for the first time. In the UK and Europe its higher than that, most of the ads we see as consumers in the UK are delivered programmatically to us. Why is this? Well because it’s the most efficient, targeted and effective way for brands to deliver ads and for publishers to publish them. The traditional way of media buyers buying ad placements has gone forever.
However, one or two sectors, notably Pharma brands advertising to HCP’s have been slower to develop programmatically as none of the mainstream programmatic providers have adapted their processes to cater for the specific marketing, privacy and regulatory requirements needed to operate in this market segment.
However, The Digital Peloton, the world’s first global healthcare programmatic operator now offers this solution and has been successfully running digital advertising campaigns around the world for nearly 2 years, for many of the world’s leading pharma brands.
The results have been clear:
- HCP engagement has increased significantly with measures such as ctr (click-through rate) increasing by over 50% above traditional direct booked campaigns over the lifetime of a campaign.
- Costs of HCP engagement have reduced as a result of the improved campaign performance driven by the machine learning technology embedded within programmatic engines.
- Speed to market has improved dramatically due to the use of the technology and the way that publishers have embraced programmatic advertising
- Brand and agency teams have more time to focus on campaign performance as the time taken to negotiate space and prices, book adverts and generate reports has been dramatically reduced by the technology and the part played by The Digital Peloton.
As pharma brands re-evaluate the role of the salesforce in a world where HCP’s are increasingly looking for digital engagement due to being time poor and the impact of Covid-19, programmatic advertising can play an important part in the push/pull marketing mix now required to deliver a fully integrated HCP customer experience.
Take control of programmatic
The vital rule for publishers as they make their initial voyage into programmatic is a simple one: maintain as much control as possible.
Over the years, programmatic advertising – for good or worse – has taken a beating (whether it be due to fraudulent monetisation tactics from the supply side, low CPMs from the buy side or even the technology platforms simply not doing what they say on the tin) however pretty much all of this – I argue – derives from publishers historically ceding too much control to mass market programmatic technology platforms (without naming names) who require modes of working which are usually not too beneficial for the publisher in the long term.
This said, the simple things a publisher can seek to do to keep control of their inventory is as follows; keep their data secure, automate where possible (header bidding for example has been useful here), ensure pricing is properly calculated/set + taking generally taking a more analytical approach to monetisation/programmatic in general.
Where it gets more complicated is deciding which technology platforms to work with in terms of working media efficiency (ie where the least value $ for $ or £ for £ is not ceded off to technology platforms that don’t really contribute much or add value to, the efficient process of buying/transacting/trading ads programmatically). I’m speaking here of the additional ad tech costs many of the larger programmatic DSPs/SSPs/exchanges deduct from the working media before it reaches the publisher as a reduced CPM (typically without disclosure to said publisher).
To address what can be done here, let’s look to header bidding.
The standard model of programmatic monetisation of recent years has been to employ the use of a header bidder tool and then seek to plugin as many demand sources (SSPs etc) as possible in order to best maximise on the yield. In terms of managing the yield from an auction to auction perspective, this makes a tonne of sense, however it doesn’t address what should be the primary concern to the publisher i.e. where they are losing value prior to the bid being submitted to their own pub side auction.
To address this, publishers must look to programmatic solutions that cater to their specific inventory and audience type + employ the use of technology that trims the proverbial fat off the programmatic supply chain (reducing the tax burden on the working media before it reaches the publisher).
In Healthcare, The Digital Peloton have recently made strides to address this, employing the use of industry leading technology to remove the tax burden from the healthcare programmatic supply chain. This not only benefits publishers for the reasons stated above but it also provides buyers with a simple entry point to access all the HCP oriented media they need at scale with all the benefits that programmatic provides (audience targeting, algorithmic learning etc, all tailored to healthcare space).
The solution here is Peloton Connect, a header adapter that integrates directly from DSP to publisher header bidder solution (meaning no 3rd party intermediaries tax the transaction process between buyer/seller). This has not only helped tremendously with boosting overall transaction efficiency, reducing potential fraud, ad suitability (per the HCP audience) + addressing free up space for publishers to focus on what should be their primary concerns (UX for smoother user experience, ad render<>fill rates etc) but has also lead to (on average) a 12% boost in revenue potential via programmatic channels (as more working media = CPM value reaches the publisher).
Authored by Greg Ward – Tech Lead at The Digital Peloton
TDP guide to programmatic in healthcare
What is crucial when building a programmatic offering suitable for the pharma industry?
1. Single stack walled garden.
Here are 3 reasons why this is top of our list!
* A private exchange with a select group of health publishers provides assurances to pharma advertisers they are only communicating with HCP’s.
* Greater safety and more transparency is vital in Health prog, and a walled garden means advertisers have full control over where their ads appear, as well as being GDPR compliant.
* Protection of data. A full stack platform (DSP, SSP, DMP) means no data Leakage or proliferation by 3rd Parties!
Additionally, deterministic user data will become more crucial as we head towards a cookieless world . . .
We would like to thank the team at the PM Society for choosing us and really look forward to working with them over the next few months.