Andrea Frassoni, Editorial Contributor, PharmaLeaders
It’s time to bid goodbye to ad bidding and Programmatic Marketing. The quest for impressions is wasting healthcare marketers’ time and money.
Today’s savvy marketing professionals are developing a multi-channel approach to lead generation with Predictive Behavioral Targeting as the secret ingredient for success.
The Problem with Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising has certainly moved the world of healthcare marketing forward beyond traditional media buys with the ability to automate much of the ad buying process (and thereby allowing more time to optimize and improve ads).
However, this approach still leaves marketers struggling for views and lacking essential performance metrics to truly gauge effectiveness. Its advantage is automating online ad buys, but the result is ultimately the same as traditional marketing and the central problem remains – programmatic advertising doesn’t solve it. That is: Marketers must fight for a share of impressions when what’s really wanted is leads!
That fight will continue in 2019. The Magna Global Programmatic Intelligence report estimates that by 2019 programmatic digital marketing will be 50% of all advertising. That means lots more competition and potentially higher cost for the same impression.
Let’s review how programmatic advertising works:
- Step 1: Person browsing the internet clicks on the webpage
- Step 2: The publisher of the page puts up the ad impression for auction
- Step 3: The ad marketplace holds an auction among the advertisers competing for the impression
- Step 4: The advertiser willing to bid the most for the impression wins the right to display their ad
- Step 5: The ad is presented to the person browsing the internet
That’s your impression, end of the road. Of course, marketers hope there’s a Step 6 when the person clicks on the ad and follows actions of desired behavior.
So, there’s a summary of problem one: competing for impressions that may not even convert to leads.
Now, another problem stems from the spread of Programmatic Advertising. As more marketers use this method, the pervasiveness of ad blocker software expands. More consumers are blocking ads for a variety of reasons, and data security is a growing concern.
In short, if a programmatic advertiser spends enough to be the one with a shot to make an impression, there are measures consumers take to block that ad; and if the ad does get views, those consumers seem to have a general distrust and dissatisfaction with that advertiser. The advertisers’ message and offer better be an ideal fit for that person’s interests and align with their immediate reason for being online – or that was significant time and money wasted to have an adverse effect than intended.
As Programmatic Marketing presents more challenges – increased cost, growing competition, lack of results – savvy marketers will become strategic with how they target and reach audiences and evolve their methods to promote user behavior. Dare we suggest… predict user behavior?
The Power of Predicting Behavior
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more of an everyday consumer experience, thanks to the prevalence of voice-powered personal assistants like Alexa and Siri. Rather than lagging behind trends with a resistance to technology, the healthcare industry can instead embrace AI applications and innovative ideas. Marketers can shift the conversation from questionable impressions to quantifiable leads! That is, shift from programmatic advertising to predictive behavioral targeting – or at least, add it to the marketing mix and let the results speak for themselves.
Leaders in life sciences who applied this strategy early have already experience success. For example, they have leveraged the unique ability to identify patients who are currently in the stage of looking for treatment right now, and market only to them.
This increased emphasis on people “in-market” is not a new concept to marketers, however, advancements in technology combined with how people expected to be understood and provided with relevant content when searching online has changed the name of the game!
Pioneering marketers are wasting no time taking advantage of these technologies and businesses in healthcare are already incorporating best practices for hypertargeting into campaigns – and seeing favorable results. To see a scenario in action, consider the visual comparison below.
Google rolled out In-Market Audiences for Search to all U.S. advertisers in June 2018. These audiences are generally more qualified than those found on standard search. A coveted audience, they’re closer to making a purchasing decision, rather than just beginning to research or consider some particular brand.
This type of targeting shows strong potential to change search campaign performance. These highly targeted and curated audiences reflect a smaller share of people searching for certain keywords, but results reveal that they were 162% more likely to click through on a relevant search ad and more than twice as likely to convert on the same ads! (See chart below.)
Better Technology for Better Results
Taking in-market audiences and layering that intelligence with other acquired or captured data allows even deeper understanding of audiences for highly qualified lead generation and optimal campaign performance.
“The technology we utilize to help our clients achieve hyper-targeting to right-fit consumers in real-time is called Predictive Behavioral Targeting or PBT,” says James Miller, President & CEO of Collaborative Marketing Solutions. “It’s a breakthrough in AI marketing and allows us to acquire highly qualified leads from expertly targeted prospects.”
Let’s review how PBT works:
- Step 1: Online searcher enters a term (any browser, any search engine); for example, types “heart disease” in Google search bar
- Step 2: When person activates Search, PBT technology intercepts that query and can map the searcher’s geo/location and run a query against a unique database of millions of online profiles (updated every 7 days)
- Step 3: The person is identified, as is the message and method that will appeal to them to encourage action on the promotion
- Step 4: That person is then served a targeted communication (i.e., ad or offer) via the optimal channel; thanks to AI insights and the data profile, marketers can know the person’s preferred method, whether Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc.
Predictive Behavioral Targeting is a game-changer – Intercepting the query at point of search to instantly present a relevant message to searcher in real-time. This overcomes the top two problems faced with Programmatic Advertising: 1) bidding and competing to be seen (and still potentially ad blocked), and 2) overcoming distrust with a tailored and timely message served via searcher’s preferred method.
See how it’s not about hoping for impressions anymore? PBT gets a marketer’s message seen by a highly targeted audience to generate quality leads.
“We help our clients take advantage of everything PBT can do for lead generation,” explains Miller. “We know it works so we guarantee results. We identify individuals who are in-market, in real-time! As healthcare marketers catch onto this trend, the industry will be wowed – we’re already seeing impressive success in patient education campaigns, physician recruitment programs, consumer product launches, and more. It’s a fantastic approach for truly targeted advertising and message that’s incredibly cost-effective.”
Priorities and Predicting in Healthcare Marketing
As healthcare organizations develop marketing plans and advertising budgets for 2019, there is a new priority on how to recruit and engage targeted audiences more effectively. With the rise of AI and predictive behavioral targeting in particular, the ability to truly understand audiences based on their online behaviors and interests will continue to drive marketing decisions and spend. Organizations in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare will demand better results for every dollar invested in marketing. Many marketing executives now appreciate that impressions are merely potential, whereas leads are actual results.
As Miller explains: “We now help our clients map the patient journey to a well-crafted engagement path. That map’s navigation is based on billions of data points captured about people’s online behavior. Our direction is plotted with AI insights about what message resonates with each individual to prompt action. Ultimately, we allow our clients to stop spending time hoping and stop spending money wishing. We hand them people ready to buy now. That’s really what they want after all!”