Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing is a complex landscape. A long-standing emphasis on in-person rep sales and difficult to navigate privacy laws have made the industry slower to adopt new marketing technologies and trends relative to other industries.
Coegi created this guide to help healthcare and pharma marketers feel empowered to break the mold of antiquated marketing practices.
Creating A Clear Digital Roadmap For Your Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategy
This playbook aims to debunk the uncertainty surrounding health and pharma marketing. We outline best practices and provide a clear roadmap for your healthcare brand to create best-in-class marketing strategies.
What You’ll Learn:
- How to leverage key trends affecting the industry
- Targeting methods for reaching patients and HCPs
- Most effective channels and strategic tactics for health advertising
- How to set KPIs, measure campaign results, and impact your bottom line
- What steps to take to ensure compliant advertising
- Best practices to improve healthcare marketing strategies
Why Digital Marketing Is Critical For Healthcare Advertisers
The healthcare industry as a whole is pivoting towards data-driven strategies. Events, provider education, and patient treatment itself have now shifted from in-person to blended online channels. Omni-channel advertising strategies work in tandem with consumer preferences moving towards digital treatment options such as tele-health to supplement more traditional healthcare.
Ready To Level Up Your Healthcare And Pharmaceutical Marketing?
Download the Digital Guide to Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing now. If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us to set up a discovery call.
A Disrupted Ecosystem Leads to New Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing Opportunities
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated a large shift toward digital technologies in the healthcare landscape. For example, the acceptance of telehealth practice rose to 71% post-pandemic, despite very low adoption prior. As AI tools and telemedicine create efficiencies and digitize patient and healthcare provider communications, marketing efforts need to follow a similar trajectory.
Similarly, visitation restrictions forced greater reliance on marketing channels rather than one-to-one sales meetings. This provides a massive opportunity for healthcare and pharma marketers to adapt and create a competitive advantage.
How to Build Successful Patient Relationships
Patient-centric healthcare and pharmaceutical brands must gain loyalty through consumer relationships. Loyalty is at a historic low while openness to change and preference for convenience are soaring. 62% of consumers expected their preferred brand for healthcare to change post-pandemic. Additionally, 80% of patients said they’d switch providers solely for “convenience factors”.
Marketing strategies must be customer-centric to capture loyalty. In today’s healthcare ecosystem, that requires leaning into omnichannel, digital strategies and leading with empathy.
Patient Targeting Strategies for Health & Pharma Brands
Despite the challenge of compliance and data privacy laws, brands still have a variety of ways to target patients by using first and third-party data as well as machine learning to identify and segment consumers who are receptive to healthcare advertising or are actively researching treatment options.
Local & Geo-Targeting
Hospital systems and healthcare practices should lean heavily into local targeting to reach their core audiences. These campaigns can drive location visits, but should also increase awareness and education. 1 in 4 people surveyed said they do not know enough about local health systems to make an informed choice.
With data partners, pharmaceutical brands can target programmatic buys to specific zip codes that over-index for a particular condition. Using anonymous provider prescription data, data can be matched to zip codes with the highest lift in specific prescriptions. You can even map it to these households via IP addresses. This enables omnichannel online targeting to reach healthcare consumers through display, video, native, and social media channels.
Use third-party data providers to access unique healthcare segments. This anonymous data is not subject to some of the strict HIPAA guidelines, as it cannot be tied to PII. This allows you to reach your relevant audience at scale without media waste.
Interest Group Targeting
Interest targeting is a great way to reach patients as well as families and caregivers who are also interested in a specific condition or topic. This expands reach to the key decision-makers in the healthcare process. Data providers often define “interest” by what content consumers are reading online.
By placing small pieces of code on a website, known as pixels, brands can retarget website visitors with programmatic ads. You can also build lookalike audiences to expand the retargeting pool. In instances where the topic or condition is considered sensitive, lean on the other tactics above to reach your key audiences.
Key Channels for Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketers to Reach Patient Audiences
Local and Paid Search
Search engine is often the first touchpoint in the patient journey as they begin researching a symptom or diagnosis. Establish your brand as a resource with relevant, helpful content through both paid and organic search.
Local search is impactful when patients are looking for a nearby healthcare location. Providers should have mobile-optimized websites, complete Google business profiles, customer reviews, and relevant content for local optimization.
Use the power of social media to build brand trust and authenticity. These platforms are a great way to reach patients in a more personal environment where they are active daily.
Most social platforms offer demographic, interest and behavioral targeting parameters. There is also an emerging trend of HCPs becoming popular creators on channels like YouTube, Twitter and TikTok. This organic influencer content can be highly effective, especially if you amplify it through paid social.
Today, patients of all ages are consuming media digitally and using mobile devices to find healthcare information. In 2020, display was the fastest-growing format for healthcare and pharma ad spend. Mobile optimization is a key adaptation for advertisers moving forward. Over 80% of smartphone-using patients use them to identify or interact with physicians.
Contextual display targeting places ads next to relevant, trustworthy content when consumers are in the appropriate mindset. This can be done with keyword matching for specific web content or by running PMPs on specific healthcare publications.
Native ads match readers’ interests with relevant content and generate higher brand engagement. You can repurpose high-performing social ad content and target these ads to the audience segments of the campaign. Match these ads with contextually relevant articles to align with health content that would demonstrate how your brand or facility could best serve that individual.
Video Ads capture user attention on sites or social media channels with engaging motion and sound based messaging. Use quality video to:
- Show brand personality and bring messaging to life
- Show your product/service in action
- Optimize for mobile placements
Television streaming times are soaring. This is especially true for the 55+ age range, a core healthcare demographic, who also make up the highest proportion of CTV viewers.
The high-impact video content and addressability of CTV ensure ads reach relevant audiences. Using specific healthcare patient and provider audiences on CTV buys reaches high-value, addressable segments. Cross-channel integration platforms can ensure you reach the right audience with the appropriate frequency, thus optimizing omnichannel strategies.
“CTV is an untapped space eliminating barriers from a cost-to-market perspective. TV is now an accessible market for pharmaceutical players.”Colin Duft, Coegi Account Strategy Director
Measuring Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing Campaign Results
Using Full-Funnel Media Metrics
To measure campaign performance, it’s critical to understand how all your KPIs work together. We start by building a custom measurement framework factoring in multiple KPIs correlated to core business goals. Think outside the box of typical stats such as CTR, CPM and CPC to find more meaningful ways to track and attribute success.
When media metrics do not answer your business questions, consider adding advanced measurement tactics. These data points will provide a more robust view of overall performance and marketing’s impact on your true business goals.
Advanced Measurement Tactics for Healthcare Brands
Healthcare brands with physical locations may find it difficult to measure the effects of digital marketing on in-person traffic. Medical device and pharmaceutical brands can likewise struggle to measure the results of in-person sales teams plus both on and offline marketing. In these instances, advanced measurement studies can help provide answers and display incremental lift in brand awareness, sales, or traffic.
- Foot traffic lift studies can be highly informative for hospitals or retail health brands. They provide online to offline attribution for campaigns aiming to drive consumers into physical locations. They use mobile location data to quantify the impact of media campaigns on incremental increase in visitation.
- Brand lift studies can be effective for pharmaceutical brands to measure KPIs such as brand favorability, brand affinity, or ad recall. These can gauge success for omnichannel campaigns on branding goals.
Starting a Conversation with HCPs: Strategic Targeting, Channels & Measurement
Ad Targeting for Healthcare Providers
Healthcare providers are relatively easier to target than patient segments. There is publicly available information and fewer privacy restrictions. However, there are occasionally some challenges with achieving scale as well as higher costs. Regardless, brands can reach HCPs across the wide range of content they consume to increase opportunities for engagement.
National Provider IDs are personal identifiers for specific healthcare providers including their practice location and specialty. Utilizing this data set via demand-side platforms allows for compliant, 1:1 HCP targeting across multiple channels and devices.
Brands can also use NPI numbers to target relevant practice locations for particular physicians or specialties. By targeting a geo-radius around POC locations with high volumes of particular diagnoses or treatment types, you can remain compliant while also reaching your target audience.
Re-engage previous HCP website visitors with highly relevant creative. This tactic helps build consideration, with the ultimate intent to continue engaging based on prior actions.
Contextual targeting tools can look at categories, keywords, and tags on web pages to deliver highly relevant programmatic content. At Coegi, we map these to the National Library of Medicine MeSH Taxonomy to ensure the most relevant terminology is applied to our digital media.
Rx and Dx Targeting
Through data partnerships, brands can target NPI numbers of providers who prescribe certain prescription codes. Likewise, brands can target by diagnosis using ICD-10 codes to find their core provider audience.
Key Digital Marketing Channels to Reach Healthcare Providers
Reach healthcare providers on the key sites they visit for the latest trends and best practices in their field. These endemic sites are a more premium placement due to higher prices and lower supply.
HCP Network: Doximity
Doximity is the leading social networking site specifically for healthcare providers. There are various ad placement options including sponsored content or in-feed ads. This can be a particularly helpful channel for new or emerging brands. It’s a great tool to educate and inform physicians about a new product offering.
Social media advertising helps reach HCPs outside of their professional environment. Use data providers to access ailment clusters and physician databases available for targeting on social and search.
Display is the fastest-growing ad format in healthcare and pharma. Programmatic ads allow healthcare marketers to promote relevant information to HCPs outside the limitations of endemic websites. Also, banner display ads provide an easy format to drive traffic to specific website landing pages.
Similar to patients, practitioners also rely heavily on online resources to find new techniques, products, and information relevant to their practice. Outside of medical journal websites, providers prefer to receive communication from companies via search engines.
Measuring HCP Marketing Campaign Results
At Coegi, we firmly believe all campaign spend can be accurately measured. When advertising to HCPs, the one-to-one addressability of some tactics allows for clearly traceable marketing ROI. However, other tactics can have less direct attribution toward objectives.
In these instances, advanced measurement studies can help provide answers, explore correlations, and display incremental lift in metrics such as brand awareness, brand affinity and sales lift.
Advanced Measurement Tactics
Brand lift studies can gauge success for omnichannel campaigns on brand-based goals. Awareness surveys with key practitioner groups can inform how a brand is perceived and the level of recognition or ad recall achieved within a target audience.
Ready to level up your healthcare advertising? Schedule a discovery call with our business strategy team to get started today.
Marketing measurement is one of the greatest challenges for modern advertisers. In particular, brands have an uphill battle to face when proving full-funnel marketing ROI across a variety of digital and physical channels. We’re here to change that.
Coegi takes a unique approach to marketing measurement and campaign learnings centered around reaching core business objectives. This is the focus of every digital media strategy and campaign we execute.
In This Playbook, You’ll Learn How To Succeed In Marketing Measurement With Five Simple Steps:
- Identify desired business outcomes
- Determining the key performance indicators to signal success
- Evaluating incrementality
- Creating a cycle of testing and learning
- Using data storytelling for better insights.
Using these steps, you can ensure clear strategy and efficiencies in any marketing campaign. This is your guide to calculate and prove marketing ROI. Apply these core principles and watch your business transform. Using this approach will allow you to track and communicate meaningful data, no matter how complex your channel strategy may be.
How Can You Prove Marketing ROI?
To prove marketing ROI, you need to focus on aligning quantifiable data points with your overarching business objective. This will look different for every brand, which is why we incorporate custom scorecard models for our clients at Coegi.
By following the five steps outlined in this guide, you can produce clear, measurable results – in other words, return on investment. These steps are crucial to accurately and effectively measure success and progress within online marketing strategies for any brand. Our specialists at Coegi utilize these tactics daily, and optimize results for clients with consistency by consistently implementing this process.
Download the Five Step Guide to Successful Marketing Measurement now to get started on your path towards clearly defined success. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to set up a discovery call with our team.
5 Steps to Successful Marketing Measurement
Step 1: Identify Desired Business Outcomes
The basis for creating strong digital campaigns lies in setting objectives and key results (OKRs). OKRs are a framework used to define measurable goals and track their outcomes. They are a cornerstone for strategic planning in nearly all companies.
You can use this planning process to translate business goals into actionable digital strategies. Without clear OKRs, you run the risk of prioritizing metrics, tactics, and strategies that do not translate to meaningful growth for your company. If that happens, you end up wasting both time and marketing dollars.
To implement this practice, establish and understand the core business goals defined by key stakeholders. This is the centerpiece of your marketing plan. It creates a roadmap for the whole team to clearly understand the brand’s expectations. From there, teams can build a strategic marketing plan to move the needle for the brand.
Step 2: Determine the KPIs to Signal Success
Next, you’ll need to define and implement systems that capture the results of your efforts. Campaigns must start with meaningful measurement across all stages of the customer journey and all channels. Meaningful measurement is tracking the metrics which drive toward core business objectives. These will be your key performance indicators or KPIs.
When determining your KPIs, be cautious of media efficiency metrics. They can be effective for evaluating campaign performance on an operational level. But, they often do not ladder up to holistic business objectives. Direct your focus away from the lowest CPM or CPC, because not all clicks or impressions are created equal.
What can marketers do instead? Focus on what actually indicates success. For instance, how does the metric you are tracking impact your percentage YoY growth or lift in brand awareness? Layering advanced measurement tactics on top of traditional media efficiency metrics can often provide deeper insights.
Step 3: Evaluate Incrementality
Knowing which tactics and channels are helping you reach your KPIs isn’t always easy to determine. Just because your reports show better metrics on Facebook does not mean it is the leading driver of results. A purchase today could have been impacted by an ad served on CTV last week that was reinforced by an influencer on Instagram yesterday.
So how do you attribute marketing tactics to conversions? Focus on testing incrementality:
- Establish a performance baseline
- Adjust one variable at a time
- Track the overall impact
Unlike touch attribution models, this method allows you to see the influence an individual tactic had on the final conversion, no matter where it took place.
Step 4: Create a Test and Learn Cycle
When creating a marketing strategy, it’s critical to start with a learning agenda. Our unique framework helps identify the key questions we can answer to improve upon results.
A learning agenda helps determine which components of a marketing campaign are driving the best outcomes. This could mean a better understanding of your target consumer. Or, it could mean determining which tactics are most effective.
Here are a couple of examples of possible learning agenda hypotheses:
- Moms 25-40 are an audience with untapped potential.
- Our target consumer is more likely to convert on Facebook than on Instagram.
Even if your hypothesis is incorrect, you are better off than you were before. Now you can make adjustments based on your learnings.
Step 5: Use Data Storytelling for Better Insights
The measurement framework and test and learn cycle equips brands with the information needed for data storytelling. The value in data lies in the stories it tells about your audiences, your performance, and your interplay with the external environment.
Look at the underlying narrative running through your data to build a meaningful story arc. Visualize the data so you can easily identify trends and understand performance relative to goals. Consider layering campaign data with macro-level data to see a holistic picture and identify outliers or interesting correlations. Looking at the data from a macro lens helps weave the micro data points into a cohesive story that makes sense to marketers, but also external teams.
Your data story provides an opportunity to connect the dots between how various media channels work together. If done right, it will also show areas that didn’t succeed. Those failures can guide new creative or adjustment of certain tactics and spend reallocation.
Communicating Marketing Measurement Results
We often talk about blending art and science in our marketing strategies – that same concept applies to data analytics. When communicating results to high-level internal stakeholders, qualitative information with direction from quantitative data often speaks volumes, but only if you tell the right story. You want to layer in context, feeling, and understanding – the human emotion and behavior will amplify the data you’ve collected. Knowing the audience and tailoring your story to their unique point of view will ensure the information resonates.
Applying the 5 Steps
This marketing measurement process fuels a data feedback loop, creating an infinite cycle of improvement. It’s never perfect, but by using performance marketing data to tell your brand story, you can ensure it is always evolving. This practice minimizes media waste and allows marketers to make more intentional decisions.
With this guide, you can become a digital hero and produce clear results. Contact Coegi for additional information on how to accurately measure your business objectives.