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5 ways to get the most out of health care and pharma programmatic advertising in 2023

Every innovation or product in the health care and pharmaceutical industry involves hypotheses, data, and samples — so why should their advertising models be any different? This is where programmatic advertising — the automated buying and selling of ads using data across digital media — can come in. Given that an estimated $17.79 billion dollars of digital ad spend are planned for the health care and pharma industry in the U.S. alone in 2023, we talked to industry experts and came up with five recommendations for how marketers can make the most of their programmatic investments on The Trade Desk.

Take a 360-degree view

“In 2023, it’s time to improve how we leverage the 'right time' and 'right message' aspects of biddable media while increasing programmatic Connected TV’s share of the media mix. Specifically, advertisers need to gain both a greater understanding as well as control of the sequential delivery of their ads across biddable formats. This will improve biddable media’s effectiveness and increase the likelihood of it delivering advertisers’ KPIs. Some advertisers have seen the benefits of this approach but it’s time we made it ubiquitous.”

Greg Dreifus
Senior VP of Programmatic
CMI Media Group

Prioritize transparency

“In the past decade, pharma marketing has seen a shift from contextual buying to addressable audience buying due to the availability of privacy-compliant health data. Brands are striving to meet their consumers through hyper-personalized targeting and messaging efforts. While the strong returns on ad spend are enticing, how can health care marketers build on this personalized model without sacrificing privacy that could ultimately hurt a brand? The industry must put a stronger emphasis on transparency around methodology in all facets of the ecosystem. Personalization is important, but we must remember that the integrity of data and consumer trust are imperative to maintaining long-term success.”

Francis D’Hondt
VP of Health and Wellness
and Tara Nanda
Director of Addressable Strategy

Consider audience and identity

“The demand for an omnichannel media mix combined with the impending deprecation of third-party cookies has accelerated the need for identity-based audience targeting. In the context of patient marketing, modeled audiences must be used to retain privacy; against this backdrop, multiple solutions are coming into the marketplace, many of which use the same data and methodologies. Brands need to give thought to their desired audience and what partners can help bring those goals to life. Similar to considerations made in a channel mix, an audience model mix gives brands the best opportunity to target potential patients effectively.”

Ray Rosti
Chief Digital Officer
Publicis Health Media

Take a precise approach to targeting

“Traditionally, health care professionals (HCP) and direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing have functioned in silos, with patients targeted based on demographic or behavioral data, while HCPs are identified by prescription volume and specialty data. The result is wasted budgets, disjointed messaging, and a substandard script lift. At the end of the day, success relies on a conversation between patient and doctor, so it’s time for health care advertisers to connect the dots between DTC and HCP marketing through real-world data and custom audiences. Highly precise segments will reach the relevant patients and seed an HCP segment in a more efficient and effective way.”

Scott Rines
Chief Revenue Officer

Have control of your data

“Marketers need to buy media with platforms that provide two-way data portability, which means an advertiser’s first-party data signals can be used for optimization, while transparent campaign data can be exported to inform agency or manufacturer-owned measurement frameworks. Targeting and measurement data ownership reduces reliance on third parties, and allows advertisers to create durable infrastructure, regardless of privacy or identifier changes.”

Baron Harper
Senior Director of Global Client Development
The Trade Desk