As healthcare marketers, it’s essential to stay current on the strategies that have the potential to increase our effectiveness in reaching our optimal audiences. Hypertargeting is one such strategy.  It is transforming the way that pharma companies market by tapping into more defined patient populations, thereby becoming more focused on a specific audience’s interests, concerns, and questions.

Like many marketing concepts, hypertargeting is evolving and can be applied in a variety of ways. In our own company’s experience, the road to hypertargeting involved 1) getting access to increasingly more robust data, and 2) more importantly, being able to activate it in real-world marketing.

In the early 2000s, our targeting model was straightforward. We provided clients with the ability to place their brand message in the pharmacy aisle near related OTC products in a location we knew patients would frequent as they searched for symptom relief. This technique proved successful for campaigns ranging from disease awareness to new product launch.

Over time, our targeting toolkit expanded significantly due to the specialized pharmacy data we were able to access through our retailer partnerships. This information was used to help pharma marketers channel their brand’s messages to relevant consumers in aisles beyond the “related OTC” concept. Next, we added store traffic and transactions to the mix, followed by an analysis of the media characteristics (demographics, health attitudes) for each aisle. Using an enhanced data-driven approach gave us the capacity to optimize media placement.

Today as we move to digital delivery and access to new data sources, including medical claims-based insights, our services fully exemplify the hypertargeting model of reaching more precise audiences. As we learned, hypertargeting is not just about collecting amazing data. It’s about the ability to integrate diverse data into a coherent targeting strategy.

Hypertargeting uses marketing dollars more efficiently by communicating with people who are most likely to benefit from a specific medication. This approach differs from the ones that cast a broader net, likely reaching the uninterested and unmotivated. In today’s data-directed market, simply blasting the brand message as far and wide as possible is no longer prudent.


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