Finding people who suffer from certain acute conditions isn’t easy. Until recently, healthcare marketers had to cast a wide net through broad reach media to ensure they connected niche audiences with their message. Digital advertising changed the game by facilitating targeting of key audiences, but programmatic has taken this to the next level—empowering marketers to get more specific than ever in delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. Other benefits of programmatic advertising include:

Contextual Relevancy

The goal for brand safety is to protect both the consumer and marketer. Programmatic technology achieves this and works to the brand’s advantage by automatically detecting and avoiding content or contextual factors deemed unacceptable to the brand. This is called contextualization. Contextualization tools scan and filter content on an enormous scale—in real time. Context can be defined by the marketer and can be established based on either positive or negative sentiment. For example, “place my product near” certain content and “I don’t want to be near” other content.

It’s important to note that technology can only work as well as the inputs provided. This means that technology providers must ensure that technology is in place to provide optimal contextualization and targeting, and marketers must choose the right parameters. This combination creates the opportunity for easy execution of highly personalized and effective ad experiences.

Campaign of One

Programmatic also enables customized messaging at different points in time. An example of this is sequential targeting—in which brands can tailor messages to consumers at different stages of a purchase cycle. Healthcare marketers can literally “create a campaign of one”—providing insights an individual consumer might find most useful at each stage during their healthcare journey (e.g., diagnosis, treatment, recovery).

Patient Relationships

Programmatic technology has the ability to piece together insights about the patient’s activity (what is the patient looking for) as well as geographic and other types of information, which could enable healthcare marketers to help patients get the information that is most relevant to them. Let’s say, for example, a patient is looking at new techniques in knee surgery and a hospital is in the area that has been rated as the most innovative hospital for that surgery. This type of information would match a very specific service to a patient looking for that type of service.

Privacy regulations protect consumers. Brand safety measures and contextual filters protect brands. The combination of the two creates an impactful advertising experience—the consumer is happy because they’ve received relevant content and the brand is happy because they connected with their consumer in a meaningful way. Programmatic helps make these types of connections and it is important for healthcare marketers to embrace the advances in advertising technology to capitalize on this evolution and make their message even more impactful.

  • Chris Neuner

    Chris Neuner is executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, at QualityHealth. He is a founder of media agency Greater than One, has served on the executive team of Interactive8 and also started an interactive marketing division at BBDO. Neuner graduated from the University of South Carolina.

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