Great news! Your new therapy has secured a positive formulary position. It’s been approved for a number of insurance plans, and it's expected to deliver good results at a reasonable cost.
But now, how do you let healthcare professionals (HCPs) and their patients—healthcare consumers (HCCs)—know about it? How can you best achieve an excellent formulary pull-through?
You could spread your news with TV ads. You could buy some ads in consumer magazines, or try for media coverage in professional publications. In each situation, however, at best you could only hope that the right people see your message.
Or you could very precisely target the HCPs and HCCs who are most likely to use your product, reaching them at the point of care, just when they are likely to have a conversation about patients' healthcare needs and make a decision on medications. And you could reach them where they already spend a lot of time: on their phones.
This approach to geo-targeted mobile advertising is a proven way to connect with both HCP and HCC audiences, according to Aptus Health: hyper-targeted, hyper-relevant, hyper-local campaigns that are also hyper-effective for health and lifestyle companies.
High-Value Point-of-Care Messaging
It starts with identifying the locations where people are most likely to be making health-related decisions. Drawing on a database of socioeconomic demographics, physician practice patterns and prescribing behavior, preferred insurance plans and consumer purchasing patterns, as well as proprietary data, analysts at Tomorrow Networks (a division of Aptus Health) select the doctors' offices, pharmacies and other locations where it appears there is a high concentration of HCPs and HCCs who would be interested in a particular therapy.
They can pinpoint, for example, the offices of respiratory physicians who have a substantial number of patients who are covered by an insurance plan that now favors your new asthma therapy. They can pinpoint the pharmacies where many of these kinds of prescriptions are filled. And, they can pinpoint other locations where your target HCCs are likely to be found when they are thinking about their health, such as the local gym or grocery store.
"We're hyper-restricting the locations where we run a campaign," explains Patrick Aysseh, president of Tomorrow Networks. "And we have information and insights about those respiratory doctors' offices relative to the universe of respiratory specialists, and to the nation as a whole. This lets us figure out the areas that are most important to our clients—those precise locations where we can get the message in front of the right audience, and where we are likely to have the highest chance of success."
Once the locations are selected, Tomorrow Networks delivers targeted mobile ads to devices that enter a pre-determined radius surrounding each location, known as the "geo-dome." The ads purposely are not limited to healthcare media; they are placed in a variety of popular consumer apps, such as news, weather, sports, music and brain-games.
So picture Mary, who has an appointment to talk with her doctor about her asthma treatment plan. While in the doctor's waiting room, she's using her phone to catch up on the news. Because she opted into the news app's location service, her phone is detected as being in the geo-dome. As she scans the news, the app delivers an ad that's relevant to her, describing the benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs of your asthma medication based on her health coverage…potentially leading Mary to ask her doctor about it when they meet just a few minutes later. The ad also acts as a brand reminder, prompting Mary to do some further research when she returns home.
Mary's doctor, meanwhile, has also been interacting with your relevant HCP content through similar mobile ads, as well as email and other targeted digital content provided by Aptus Health. Through these channels, he recently learned that your asthma drug is included in Mary’s health insurance formulary and could save her some money, compared to other options.
The end result: precisely when Mary and her doctor are likely to discuss her asthma treatment plan, they are both aware of the cost and clinical benefits posed by your medication and can have a meaningful conversation about it.
"What's unique to our approach is that we're entirely focused on healthcare audiences," says Aysseh. "This means that not only are we able to engage with healthcare consumers with information that is likely relevant to their care – we're also able to engage their HCPs with coordinated, complementary messages that ultimately support better decision making."
Rigorously Measured Results
Unlike other campaigns that tend to measure the success of a program based on impressions and digital engagements, these programs are designed to measure what really matters to pharma marketers: the number of new prescriptions written. For example, a campaign for an antidepressant that targeted approximately 5,000 geo-domed locations resulted in a 4.8% new-to-brand lift among core campaign targets, while a campaign for a prescription gastrointestinal medication targeting 38,000 doctors’ offices led to a 4.5% increase in new prescriptions.
In this age of vigilance about online privacy, Aysseh notes that these mobile campaigns do not identify individuals through their phones, so their privacy is protected. The consumer apps that carry the ads allow for location sharing, but they do not share any personally identifiable information. With this approach, individuals can choose whether they want to provide their location upfront when using specific applications, and/or use their devices to manage their privacy preferences—giving them full control over whether they receive customized ads through this medium and method.
Trends in Spend and Usage Continues Shift to Mobile
Mobile technology, of course, is continuing to dominate the media and advertising landscapes. Nearly everyone carries a mobile phone, and to reach their customers, pharma and healthcare companies are expected to spend more than $3 billion on digital advertising in 2019, according to a report by eMarketer. That number is expected to continue to rise, while TV advertising spend, not surprisingly, is on the decline.
And with about 85% of time spent on mobile devices spent in apps, this approach presents a terrific opportunity for pharma marketers to engage their audiences through hyper-local, contextually relevant ads—when and where they are in a place that's conducive to making health-related decisions. With these data-driven and privacy-protecting campaigns, it’s clear that unexpected value is waiting for you—and your target audiences—on the mobile devices we all carry with us.