Americans today spend more than a quarter of their media time on mobile devices. To engage their target audiences in this new digital space, health and life sciences companies are turning to mobile advertising.
Smart marketers know that it’s not just the medium that matters. It’s the underlying data that makes it possible to deliver a message that resonates and drives action. Targeted, location-based campaigns have the power to capture the attention of consumers and tell a brand’s story at key moments. This approach raises awareness and supports doctor-patient interactions, ultimately leading to better health decisions. It’s happening today on millions of mobile phones around the country, with impressive results.
“A mobile device is not just a piece of technology. It represents a person and an audience segment we try to understand,” said Patrick Aysseh, president of Tomorrow Networks, a division of Aptus Health. “By responsibly using the information we know about these audiences, we can create campaigns designed to reach and engage them with contextually relevant messages, while they are in a location that supports desired health decisions.”
With its powerful set of proprietary data sets and sources, Tomorrow Networks is working with health and life sciences companies to identify the most appropriate audience for healthcare marketers’ brands and serve up information about these therapies, right from within the mobile apps these audiences are already using.
Connecting with consumers in context
Tomorrow Networks delivers brand messages to consumers through popular news, weather, sports and entertainment apps accessed at locations such as a gym, restaurant or supermarket, Aysseh said.
By partnering with Neustar, a global information services provider, Tomorrow Networks gains greater insight into the behaviors and purchasing patterns of consumers to more clearly define a marketer’s message.
For instance, an over-the-counter allergy brand may offer discounts to adults 25 to 54 in a hyper-targeted neighborhood based on sales data and a concentration of key retail partners. Purchasing data would be used to reach people who have a high likelihood of buying nasal sprays and eye drops and live in or travel to cities with high pollen levels. The aim, of course, is to make the experience more relevant at the point of sale.
One such branded campaign developed by Tomorrow Networks performed three times higher than the brand’s digital campaign average, across multiple client-provided key performance indicators.
This is an ideal approach for promoting formulary status, too. When pharma ad campaigns are targeted at a specific location with a high prevalence of a certain medical condition among consumers covered by a particular insurance carrier, the resulting mobile marketing is at least three to five times more successful than for a typical desktop campaign, Aysseh said. Across many campaigns, Tomorrow Networks found that for every dollar spent in a location-based campaign, there was a return of $3 to $6 in increased sales. “The performance in the near term is really good.”
Aysseh stressed that the message has to be very short and precise, whether an awareness message or a brand reminder, and as contextually relevant to the user as possible.
Understanding consumers via their mobile phones
The patterns of media consumption have changed over the past five years, with mobile ad spending nearly tripling. And 2017 is expected to be the first year in which digital ad spending surpasses TV, according to a study released last year by eMarketer.
“Pharma marketers have to adapt to the change in behavior so they don’t miss reaching an opportunity to engage their consumer and healthcare professional audiences,” Aysseh said.
Marketers are finding that TV isn’t what it used to be, he said. There’s fragmentation across hundreds of channels. Having Netflix and On Demand and being able to skip commercials with DVRs has weakened the efficacy of television. Mobile, on the other hand, provides the scale of TV with the surgical precision of mobile.
“Mobile technology encourages a more direct relationship with consumers,” said Scott Bolton, senior director at Neustar, who leads advisory services/market development for healthcare.
Combining the ubiquity and precision of geo-targeted mobile messaging with consumer and health insights is a more efficient, more effective way of ensuring that audiences see and engage with messaging.
Anchor on location, engage through insights
Anonymized audience data provided by Neustar adds to Tomorrow Networks’ own location, health, and historical engagement data.
“We enrich the data [Tomorrow Networks] has on the healthcare side to give them a broader view of the audiences they are trying to reach,” said Brandon Madrid, director of Neustar’s media and ad technology partnerships. For example, audience data can provide Tomorrow Networks with insights on consumer-packaged goods preferences, level of education and demographic data like age and income.
The insights from the data may help marketers to better understand what type of products are consumers in market for? What stores do they shop at? Have they shopped there the past few weeks? Or, the data may satisfy a business interest: Advertisers may want to target ads based on their audience’s decision-making power. “We help to identify devices that belong to that kind of professional,” Madrid said.
Fostering patient-doctor dialogue to improve care
Recent research by Kantar Media showed that consumers who have seen advertising at a pharmacy or doctor’s office are 84% more likely to discuss the ad with a doctor and 82% more likely to consult a pharmacist about the ad. For a doctor, the message may be in the form of an educational video, an email or app.
Such location-based campaigns are a smart move for today’s pharma advertisers, Madrid said. “Consumers are more educated about how data is being used and want better enriched experiences in a technology advanced ecosystem.” Targeted solutions are a way to accomplish that.
With a targeted (and re-targeted) message, marketers can create the most efficient marketing campaign to reach the most people and make ad dollars go as far as they can. “It’s not just about a single impression seen by the user,” said Aysseh. “Pharma marketers can leverage the medium and our approach to retarget consumers over time. This cadence of messages deepens the consumer’s understanding of the brand and helps drive the request with their healthcare professional. Our goal is to spark dialogue between the healthcare professional and the patient and improve the treatment outcomes.”
For more examples of engaging consumers in context, such as sharing important and cost-saving formulary information, visit here.