How to Improve Your Pharma TV Advertising ROI

Advertising with linear TV is expensive, but it can be even more costly for pharma brands. A lack of user-level data can translate to higher costs per verified patient (CPVP), while added fees for pharma-specific measurement can impact your return on investment (ROI). Healthcare agencies work to reduce some of these costs through strategic buying opportunities, like the upfronts. However, as more consumers engage with streaming content, healthcare marketers are embracing connected TV (CTV) to get the most out of their TV spend.

This year’s upfronts offered a choice between two types of CTV deals: direct and programmatic guaranteed (PG). Discover which deals can maximize your pharma TV advertising investment, especially when combined with a healthcare DSP.

Direct vs. PG Deals

Of the two CTV deals offered at the upfronts, one is the clear winner in terms of delivering a higher ROI for pharma brands.

First, let’s take a look at direct deals, which are programmed, targeted, delivered, and measured by the broadcaster, streamer, or publisher. This often means that pharma-specific measurements—like verified patients, new prescription starts, or 1:1 HCPs reached—come at an extra cost. Additionally, while direct deals include the most popular TV shows and live events, they may not always be aligned with a pharma brand’s target audience, resulting in a higher cost-per-verified patient (CPVP).

Things change a bit with PG deals. The seller guarantees a specific number of impressions on certain properties or genres within particular time periods. While the publisher controls when the pharma ad will show and to whom, the ad is served by the brand’s demand side platform (DSP). This allows the DSP to add substantial value to the CTV media purchase.

In particular, a healthcare DSP can use metrics like verified patients, HCP visits, script performance, and more to add pharma-specific measurement to your CTV buys—at no additional cost. Since pharma brands typically spend money across dozens of PG deals annually, measurement savings can amount to millions of dollars.

The DSP can also provide holistic path-to-prescription measurement. For example, when serving programmatic guaranteed ads, the DSP’s identity graph can connect those exposures to other campaign exposures throughout the year. This helps enable holistic user journey tracking, improved attribution, and greater personalization. In turn, your omnichannel strategy becomes more efficient and transparent.

Additionally, a DSP with access to automatic content recognition (ACR) data can provide linear and CTV overlap analyses. These are high-value insights into viewership patterns and ad performance across different mediums. And they’ll inform your future upfront negotiations and inventory selection.

The #1 Way to Maximize Your Upfront Buy

The decisions you make in the weeks following upfront season are crucial for ensuring you get the best return on your pharma TV advertising investment. When selecting PG deals, ask that they run on your brand’s primary DSP. Also, ensure that DSP is purpose-built for pharma with the ability to measure and optimize toward KPIs like audience quality (AQ), script performance, and more.

Want to learn more about the benefits of CTV advertising for pharma? Here are three examples of how CTV can improve your ROI.

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