Omnichannel Healthcare Marketing, Data Privacy, CTV: The Stars of Digital Pharma East 2022

We’re back from another year at Digital Pharma East as the event’s proud marquee sponsor. Between a well-received product announcement and another great party, our latest trip to Philadelphia was a smashing success. But of course, the content was the protagonist of the event and there were particularly great insights around omnichannel healthcare marketing, data privacy, and connected TV (CTV).

“Omnichannel” was the buzziest word of the conference, while many marketers didn’t fully agree on its definition.  

Our Founder and CEO Chris Paquette pointed out that we still have a lot of work to do around educating the industry about what privacy is.

“Keeping up to date with current privacy regulations, both state and federal, we’re responsible for educating our team,” he said. “That goes for the way we design technology as well as what’s right for the consumer.”

Throughout the week, I spoke with many pharma marketing leaders, all of whom plan to “exponentially” increase their CTV investment. That’s no surprise as CTV is a crucial part of the omnichannel healthcare marketing mix and continues to grow in popularity with consumers and advertisers alike.

Let’s take a closer look at the three main themes from this year’s Digital Pharma East.

What Is Omnichannel Healthcare Marketing?

For healthcare marketers to have an omnichannel approach, they must first understand what that entails — and what it means for their brand. Crystal Bullard, Director of HCP Strategy and Execution at Genentech Neuroscience, defines omnichannel as “a two-way communication between you and the customer across channels.”

Marketers can achieve this most effectively by integrating their data ecosystems. When it’s connected, data is far more actionable.

“Data is very cut and dry. You have to humanize it. Define a business problem you want to solve as opposed to looking at all the data and then deciding what you want to do with it,” said Steven Xie, Director of Omnichannel Marketing at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals. For example, Nurtec OTD treats and prevents migraines, commonly triggered by barometric pressure change. The brand leverages weather data to deliver relevant messages for those who may be researching treatments, such as deploying YouTube ads 72 hours before a storm.

Another benefit of omnichannel healthcare marketing is the ability to coordinate media for integrated healthcare provider (HCP) and patient campaigns. When HCPs and patients are exposed to the same messaging, both parties are informed, facilitating more open, bi-directional conversations. We’ve found that this improves both script lift and patient outcomes.

How would that work? Say a sales rep has a meeting with an HCP. “We want to use that data to trigger the right message,” explained Carrie Craigmyle, our SVP of Strategy and Client Services. “And then if a patient is coming into the doctor’s office, they have eligibility data. It’s all about data consistency.”

The Data Privacy Dilemma

Health data represents an estimated 30% of the total data produced globally each year, roughly translating to the storage capacity of 230 billion iPhones. As that data increasingly moves online, it becomes easier for marketers to deliver valuable, relevant information to HCPs and patients. During his presentation, Frank Lin, VP and GM at IQVIA, said that they’re “here to build bridges, not walls.”

However, making the most of data for omnichannel healthcare marketing campaigns is easier said than done. The ecosystem is fragmented and privacy is more important than ever with new regulations on the horizon. At the same time, privacy is more complex than ever.

During his panel discussion, Paquette pointed out that our data privacy education needs to extend to patients. They don’t always understand that sharing data can be beneficial to them. Learning about conditions and treatment options through relevant advertising can vastly improve their health journeys.

Surveying patients on three separate occasions, we’ve found that relevant ads often serve as a catalyst for conversations with HCPs. According to recent research from PatientPoint, 47% of patients said that educational materials about conditions help alleviate the anxiety and stress they feel before meeting with doctors.

Paquette noted that as we enter the cookieless future, we’re missing a holistic discussion on the right way to move forward. “What we’re missing is a holistic discussion about the right way to address this problem. Addressability is not going to go away,” he said. It’s going to improve. Now you’re going to have an ID that’s more persistent but also tied to a consumer choice. When cookies go away, that ability to target, measure, and serve ads: We don’t see that as a totally different approach.”

CTV in the Omnichannel Healthcare Marketing Mix

Inherently cookieless, CTV enables healthcare marketers to deliver relevant ads with many targeting options that are both data-driven and privacy-safe. Though pharma has traditionally favored linear TV, which accounted for 70% of last year’s ad spend, all signs point to CTV being the future (and dare I say it the present!) of pharma advertising.

With improved targeting and measurement, CTV works harder and smarter. Analyzing its performance earlier this year, we found that CTV delivered 82% higher on-target reach and 50% higher audience quality. CTV is a critical component of the marketing mix. However, rather than replacing linear TV, CTV works well as part of omnichannel healthcare marketing campaigns.

“TV’s role is not changing. It’s still a massive awareness driver while CTV is that little engine that’s growing,” said Lauren Sacks, Director of Omnichannel Marketing at Nurtec, while presenting the case study.

Want to learn more about CTV? Click here to download Seeing TV Differently: A 101 Guide for Pharma Marketers.

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