What Convergent TV Means for the Future of Healthcare Marketing

There’s a $14 billion opportunity at the intersection of healthcare, data, media, and artificial intelligence. And sitting at that intersection is convergent TV, which we believe represents the future of healthcare marketing.

We recently brought together a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and innovators to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by convergent TV. If you missed Innovating with Intent, you can watch the keynotes and panels on demand here.

From landlines to smartphones, from paper to electronic medical records, and from rabbit ears to smart TVs. In its true form, convergence refers to the shift from analog to digital. While it’s been happening all around us for decades, convergence is creating opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry today, especially when it comes to TV.

Streaming Isn’t Becoming the Leading Channel; It Already Is

Viewing habits have long been shifting from linear TV to streaming, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. CTV hit a major milestone in July 2022, when Nielsen reported that streaming viewership surpassed that of linear TV for the first time.

Since then, the gap has only widened. Surveying more than 3,000 patients to better understand their feelings toward pharma advertising on CTV, we found that 59% are streaming more than they were last year. Beyond CTV, free ad-supported television (FAST) is also experiencing explosive growth. According to the Video Advertising Bureau, FAST viewership has increased 47% year-over-year.

These shifts in behaviors have created an abundance of opportunities to reach patients and providers across CTV. The future of healthcare marketing isn’t in streaming; it’s the present. These opportunities are readily available now.

These platforms are only going to keep providing more — and better — opportunities through new content and experiences to reach a deep and diverse pool of healthcare provider (HCP) and patient audiences. The increase in digital health data makes this especially true.

The Future of Healthcare Marketing Calls for Collaboration Around Fragmentation

When we started building DeepIntent seven years ago, we had one focus: build products and technology that connect health data and media, in a privacy-safe way. That worked exceptionally well for digital and programmatic channels.

However, as streaming has grown and technology has evolved, fragmentation has increased proportionally. As a result, CTV advertising today suffers from this fragmentation causing vast inefficiencies in the way campaigns are run. This overarching fragmentation is visible in three main areas:

  • Process: You can stream and access content across countless devices, apps, and platforms. Adding to that, advertisers can also access upfront, scatter, and remnant inventory directly, programmatically, and through resellers.
  • Technology: Any device that is IP-enabled can be measured and targeted. However, business adoption of these tools in TV hasn’t evolved as quickly as the underlying technology. In recent years, this has limited pharma advertisers’ ability to maximize these advancements.
  • People: Our teams, clients, brands, agencies, and even technology companies lack a common language. The linear investment team has its own alphabet soup that’s vastly different from that of a programmatic team, for example.

Thinking about how we solve for this fragmentation as an industry and maximize the value of CTV in the future of healthcare marketing, I believe the only solution is collaboration. How can we collaborate as an industry, as partners — and in some cases, as competitors — to lay the foundation for how we will create and build new solutions on top of that?

Introducing DeepIntent Operating System

Amid the rapid shift in consumer behaviors, our clients and partners need expertise, flexibility, and optionality more than ever. Reflecting on DeepIntent’s place in this emerging marketplace, I realized that the tools and solutions we built were readily transferable to solve the challenges marketers face in CTV.

Importantly, I also realized that they needed these tools wherever they transact — whether that be on DeepIntent’s DSP or through other partners and platforms. Our answer to this need: launching the DeepIntent Operating System (DeepIntent OS).

What became clear to us over the past year was that without pharma-specific expertise and solutions, many CTV platforms and publishers are ill-equipped to capitalize on our industry’s tremendous growth. One of our DSP’s differentiators is its ability to connect health data with media in a privacy-safe way.

DeepIntent OS decouples those capabilities from our leading DSP and installs them smartly into other platforms. Our CTV publisher and platform partners will benefit immediately from access to our suite of audience, measurement, and optimization solutions. This, in turn, helps them drive pharma outcomes such as patient reach, audience quality, and script lift for our mutual marketer clients.

We ran a test with one platform partner and compared the performance of two campaign buys with equal budgets. One was equipped with the capabilities of DeepIntent OS and the other was not. The former delivered 4.2x higher audience quality while verified patient reach increased by more than 2.6x.

Looking the Industry Into the Future of Healthcare Marketing

In the coming weeks, you’ll see several agencies and CTV publishers, and platforms launching solutions powered by DeepIntent. I think of “powered by DeepIntent” similarly to Intel’s “Intel Inside” campaign. Marketers will benefit from the trust and confidence that they are buying something that’s tuned for performance purposefully for healthcare.

Our commitment is to continue innovating at the intersection of healthcare, data, and media. As we saw during the pandemic, health information is one of the most important tools we have in the public health arsenal. As an industry, we had to come together to influence better outcomes by raising awareness of new treatments, trials, and technologies for healthcare.

Healthcare marketers must take every opportunity to connect with patients across the country in meaningful ways. And there’s no better way to do that than on the big screen.

The future of healthcare marketing continues to be bright. And as we continue to push our industry forward, we strive to make it brighter because our core belief has always been that advertising technology can measurably improve patient outcomes.

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