The Future of Personalization in Health Advertising: Our Top 3 Takeaways from AdLab

In the fast-paced world of health marketing, leaders are on the hunt for innovations that improve their campaigns and patient outcomes. They know that strengthening a campaign means personalizing it. As a marketer, how do you achieve deeper personalization? This week’s AdLab Health Marketing Summit raised some bold ideas—and highlighted the collaboration needed to realize them.

Taking the AdLab stage, DeepIntent Founder and CEO Chris Paquette articulated his vision for next-level personalization in health advertising. He imagines a future shaped by what he terms “N-of-1 marketing.” You’ve probably heard of patient-centricity. N-of-1 marketing supercharges patient-centricity like never before.

It helps health marketing catch up to today’s inspiring advances in personalized medicine, which tailor therapies based on an individual’s genetic code. With an N-of-1 marketing approach, we can be more “specific and prescriptive about the information we deliver to an individual based on a holistic understanding of their needs and health,” said Paquette.

It’s a paradigm shift, empowering us to fine-tune messages to an individual’s unique needs and context. Paquette explained that this isn’t wishful thinking, for “our ability to personalize messaging at scale has drastically improved with technology.” Achieving this vision, though, will be an industry-wide effort.

Bringing together ad tech, healthcare, and pharma luminaries, AdLab was filled with insights about steering our collective trajectory toward N-of-1 personalization and expanded industry horizons. Here are our top three takeaways from the day.

1. We must approach our changing privacy landscape proactively.

In the first discussion of the day, “Life in Three Labs: Balancing Patient Outcomes, Business Goals, and Regulatory Uncertainty,” our panelists agreed: we’re advertising in an unprecedented era. Highlighting “the sheer volume of regulatory matters coming into effect,” Tony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab, noted that seven new regulations have passed in the U.S. alone since last September.

The looming deprecation of third-party cookies poses additional challenges for the future of personalization in health advertising. “Addressability is essential to achieving N-of-1 marketing,” said Yashina Burns, SVP of Privacy and Legal Affairs at DeepIntent. “Our goal is to deliver the best patient outcomes, and we have to focus on addressability to continue doing that.”

Andrew Casale, President and CEO of Index Exchange, advocates for a proactive approach to these coming changes. “Be ready for the tomorrow that’s coming,” he said. And with this advice in mind, Mike Bregman, Chief Activation Officer at Havas, recommends allocating a percent of your budget to testing new solutions, whether AI-powered, cookieless, or clean room technology. “Run more experiments and see what works.”

2. Integrated campaigns will lead our industry forward.

With so much innovation around identity and addressability, experimentation is the name of the game in our constantly changing landscape. To move the needle and improve patient outcomes, we need to experiment with integrated campaigns.

In a conversation moderated by Carrie Craigmyle, SVP of Strategy at DeepIntent, Natalie Mancuso, SVP of Data Partnerships at DeepIntent, and Matt McNally, CEO of Omnicom Health Group, discussed the potential of integrated campaigns to reach healthcare providers (HCPs) and patient audiences in new ways.

According to Craigmyle, it starts with understanding HCPs and using their behaviors as “a seed to build out DTC campaigns.” Providing some additional context, McNally explained that, historically, the “role the consumer played in actual script behavior was paramount.” Today, with the focus shifting toward the clinician, the goal is to better orchestrate communications with both HCP and DTC audiences in mind.

Mancuso’s recommendation? “Test, learn, and scale.” Whether it’s experimenting with segmentation or developing creative differently, “find ways to take advantage of solutions that exist.”

3. We need to work together to make personalization possible.

As Brian Malinowski, EVP of Business Intelligence at Publicis Groupe, said during our third AdLab panel, “Data is the currency of the future.” How so? Personalization hinges on data savvy—and on collaborative ecosystems fostering interoperability between platforms and providers. To realize the vision of N-of-1 marketing, we must invest in partnerships that make this interoperability possible.

In one example, Frank Lin, VP and GM of Digital Media at IQVIA, discussed the importance of transcending conventional vendor-client dynamics. Instead of simply providing a brand with datasets, IQVIA sought to understand the problems the data needed to solve. These efforts helped enhance IQVIA’s reputation from that of a vendor to a true partner.

Partnerships are also essential for navigating the privacy landscape. “In a category that is rife with privacy concerns, how do we get more personalized?” asked Joshua Palau, VP of Performance Media at Pfizer. Acknowledging the value of pharma’s hyper-conservative nature, Malinowski said, “The way a lot of pharmaceutical companies are operating, we do the homework for you. We know the regulations.”

With support and education from these partnerships, more organizations can feel confident about experimenting with new technologies that will enable more personalization.

As we explored ways to navigate regulatory challenges and technological disruptions, one thing became clear: we must dare to dream big. Imagine a landscape where ad tech innovators and pharmaceutical leaders come together as partners and co-creators of a new era in health communication. It’s not just about reaching audiences. It’s about forging connections that resonate personally, driving long-awaited change in healthcare outcomes.

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