Programmatic adoption is rapidly rising, but some healthcare brands are still wary of making the investment. Guidelines put in place by government agencies are confusing, and the uncertainties surrounding patient privacy and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations are blurry. Healthcare brands want to reach the right audience for their services or products, but they don’t want to cross ethical or legal lines by taking audience targeting too far. Healthcare is one of the highest regulated industries and consumer health and medical record information is heavily protected, making it difficult to target the right audience online. Healthcare brands are limited in how they can track healthcare-based journeys, and they are unable to identify and retarget consumers based on known conditions. But the benefits of programmatic are promising. Keep reading to learn how healthcare brands can take on the digital space with confidence.
Why Programmatic? What are the Benefits?
71% of American adults venture online to learn more about healthcare information. By implementing programmatic strategies, healthcare and pharmaceutical brands are able to reach this promising audience quickly and effectively. And with 40% of consumers making healthcare-related decisions based on information found online, programmatic becomes a marketing must-have for healthcare brands. The digital space is where people research answers to questions and concerns about health. If they have a symptom, they look up potential causes. If something feels wrong, Google becomes the all-knowing provider of advice. Reaching these audiences online with targeted, contextually relevant ads (that abide by digital laws and regulations,) healthcare brands can break through the noise and actively engage potential customers. Before you get started, below are three things you should keep in mind if you’re planning to invest in programmatic
- Understand Data Consent: It is essential for brands to acknowledge the NAI’s regulations pertaining to the collection of healthcare data before implementing programmatic strategies. According to the NAI, consumer consent of data collection is mandatory when sources pertain to sensitive health conditions such as mental health, cancer, HIV, AIDS, etc. When it comes to less urgent conditions such as dieting, acne, colds, or allergies, however, data collection consent is no longer necessary.
- Target Based on Interest: Consumers cannot be targeted or retargeted by healthcare brands based on health conditions. But they can be targeted based on their interests in conditions or symptoms. A healthcare brand can use what is known in the form of past content consumed to programmatically deliver ads. Though a brand cannot target someone with a certain disease, condition, or sickness, they can promote offerings to general audiences that are older and search for similar symptoms. These brands may not reach the perfect candidate, but they are increasing the probability of doing so tremendously.
- Target Based on Content: Healthcare ads can be programmatically placed next to related content in the form of blog posts, videos, forums, and so on. The consumers searching for this content cannot be targeted or followed, but the content that reaches the right people can be pursued. Think of an anti-inflammatory drug popping up next to a blog about stomach pain. From there, whitelists can be used by pharma brands to assure that the same programmatic ads refrain from popping up on unreliable sites.
The future of programmatic for healthcare marketing is promising but undoubtedly complex. If you are ready to learn more about how you can leverage programmatic in your brand’s marketing plan, we’re ready to talk. Contact us today to get started!