Data management programs enabled with technology has completely changed how marketers buy media today. A growing number of companies are embracing technologies that facilitate media transactions in real-some time and in a granular level. Programmatic buying ecosystem reaches the core on this revolution and it has triggered a paradigm shift from medical marketing service buying to targeted ad placements based on user behavior.
Programmatic buying means sale and acquire of media instantly within an automated manner through software and algorithms. Automation is live and accurate to such extent it not merely saves time but in addition improves efficiencies when it comes to ROIs and reaching a audience with laser-guided precision.
While Programmatic buying has not yet yet taken the healthcare domain by storm, a buzz around the topic has begun getting louder in recent years.
Media buying in healthcare quintessentially has become carried out a normal manner through sales teams approaching publishers either offline or online and go using a long process RFQs, negotiations, preparing artworks and specs modifications, purchase indenting, vendor onboarding and in the end releasing payment. And this convoluted process has to undergo prior to the ad is even published. Hence you will discover a lag between purchase intent and actual media release. And that is certainly what Programmatic is useful at solving.
So how does Programmatic buying works and why hasn’t it caught the imaginations of healthcare marketer yet? Let us dig into details.
So how exactly does Programmatic Buying Works? The Programmatic Ecosystem
First, allow us to understand some widely used terms found in the Programmatic Buying world and also just how the Programmatic ecosystem actually works.
When a user clicks a web-based page which includes a marketing space upon it, the publisher from the web page sends a cookie to user’s internet browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Bing… whichever).
What exactly is Cookie: Cookie, in simple terms, is a small data file that may be sent from publisher’s web server to user’s web browser which serves to establish user’s identity
In case an inventory (advertising space on the web site) is available, it triggers a request from publisher’s Ad Server for their Supply Side Platform (SSP) to fill the Ad slot
Concise explanation of SSP: You may think of Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) such as a library or storehouse of Ad Inventories readily available for placing your advertisement. It really is a platform that connects sellers (sites, blogs, directories etc.) with buyers or advertisers who compete against each other for available Ad space.
A number of the popular supply side platforms are AppNexus, PubMatic, AOL or Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
SSP then issues a bid request to Demand Side Platform (DSP). This bid request contains information about the consumer who is going to start to see the Ad like her demographic profile, browsing history, etc. These details helps DSPs to create a well informed decision with regards to a user before you make a bid.
Exactly what is a DSP? : Demand Side Platform or DSP, as they are referred in programmatic world, is actually a doorway to purchase advertising space within an automated fashion. Imagine DSPs as advertiser’s gatekeepers who matches inventories with buyer’s marketing objectives. DSPs make bidding decision for a buyer after evaluating parameters like publisher’s profile, ad placement, a floor price of available impression, etc.).
A number of better-known DSPs include DoubleClick Bid Manager by Google, AdMission, MediaMath etc.
In accordance with the algorithm, DSPs assesses inventories to find out how valuable the impression is and if you should participate in the auction with respect to an advertiser. If DSP decides to sign up in bid auction, it sends a bid response straight back to SSP
SSP gathers all bid responses and picks a success based on the second-price auction, this means, the one who bids slightly over the second highest bidder.
SSP notifies winning DSP along with the DSP, therefore, sends Ad serving code to SSP. Finally, SSP passes on Ad serving code to user’s browser and renders the Ad. The Ad is then served as well as other content on a web page.
And all these steps transpire with a lightning speed at the back end as the page loads!
Forms of Programmatic Buying
Programmatic Buying, as you may know now, is automated buying of ad space on a website. There are fundamentally 2 kinds of programmatic buying based on if the ad space or inventory is bought through auction (Auction based) or if you are paying a set rate towards the publisher (fixed price).
Open auction: This will depend on real-time auction-based bidding. Most prevalent of all the programmatic buying
Invitation-only auction: This too is auction-based but bidding is restricted to decide on advertisers selected by way of a publisher. More premium inventory sold at the higher price. Some publishers give ‘first look’ advantage to some advertisers before ad space is seen to others
Unreserved fixed rate: Price is prefixed but no ad space is placed aside in advance
Automated guaranteed or Programmatic premium: It is really an automated procedure of buying guaranteed ad space that doesn’t involve an auction, in which the cost is prefixed and impressions are guaranteed. Generally, this sort is most premium of all types.
Scope of Programmatic Buying in Healthcare
Programmatic marketing has not yet taken medical industry by storm yet by any stretch of your imagination, especially so in India. Although this marketing phenomenon is discussed in marketing conferences and agency boardrooms but its role remains restricted to lexicons and concept as opposed to on actual spending of advertising dollars. Out of your global spending of USD 22 Bn on Programmatic buying in 2015, spending in India had been a mere USD 25 M making it just above 1% share (Source: Media Global report cited in eMarketer )
By 2018, it’s projected that the health care industry will spend $2.2 billion on digital media. With roughly 40% of all media buys being programmatic, healthcare marketers use a great opportunity on their hands. Not merely is programmatic the brand new buzzword, however it is estimated that 70% of media buys is going to be programmatic in 2016. That’s significant growth over 2 yrs.
Healthcare media buying in India remains predominantly carried out by traditional spray-and-pray, at best loosely targeted media campaigns involving humans (read- sales team) that negotiate with publishers or media agencies to buy ad space or inventory. Programmatic buying, however, allows precision and previously unthought-of granularity to reach target customers with better engagement and minimize costs. Permit me to present some real life scenarios to bring home the impact of Programmatic Buying dental advertising.
Imagine you happen to be visiting nearby pharmacy store to buy sugar control medication after doing some online search about medicines dosage and adverse reactions. Suddenly your smartphone buzzes. Curious to find out, you look at your inbox and discover email message inviting you to definitely take a free diabetes check-up at the Clinic merely a block away from where you are.
Almost scary, isn’t it! Well, this is what Programmatic is capable of doing. It reaches your predefined customers or audience in the right moment by using a right message. And all of such a thing happens in milliseconds in an automated fashion, due to footprints, or say Cookies, you left while searching the net.
Programmatic buying has evolved the approach from rendering same advertising message to countless customers to creating an exclusive message for individual customers depending on her need right then of energy. A evidence of concept for this might be how health care insurance could be bought utilizing a Programmatic platform.
As you were renewing medical insurance policy online to your parents, an advert banner flashed across your laptop screen proclaiming to provide better coverage with add-ons at the lesser premium. The content is very timely and apt that you may not resist but clicking the ad. It feels that ‘someone’ is following your foot trails online. It turns out there is definitely ‘someone’ that follow users to deliver messages that happen to be very apt and timely.
In a way, data analytics will be the lifeblood of automated buying. Although a tremendous level of data is gathered inside the healthcare industry, as an illustration, a hospital, almost no of it is commonly used effectively to create effective data-driven strategy.
First party data sources in hospitals like patient registration kiosk of Hospital Information System, CRMs or possibly a Website enables you to capture customer intent by placing a cookie on customer’s browser which could then follow and track a customer’s online journey and place meaningful and compelling messages to operate engagement with patients or customers. This primary data along with a second-party data from affiliates or online subscription agencies and third-party data purchased from outside data aggregators like telecom companies, other CRMs etc., is clustered to form homogenous band of audiences having similar traits like age, web surfing history, online purchases, content sharing on social websites, medical content consumed, etc.
We will conjure up a probable scenario for a hospital that is going to launch Diabetes Management Program and wants to reach targeted audience making use of their primary data base gathered over past years. Data points like e-mail address and contact numbers of patients undergoing care under endocrinologist would develop into a good audience pool to perform targeted messages using GSP (Gmail Sponsored Promotions) or RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) campaigns. While a GSP would enable messages to get shipped to prospective patient’s Gmail inbox, the RLSA campaign would make certain that message is rendered on user’s SERPs wherever they use the internet.
The best thing of programmatic advertising is it can integrate all media delivery options and provide you with the message to right audiences wherever they live online whether it be video, search ads, mobile, display or social networking. Such media optimization receives a captive and engaged audience to marketers causing maximum value from marketing dollar spent.
Say you would like to target women with their early 40s residing in North Bangalore for promoting breast cancer screening. Programmatic-way of achieving this is deliver your message to the in-market audience directly by capturing basic patient’s intent after which tracking their online behavior. As an illustration, say 45-year old women that visited your Oncology web page and is searching information online on “prevention of breast cancers”.
Programmatic Buying allows you to focus on your unique audience who is at the far end of buyer’s journey and has a greater propensity of getting should your message touches their cord. Programmatic Buying helps to track investment or put simply, makes returns attributable. Advertising has become a niche endeavor and Programmatic Buying has arrived being a potent tool in marketers purpose to unravel key steps to niche marketing.
Programmatic Buying includes its share of challenges and unethical practices that digital marketers ought to stand guard against. Such bad practices permeate throughout the Programmatic ecosystem and so are omnipresent across industries including healthcare.
In the highly regulated healthcare sector, these challenges are much more evident. So i want to address some burning issues plaguing the Programmatic Buying in healthcare
1) Restrictions on retargeting: Hospital industry has been slow to adapt programmatic buying because medical ethics restrict any type of advertising to patients, even the audience retargeting using cookies
2) Ad misplacement: Ad placement while trying to reach a prospect, say a health care provider in a non-clinical environment like a Game Center or Expedia Travel site might actually dilute importance of brand name and message
3) Control: As previously mentioned, Demand Side Platforms are aggregators of inventory and then make them accessible for Advertisers. However, in healthcare industry, not many reputed medical publishers like PubMed, WebMD, The Lancet, NEJM etc. may renounce control over their inventory permit open ad ecosystem like Programmatic take control of. That is why most medical publishers still prefer reserved, non-auction based upon programmatic buying like either Programmatic Direct.
4) Higher costs: On account of publisher’s reluctance towards open-auction bidding in healthcare for reasons stated above, cost per impression (CPM) is beyond in other industries like retail and travel.
5) Inventory scale: Since ad spaces on medical sites has limitations and finite, mostly they are bought via direct 1-to-1 Publisher-Advertiser model ultimately causing inflated CPMs and suboptimal performance parameters (read ROI)
6) Stale-on-Sale:General impression is the fact that a media bought through Programmatic model is often a leftover, remnant inventory. This is simply not entirely untrue in healthcare either. Media space buying in healthcare predominantly is through direct buyout involving humans or direct buyout involving automation, referred to as the Programmatic Direct. Hence, precisely what is left can be a less coveted, tier-2 inventory. Although buying this inventory might help derive engagement at far lower cost.
7) Private Healthcare Ad Exchanges:Because of medical data security, misplacements and privacy issues in healthcare, some proponents of exclusive healthcare ad exchanges have emerged. The truth is there are already some media buying platforms in healthcare like MM&M, Compas etc. which allow automated buying to healthcare publishers. However, provided that transparency and neutrality of open buying platform could be compromised with your agencies, there is very little incentive for advertisers to do business with such private ad exchanges. Besides, scale and inventory available with such private exchanges is likewise limited in comparison with full-service media agencies.
Aside these challenges that happen to be specific to health care industry, Programmatic Buying has some inherent problems that are pervasive across industries. Including some outlined below:
8) Non-human traffic: Non-human traffic or even the NHT as is commonly referred in Programmatic world is regarded as the prevalent kind of fraud whereby programs imitate desired online behavior and register false matrices like impressions, views or clicks. Bots pretend to get actual humans while actually they can be part of malware that inflates the performance matrices by masquerading as organic activity. Common examples of this really is paid ‘likes’ or ‘ 1s’ on social networking.
9) Viewability: Viewability is the odds of an ad to be seen. Often times a large proportion of impressions that advertisers buy goes unseen either due to below-the-fold 60dextpky or user might scroll a page too quickly to find out the ad.
Ad blocking: Today’s sophisticated programs allow users to take out advertising while browsing the internet or using apps. Most publishers and professional bloggers rely on advertising since the main way to obtain their revenue. Along with ad blocking set up, a blogger would lose a motivation to produce free-to-consume content unless the alternate stream of revenue is available in their mind. Likewise, publisher websites get bored since their revenue model based upon content-for-advertising is compromised
Programmatic buying is a prominent inclusion in marketer’s quiver since last decade. Healthcare industry continues to be slow to get up to the phenomenon as a result of industry-specific challenges. However, adoption of web data, involvement of social networking companies and proliferation of healthcare specific ad networks to manage automated buying in healthcare would only mitigate these challenges.
The plastic surgeon marketing including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies would be a good idea to consider programmatic buying as an element of a core marketing plan and move from broad, segment-based marketing to specific fine-grained messages crafted to get, nurture and convert potential prospects or patients.