Data management programs enabled with technologies have completely changed the way marketers buy media today. More and more companies are embracing technologies that facilitate media transactions in real-some time and with a granular level. Programmatic buying ecosystem reaches the core with this revolution and contains triggered a paradigm shift from medical device marketing buying to targeted ad placements according to user behavior.
Programmatic buying means sale and buy of media live within an automated manner through software and algorithms. Automation is real-time and accurate to such extent which it not only saves time but additionally improves efficiencies in terms of ROIs and reaching a target audience with laser-guided precision.
While Programmatic buying has not yet yet taken the healthcare domain by storm, a buzz across the topic has begun getting louder lately.
Media buying in healthcare quintessentially has become completed in a normal manner through sales teams approaching publishers either offline or on the internet and then go through 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 pass through ahead of the ad is even published. Hence there is a lag between purchase intent and actual media release. And that is what Programmatic is useful at solving.
Now how does Programmatic buying works and why hasn’t it caught the imaginations of healthcare marketer yet? Allow us to dig into details.
So how exactly does Programmatic Buying Works? The Programmatic Ecosystem
First, allow us to understand some popular terms employed in the Programmatic Buying world and also the way the Programmatic ecosystem actually works.
Whenever a user clicks a web page which includes a marketing space upon it, the publisher of the webpage sends a cookie to user’s internet browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Bing… whichever).
Precisely what is Cookie: Cookie, in simple terms, is a small data file that may be sent from publisher’s web server to user’s internet browser which serves to establish user’s identity
In the event an inventory (advertising space on a web page) is on sale, it triggers a request from publisher’s Ad Server to their Supply Side Platform (SSP) to fill the Ad slot
Definition of SSP: You might think of Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) such as a library or storehouse of Ad Inventories accessible for placing your advertisement. It really is a platform that connects sellers (internet sites, blogs, directories etc.) with buyers or advertisers who compete against the other for available Ad space.
Several of the famous 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 specifics of an individual who is going to start to see the Ad like her demographic profile, browsing history, etc. This information helps DSPs to help make a knowledgeable decision in regards to a user before making a bid.
What is a DSP? : Demand Side Platform or DSP, since they are referred in programmatic world, is really a doorway to purchase advertising space within an automated fashion. Consider 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, the floor value of available impression, etc.).
Several of better-known DSPs include DoubleClick Bid Manager by Google, AdMission, MediaMath etc.
In accordance with the algorithm, DSPs assesses inventories to ascertain how valuable the impression is and if they should get involved in the auction on behalf of an advertiser. If DSP decides to sign up in bid auction, it sends a bid response back to SSP
SSP gathers all bid responses and picks a success in accordance with the second-price auction, that means, the one who bids slightly over the second highest bidder.
SSP notifies winning DSP as well as the DSP, in turn, 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 with a web site.
And all sorts of these steps transpire at a lightning speed behind end while the page loads!
Types of Programmatic Buying
Programmatic Buying, as you may know now, is automated buying of ad space over a website. There are fundamentally 2 kinds of programmatic buying according to if the ad space or inventory is bought through auction (Auction based) or by paying a set rate for the publisher (fixed price).
Open auction: This is dependant on real-time auction-based bidding. Most prevalent of all the programmatic buying
Invitation-only auction: This too is auction-based but bidding is limited to decide on advertisers selected by way of a publisher. More premium inventory sold at the higher price. Some publishers give ‘first look’ benefit to some advertisers before ad space is seen to others
Unreserved fixed rate: Price is prefixed but no ad space is scheduled aside ahead of time
Automated guaranteed or Programmatic premium: It becomes an automated technique of buying guaranteed ad space that doesn’t involve an auction, in which the cost is prefixed and impressions are guaranteed. Generally, this kind 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 from the imagination, especially so in India. Even if this marketing phenomenon is discussed in marketing conferences and agency boardrooms however its role is still tied to lexicons and concept as an alternative to on actual spending of advertising dollars. Out from the global spending of USD 22 Bn on Programmatic buying in 2015, spending in India was a mere USD 25 M that makes it just above 1% share (Source: Media Global report cited in eMarketer )
By 2018, it’s projected that the medical industry will spend $2.2 billion on digital media. With roughly 40% of most media buys being programmatic, healthcare marketers use a great opportunity on the hands. Not just is programmatic the brand new buzzword, however it is estimated that 70% of all media buys will likely be programmatic in 2016. That’s significant growth over 2 years.
Healthcare media buying in India is still predominantly done through traditional spray-and-pray, at best loosely targeted media campaigns involving humans (read- sales team) that negotiate with publishers or media agencies to purchase ad space or inventory. Programmatic buying, on the other hand, allows precision and previously unthought-of granularity to achieve target customers with better engagement minimizing costs. Permit me to present some real world scenarios to give home the impact of Programmatic Buying dental seo marketing.
Imagine you happen to be visiting nearby pharmacy store to buy sugar control medication after doing a little online search about medicines dosage and negative effects. Suddenly your smartphone buzzes. Curious to know, you look at the inbox and discover email message inviting anyone to have a free diabetes check-up in a Clinic just a block from what your location is.
Almost scary, isn’t it! Well, this is what Programmatic can do. It reaches your predefined customers or audience with the right moment using a right message. And all sorts of this takes place in milliseconds in a automated fashion, thanks to footprints, or say Cookies, you left while searching the world wide web.
Programmatic buying has changed the approach from rendering same advertising message to numerous customers to making a distinctive message for individual customers based upon her need right then of time. A evidence of concept for this might be how health insurance might be bought employing a Programmatic platform.
As you were renewing health insurance policy online for your personal parents, an ad banner flashed across your laptop screen proclaiming to offer you better coverage with add-ons in a lesser premium. The message is very timely and apt that one could not resist but clicking the ad. It feels that ‘someone’ is following your foot trails online. It appears that there is indeed ‘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 big quantity of information is gathered from the medical industry, as an illustration, a hospital, virtually no than it is utilized effectively to create effective data-driven strategy.
First party data sources in hospitals like patient registration kiosk of Hospital Information System, CRMs or a Website enables you to capture customer intent by putting a cookie on customer’s browser which could then follow and track a customer’s online journey and set meaningful and compelling messages to operate engagement with patients or customers. This primary data in addition to a second-party data from affiliates or online subscription agencies and third-party data bought from outside data aggregators like telecom companies, other CRMs etc., is clustered to form homogenous group 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 about to launch Diabetes Management Program and wishes to reach targeted audience utilizing their primary data base gathered over past years. Data points like e-mail address and make contact with quantities of patients undergoing care under endocrinologist would be a good audience pool to operate targeted messages using GSP (Gmail Sponsored Promotions) or RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) campaigns. While a GSP would enable messages to become transported 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 great thing of programmatic advertising is it can integrate all media delivery options and give you the message to right audiences wherever they live online whether it is video, search ads, mobile, display or social media. Such media optimization turns into a captive and engaged audience to marketers causing maximum value out from marketing dollar spent.
Say you would like to target women in their early 40s located in North Bangalore for promoting breast cancer screening. Programmatic-strategy for doing this is deliver your message to the in-market audience directly by capturing basic patient’s intent and then tracking their online behavior. As an illustration, say 45-yr old females who visited your Oncology web page and is also searching information online on “protection against breast cancers”.
Programmatic Buying allows you to cater to your specific target market who may be with the far end of buyer’s journey and has a better propensity of purchasing should your message touches their cord. Programmatic Buying enables you to track investment or in other words, makes returns attributable. Advertising has developed into a niche endeavor and Programmatic Buying comes like 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 across the Programmatic ecosystem and are omnipresent across industries including healthcare.
In a highly regulated healthcare sector, these challenges are even more evident. So allow me 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 kind of advertising to patients, the audience retargeting using cookies
2) Ad misplacement: Ad placement while trying to reach a prospect, say a doctor inside a non-clinical environment such as a Game Center or Expedia Travel site may actually dilute significance of logo and message
3) Control: As previously mentioned, Demand Side Platforms are aggregators of inventory and then make them readily available for Advertisers. However, in healthcare industry, hardly any reputed medical publishers like PubMed, WebMD, The Lancet, NEJM etc. may renounce control of their inventory permit open ad ecosystem like Programmatic dominate. That is the reason why most medical publishers still prefer reserved, non-auction depending on programmatic buying like either Programmatic Direct.
4) Higher costs: Due to publisher’s reluctance towards open-auction bidding in healthcare for reasons stated above, cost per impression (CPM) is more than in other industries like retail and travel.
5) Inventory scale: Since ad spaces on medical sites has limitations and finite, mostly these 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 that a media bought through Programmatic model can be a leftover, remnant inventory. This is simply not entirely untrue in healthcare either. Media space buying in healthcare predominantly is either through direct buyout involving humans or direct buyout involving automation, called the Programmatic Direct. Hence, exactly what is left is really a less coveted, tier-2 inventory. Although buying this inventory might help derive engagement at far lower cost.
7) Private Healthcare Ad Exchanges:In view of medical data security, misplacements and privacy issues in healthcare, some proponents of exclusive healthcare ad exchanges have emerged. In fact we already have some media buying platforms in healthcare like MM&M, Compas etc. that enable automated buying to healthcare publishers. However, considering the fact that transparency and neutrality of open buying platform can be compromised with your agencies, there is little incentive for advertisers to work alongside such private ad exchanges. Besides, scale and inventory provided with such private exchanges is also limited in comparison to full-service media agencies.
Aside these challenges which can be specific to health care industry, Programmatic Buying has some inherent conditions that are pervasive across industries. Including some outlined below:
8) Non-human traffic: Non-human traffic or perhaps the NHT as is also commonly referred in Programmatic world is easily the most prevalent form of fraud whereby programs imitate desired online behavior and register false matrices like impressions, views or clicks. Bots pretend to be actual humans while actually they may be component of malware that inflates the performance matrices by masquerading as organic activity. Common instances of this can be paid ‘likes’ or ‘ 1s’ on social media.
9) Viewability: Viewability is the odds of an advert to be noticed. Often times a large proportion of impressions that advertisers pay money for goes unseen either because of 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 depend on advertising because the main supply of their revenue. Together with ad blocking in position, a blogger would lose a reason to generate free-to-consume content unless the alternate stream of revenue is available in their mind. Likewise, publisher websites lose interest since their revenue model depending on 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 wake up to this phenomenon due to industry-specific challenges. However, adoption of information, involvement of social media companies and proliferation of healthcare specific ad networks to control automated buying in healthcare would only mitigate these challenges.
The plastic surgery marketing including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will be best if you consider programmatic buying within a core online marketing strategy and move from broad, segment-based marketing to specific fine-grained messages crafted to get, nurture and convert potential prospects or patients.