Data management programs enabled with technology has completely changed just how marketers buy media today. Increasingly more companies are embracing technologies that facilitate media transactions in actual-efforts and at the granular level. Programmatic buying ecosystem reaches the core of this revolution and contains triggered a paradigm shift from healthcare advertising buying to targeted ad placements depending on user behavior.
Programmatic buying means sale and acquire of media in real time in an automated manner through software and algorithms. Automation is real time and accurate to such extent that this not simply saves time but in addition improves efficiencies in terms of ROIs and reaching a target audience with laser-guided precision.
While Programmatic buying has not yet taken the healthcare domain by storm, a buzz across the topic has started getting louder in recent years.
Media buying in healthcare quintessentially continues to be done in a normal manner through sales teams approaching publishers either offline or on the web and then go via a long process RFQs, negotiations, preparing artworks and specs modifications, purchase indenting, vendor onboarding and eventually releasing payment. And all this convoluted process has to pass through ahead of the ad is even published. Hence there exists a lag between purchase intent and actual media release. And that is certainly what Programmatic is nice at solving.
So how does Programmatic buying works and why hasn’t it caught the imaginations of healthcare marketer yet? We will dig into details.
How can Programmatic Buying Works? The Programmatic Ecosystem
First, we will understand some frequently used terms found in the Programmatic Buying world plus just how the Programmatic ecosystem really works.
Whenever a user clicks on an internet page which includes a marketing space on it, the publisher of your web page sends a cookie to user’s internet browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Bing… whichever).
Exactly what is Cookie: Cookie, in simple terms, is a small data file that is sent from publisher’s web server to user’s internet browser which serves to build user’s identity
In the event an inventory (advertising space over a web page) is available, it triggers a request from publisher’s Ad Server to their Supply Side Platform (SSP) to fill the Ad slot
Concept of SSP: You may think of Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) similar to a library or storehouse of Ad Inventories readily available for placing your advertisement. It is actually a platform that connects sellers (internet sites, blogs, directories etc.) with buyers or advertisers who compete against the 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 details about the person who is going to start to see the Ad like her demographic profile, browsing history, etc. These details helps DSPs to create an informed decision in regards to a user before you make a bid.
What exactly is a DSP? : Demand Side Platform or DSP, as they are referred in programmatic world, is actually a doorway to get advertising space in a automated fashion. Think of DSPs as advertiser’s gatekeepers who matches inventories with buyer’s marketing objectives. DSPs make bidding decision on behalf of a buyer after evaluating parameters like publisher’s profile, ad placement, the ground expense of available impression, etc.).
Some of better-known DSPs include DoubleClick Bid Manager by Google, AdMission, MediaMath etc.
Depending on the algorithm, DSPs assesses inventories to ascertain how valuable the sense is and if you should be involved in the auction with respect to an advertiser. If DSP decides to sign up in bid auction, it sends a bid response returning to SSP
SSP gathers all bid responses and picks a success based on the second-price auction, which means, the one that bids slightly over the second highest bidder.
SSP notifies winning DSP as well as the DSP, consequently, sends Ad serving code to SSP. Finally, SSP passes on Ad serving code to user’s browser and renders the Ad. The Ad will then be served and also other content with a webpage.
And all these steps occur at a lightning speed behind end while the page loads!
Forms of Programmatic Buying
Programmatic Buying, as we know now, is automated buying of ad space on the web site. You can find fundamentally 2 types of programmatic buying depending on regardless of 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 has limitations to select advertisers selected by way of a publisher. More premium inventory sold at a higher price. Some publishers give ‘first look’ benefit to some advertisers before ad space is visible to others
Unreserved set rate: Price is prefixed but no ad space is placed aside upfront
Automated guaranteed or Programmatic premium: This is an automated process 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. Although this marketing phenomenon is discussed in marketing conferences and agency boardrooms nonetheless its role is still tied to lexicons and concept rather than on actual spending of marketing dollars. Out of your global spending of USD 22 Bn on Programmatic buying in 2015, spending in India was really a mere USD 25 M rendering 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 all the media buys being programmatic, healthcare marketers have a great opportunity on his or her hands. Not only is programmatic the new buzzword, yet it is estimated that 70% of all media buys will probably be programmatic in 2016. That’s significant growth over 2 years.
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 acquire ad space or inventory. Programmatic buying, on the flip side, allows precision and previously unthought-of granularity to achieve target customers with better engagement and minimize costs. Permit me to present some the real world scenarios to bring home the impact of Programmatic Buying dentist marketing.
Imagine you are visiting nearby pharmacy store to buy sugar control medication after doing a bit of online search about medicines dosage and side effects. Suddenly your smartphone buzzes. Curious to know, you check your inbox and find email message inviting you to definitely go on a free diabetes check-up at a Clinic only a block away from your location.
Almost scary, isn’t it! Well, and this is what Programmatic can perform. It reaches your predefined customers or audience with the right moment by using a right message. And all sorts of this occurs in milliseconds in an automated fashion, because of footprints, or say Cookies, you left while searching the net.
Programmatic buying has changed the approach from rendering same advertising message to countless customers to making a distinctive message for individual customers based upon her need at that moment of time. A evidence of concept for this might be how medical insurance could be bought utilizing a Programmatic platform.
When you were renewing medical insurance policy online to your parents, an advert banner flashed across your laptop screen proclaiming to provide better coverage with accessories at a lesser premium. The content is really timely and apt that you could not resist but clicking the ad. It feels that ‘someone’ is after the foot trails online. It turns out there is definitely ‘someone’ that follow users to offer messages that are very apt and timely.
In such a way, data analytics is the lifeblood of automated buying. Although a big volume of information is gathered within the healthcare industry, for instance, a hospital, almost no of this is commonly used effectively to develop effective data-driven strategy.
First party data sources in hospitals like patient registration kiosk of Hospital Information System, CRMs or possibly a Website can be used to capture customer intent by placing a cookie on customer’s browser which could then follow and track a customer’s online journey and put meaningful and compelling messages to operate engagement with patients or customers. This primary data plus 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 selection of audiences having similar traits like age, web browsing history, online purchases, content sharing on social media marketing, medical content consumed, etc.
Allow us to conjure up a probable scenario for a hospital that is going to launch Diabetes Management Program and wants 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 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 become transported to prospective patient’s Gmail inbox, the RLSA campaign would ensure that message is rendered on user’s SERPs wherever they use the web.
The best part of programmatic advertising is that it can integrate all media delivery options and deliver the message to right audiences wherever they live online whether it be video, search ads, mobile, display or social media. Such media optimization turns into a captive and engaged audience to marketers causing maximum value out of marketing dollar spent.
Say you want to target women with their early 40s located in North Bangalore for promoting breast cancers screening. Programmatic-way of accomplishing this is deliver your message on the in-market audience directly by capturing basic patient’s intent then tracking their online behavior. As an example, say 45-years old ladies who visited your Oncology website and it is searching information online on “protection against cancers of the breast”.
Programmatic Buying enables you to focus on your distinct target audience who may be on the far end of buyer’s journey and has a greater propensity of getting in case your message touches their cord. Programmatic Buying really helps to track investment or put simply, makes returns attributable. Advertising has turned into a niche endeavor and Programmatic Buying comes as 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 must stand guard against. Such bad practices permeate across the Programmatic ecosystem and are omnipresent across industries including healthcare.
Inside a highly regulated healthcare sector, these challenges are much more evident. So allow me to address some burning issues plaguing the Programmatic Buying in healthcare
1) Restrictions on retargeting: Hospital industry continues to be slow to adapt programmatic buying because medical ethics restrict any type of advertising to patients, the audience retargeting using cookies
2) Ad misplacement: Ad placement while attempting to reach a prospect, say a doctor within a non-clinical environment like a Game Center or Expedia Travel site might actually dilute incredible importance of brand name and message
3) Control: As earlier mentioned, Demand Side Platforms are aggregators of inventory and then make them available for Advertisers. However, in healthcare industry, not many 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 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 may be 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 a media bought through Programmatic model is usually a leftover, remnant inventory. This may not be entirely untrue in healthcare either. Media space buying in healthcare predominantly is either through direct buyout involving humans or direct buyout involving automation, referred to as the Programmatic Direct. Hence, what exactly is left is a less coveted, tier-2 inventory. Although buying this inventory might help derive engagement at much 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. In reality we already have some media buying platforms in healthcare like MM&M, Compas etc. that permit automated buying to healthcare publishers. However, considering the fact that transparency and neutrality of open buying platform would be compromised with your agencies, there is very little incentive for advertisers to work with such private ad exchanges. Besides, scale and inventory available with such private exchanges is additionally limited in comparison with full-service media agencies.
Aside these challenges that happen to be specific to healthcare industry, Programmatic Buying has some inherent issues that are pervasive across industries. Including some outlined below:
8) Non-human traffic: Non-human traffic or the NHT as is commonly referred in Programmatic world is easily the most prevalent type 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 are component of malware that inflates the performance matrices by masquerading as organic activity. Common samples of this is paid ‘likes’ or ‘ 1s’ on social media marketing.
9) Viewability: Viewability is the prospect of an advertisement to be seen. Many times a huge proportion of impressions that advertisers purchase goes unseen either on account of below-the-fold 60dextpky or user might scroll a page too quickly to see the ad.
Ad blocking: Today’s sophisticated programs allow users to get rid of advertising while browsing the web or using apps. Most publishers and professional bloggers be determined by advertising as the main way to obtain their revenue. Together with ad blocking set up, a blogger would lose a motivation to make free-to-consume content unless the alternate stream of revenue is offered for them. 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. Health care industry has been slow to get out of bed to this particular phenomenon on account of industry-specific challenges. However, adoption of web data, involvement of social websites companies and proliferation of healthcare specific ad networks to control automated buying in healthcare would only mitigate these challenges.
The plastic surgeon seo including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will be wise to consider programmatic buying within a core marketing strategy and move from broad, segment-based marketing to specific fine-grained messages crafted to bring in, nurture and convert prospective customers or patients.