Data management programs enabled with technologies have completely changed the way marketers buy media today. Increasingly more companies are embracing technologies that facilitate media transactions in actual-efforts and with a granular level. Programmatic buying ecosystem reaches the core with this revolution and possesses triggered a paradigm shift from medical advertising buying to targeted ad placements depending on user behavior.
Programmatic buying means sale and get of media instantly inside an automated manner through software and algorithms. Automation is live and accurate to such extent that this not simply saves time but in addition improves efficiencies in terms of ROIs and reaching a target market 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 in recent years.
Media buying in healthcare quintessentially continues to be done in a traditional manner through sales teams approaching publishers either offline or on the web and go using a long process RFQs, negotiations, preparing artworks and specs modifications, purchase indenting, vendor onboarding and in the end releasing payment. And all sorts of this convoluted process has to endure just before the ad is even published. Hence you will discover a lag between purchase intent and actual media release. And that is what Programmatic is nice at solving.
Just how does Programmatic buying works and why hasn’t it caught the imaginations of healthcare marketer yet? Allow us to dig into details.
How exactly does Programmatic Buying Works? The Programmatic Ecosystem
First, allow us to understand some widely used terms used in the Programmatic Buying world and also how the Programmatic ecosystem really works.
Every time a user clicks on a web-based page which has an advertising space into it, the publisher of the web site sends a cookie to user’s web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Bing… whichever).
What exactly is Cookie: Cookie, in simple terms, is a small data file that is certainly sent from publisher’s web server to user’s web browser which serves to establish user’s identity
In the event an inventory (advertising space over a web page) is on sale, it triggers a request from publisher’s Ad Server on their Supply Side Platform (SSP) to fill the Ad slot
Concise explanation of SSP: You might think of Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) just like a library or storehouse of Ad Inventories available for placing your advertisement. It really is a platform that connects sellers (sites, blogs, directories etc.) with buyers or advertisers who compete against one another for available Ad space.
Several of the well-known 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 regarding the user who is about to begin to see the Ad like her demographic profile, browsing history, etc. These details helps DSPs to create an informed decision regarding a user prior to making a bid.
What is a DSP? : Demand Side Platform or DSP, since they are referred in programmatic world, is actually a doorway to acquire advertising space in an automated fashion. Consider 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 surface price of available impression, etc.).
A few 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 impression is and if you should take part in the auction on the part of 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, this means, the individual who bids slightly on top of the second highest bidder.
SSP notifies winning DSP as well as the DSP, subsequently, 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 on a website.
And all of these steps happen with a lightning speed at the back end while the page loads!
Varieties of Programmatic Buying
Programmatic Buying, as you may know now, is automated buying of ad space over a website. You will find fundamentally 2 forms of programmatic buying dependant upon regardless of if the ad space or inventory is bought through auction (Auction based) or if you are paying a fixed rate for the publisher (fixed price).
Open auction: This is based on real-time auction-based bidding. Most prevalent of programmatic buying
Invitation-only auction: This too is auction-based but bidding is limited to pick advertisers selected from a publisher. More premium inventory sold in a higher price. Some publishers give ‘first look’ benefit to some advertisers before ad space is visible to others
Unreserved fixed rate: Price is prefixed but no ad space is set aside beforehand
Automated guaranteed or Programmatic premium: It is an automated procedure for buying guaranteed ad space that doesn’t involve an auction, where the cost is prefixed and impressions are guaranteed. Generally, this particular type is most premium of all.
Scope of Programmatic Buying in Healthcare
Programmatic marketing has not yet taken healthcare industry by storm yet by any stretch from the imagination, especially so in India. Even though this marketing phenomenon is discussed in marketing conferences and agency boardrooms nonetheless its role is still restricted to lexicons and concept as opposed to on actual spending of marketing dollars. Out of the global spending of USD 22 Bn on Programmatic buying in 2015, spending in India had been a mere USD 25 M which makes it just above 1% share (Source: Media Global report cited in eMarketer )
By 2018, it’s projected how the health care industry will spend $2.2 billion on digital media. With roughly 40% of media buys being programmatic, healthcare marketers have got a great opportunity on their hands. Not just is programmatic the new buzzword, but it is estimated that 70% of most media buys is going to be programmatic in 2016. That’s significant growth over two 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 buy ad space or inventory. Programmatic buying, alternatively, allows precision and previously unthought-of granularity to reach target customers with better engagement and reduce costs. Allow me to present some real life scenarios to create home the impact of Programmatic Buying dental practice marketing.
Imagine you happen to be visiting nearby pharmacy store to get sugar control medication after doing a bit of online search about medicines dosage and negative effects. Suddenly your smartphone buzzes. Curious to understand, you look at your inbox and look for email message inviting anyone to have a free diabetes check-up in a Clinic just a block away from where you are.
Almost scary, isn’t it! Well, this is just what Programmatic can do. It reaches your predefined customers or audience in the right moment by using a right message. And all of this occurs in milliseconds in a automated fashion, due to footprints, or say Cookies, you left while looking the web.
Programmatic buying is different the approach from rendering same advertising message to an incredible number of customers to making an original message for individual customers according to her need at that moment of your energy. A proof of concept for this may be how medical health insurance might be bought by using a Programmatic platform.
As you were renewing medical health insurance policy online for your personal parents, an ad banner flashed across your laptop screen proclaiming to offer better coverage with add-ons in a lesser premium. The message is really timely and apt that you may not resist but clicking the ad. It feels that ‘someone’ is following your foot trails online. It ends up there is actually ‘someone’ that follow users to supply messages which can be very apt and timely.
In a way, data analytics is definitely the lifeblood of automated buying. Although a tremendous volume of data is gathered within the medical industry, as an example, a hospital, almost no of this can be used effectively to create effective data-driven strategy.
First party data sources in hospitals like patient registration kiosk of Hospital Information System, CRMs or perhaps a Website enables you to capture customer intent by putting a cookie on customer’s browser which may 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 together 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 group of audiences having similar traits like age, web browsing history, online purchases, content sharing on social networking, medical content consumed, etc.
Let us conjure up a probable scenario for any hospital that is going to launch Diabetes Management Program and wishes to reach targeted audience employing 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 become 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 delivered to prospective patient’s Gmail inbox, the RLSA campaign would make certain that message is rendered on user’s SERPs wherever they search online.
The great thing of programmatic advertising is that 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 websites. Such media optimization turns into a captive and engaged audience to marketers causing maximum value out from marketing dollar spent.
Say you need to target women within their early 40s residing in North Bangalore for promoting cancer of the breast screening. Programmatic-way of doing this is deliver your message towards the in-market audience directly by capturing basic patient’s intent and after that tracking their online behavior. For example, say 45-yr old ladies who visited your Oncology website which is searching information online on “prevention of breast cancers”.
Programmatic Buying lets you cater to your unique target audience that is on the far end of buyer’s journey and contains a higher propensity of purchasing should your message touches their cord. Programmatic Buying helps to track investment or to put it differently, makes returns attributable. Advertising has developed into a niche endeavor and Programmatic Buying came 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 must stand guard against. Such bad practices permeate all over the Programmatic ecosystem and so are omnipresent across industries including healthcare.
In a highly regulated healthcare sector, these challenges are more evident. So let me 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 form of advertising to patients, even audience retargeting using cookies
2) Ad misplacement: Ad placement while looking 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 incredible importance of brand and message
3) Control: As previously mentioned, Demand Side Platforms are aggregators of inventory and then make them designed for Advertisers. However, in medical industry, only a few reputed medical publishers like PubMed, WebMD, The Lancet, NEJM etc. may renounce power over their inventory to let open ad ecosystem like Programmatic take over. That is the reason why most medical publishers still prefer reserved, non-auction based on programmatic buying like either Programmatic Direct.
4) Higher costs: As a result 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 is restricted and finite, mostly they can 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 the fact 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, referred to as the Programmatic Direct. Hence, what is left is actually a less coveted, tier-2 inventory. Although buying this inventory may help derive engagement at 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 emerged. Actually we already have some media buying platforms in healthcare like MM&M, Compas etc. that enable automated buying to healthcare publishers. However, considering that transparency and neutrality of open buying platform can be compromised by using these agencies, there is little incentive for advertisers to do business with such private ad exchanges. Besides, scale and inventory available with such private exchanges can also be limited when compared with full-service media agencies.
Aside these challenges which are 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 the NHT as is also commonly referred in Programmatic world is considered 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 are component of malware that inflates the performance matrices by masquerading as organic activity. Common samples of this really is paid ‘likes’ or ‘ 1s’ on social media marketing.
9) Viewability: Viewability is the prospect of an advert to be noticed. Many times a big proportion of impressions that advertisers buy goes unseen either as a result of below-the-fold 60dextpky or user might scroll a page too rapidly to discover the ad.
Ad blocking: Today’s sophisticated programs allow users to take out advertising while browsing the net or using apps. Most publishers and professional bloggers rely on advertising as being the main source of their revenue. Together with ad blocking in position, a blogger would lose a motivation to produce free-to-consume content unless the alternate stream of revenue is offered directly to them. Likewise, publisher websites get bored since their revenue model depending on content-for-advertising is compromised
Programmatic buying is a huge prominent inclusion in marketer’s quiver since last decade. Healthcare industry continues to be slow to wake up to the phenomenon due to industry-specific challenges. However, adoption of information, involvement of social networking companies and proliferation of healthcare specific ad networks to deal with 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 online 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.