Role of programmatic in an ever-changing world of pharma ad tech

Authored by Harshit Jain MD, Global CEO & Founder, Doceree

Surviving through multiple pandemic waves, the Indian pharma industry today realizes the urgent need to shift focus to newer and innovative digital solutions - be it digitizing the patient-doctor interaction or pharma marketer-physician communications. While patient-doctor communication has significantly gained popularity in recent years, there is a huge scope and potential for marketer-physician communications to be made more advanced and effective in India. The phenomenal rise in programmatic pharma messaging in developed markets lays the ground for the Indian pharma industry to effectively use programmatic technologies in pharma marketing.

Analyzing the success of programmatic technology for pharma outcomes in global markets, especially in the US, it is evident that programmatic solutions can help facilitate better business outcomes by creating an efficient structure within the supply-demand chain for health products and drugs. What was conventionally done by a pharma sales representative now requires zero feet on the ground with the help of AI-based programmatic technologies.

Let us understand programmatic marketing and its benefits to pharma brands:

What is Programmatic Marketing? 

To put it simply, programmatic media uses automation to buy ad spots/placements with an objective to reach a specific, targeted audience with a message that is relevant to the audience at a given point in time. The process flow is simple - first, the target audience is outlined - then the preferred programmatic-enabled channel is chosen – a relevant message is drafted and designed – and lastly a bid is set to deliver that message to the target group that meets the criteria.

While in-person interactions are rising post the decline in COVID cases across the world, programmatic today has established its value in pharma marketing and it is here to stay and grow. As over 80% of physicians use health-related technology, and 90% use social media for professional purposes, continuing with programmatic marketing over traditional will be key to a well-designed effective physician targeting strategy for pharma brands.

What are the benefits of Programmatic to the Healthcare and Pharma Industry?

Programmatic healthcare marketing enables pharma brands to hyper-target their messaging and reach physicians, 50% of who being no-see otherwise. This gives marketers an edge over other players in the market as they can reach more niche audiences digitally, which is vital in today’s world when there are approvals happening for newer competitive drugs every day, and every publisher has a fixed number of ad impressions to sell. 

Being a part of an online world also offers various benefits like reaching multiple physicians across the country at the same time, getting an international reach, and accessing a robust digital network of doctors. Programmatic also enables a reduction in fraudulent data and unethical sales practices, thereby enhancing the overall ease for all stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Not only does programmatic allows marketers to leverage real-time optimization and data insights for enhanced targeting or decision making, it also enables them to reach and scale access to digital audiences with cost-efficiencies and detailed insights to investing in what is working for the brand.

With the cross-channel promotion of the right drug through custom creatives for specific disease/patient segments, programmatic enables the more effective targeting of physicians and patients, potentially improving the ultimate healthcare outcomes. 

Is the Indian Pharma industry ready for Programmatic? 

As per a recent industry report ‘Programmatic Trends in Pharma HCP Marketing 2022’, around 43% of pharma marketers in India now prefer programmatic messaging platforms to reach out to physicians, utilizing its ability to segment healthcare experts and align their communication for optimization and better business outcomes. Pharma’s digital ad spending, which has risen considerably worldwide and is expected to grow further on the back of programmatic fuelling its growth, is also expected to influence India too.

With digital consumption on the rise in India, programmatic media gives health systems a great opportunity to enhance their digital marketing strategy. A global case study recently revealed how a combination of automation with programmatic can improve campaign efficiency by 30-50%. Accelerating vaccination rates post-pandemic, coupled with an increase in elective procedures, makes programmatic an ideal choice for the Indian Pharma industry.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it.


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