PM360 Names PHM’s Professional Audience Targeting “One Of The Most Innovative Strategies” Of 2018

December 18, 2018
Posted by Publicis Health Media

PM360 award recognizes PHM strategy as breakthrough for medical marketers using Bing paid search.

PHM Strategy Included in PM360’s Best-of-2018

Medical marketing publication PM360 has recognized PHM’s paid search strategy Professional Audience Targeting (PAT) as one of the 10 most innovative of 2018.Chosen by PM360 staff from among hundreds of submissions, PAT was also shortlistedat the Bing Agency Awards in September of this year.

PM360 publishes their Annual Innovations Issue each December, highlighting companies, products, services, and strategies that break the mold. We’re honored to have had our work included in this year’s group of “never-before-tried approaches that are changing how the industry operates.” 

Challenges in Pharma Paid Search

Our innovative healthcare professional (HCP) target marketing strategy comprises a first-in-pharma solution to what has long been a significant challenge in paid search.

The industry has traditionally relied on two primary strategies to distinguish between patients and professionals in search, both of which make actionable assumptions about the verbiage these audiences use.

The first tactic relies on keyword prioritization — segmenting search terms based on their technicality to infer the audience’s knowledge level. The second tactic employs customizable creative to appeal to specific audiences and increase click-through rates.

While still indispensable to the overall PHM strategy, it becomes clear that these language-based tactics were not sufficiently accurate for distinguishing professional audiences. With greater access to medical knowledge, patients have become more informed about their conditions, and often use professional jargon in search queries. Meanwhile, HCPs sometimes intentionally mirror simple patient queries in order to better understand how their audience researches treatments.

Our Innovative Solution

In response to these industry shifts, we have created and implemented a proprietary solution that allows marketers to target verified HCPs as they search on Bing. We developed this strategy in collaboration with Bing and third-party data suppliers, building on partnerships more typically involving display and programmatic buys.

Professional Audience Targeting (PAT) works by matching digital IDs to National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers — the unique, 10-digit numbers issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to all U.S. healthcare providers, as mandated by HIPAA.

When the NPI-digital IDs are overlaid with Bing keyword targeting, PHM can definitively target verified HCPs as they are searching on Bing. Early results suggest that compared to non-PAT campaigns, PAT campaigns have 28% higher click-through rates, while cost-per-click averages 6% lower. In addition, on-site time has increased by 13% and the bounce rate has decreased by 5%.

The PM360 award provides industry-wide recognition for our innovative paid search strategy, which has the potential to transform audience-informed search campaigns across the health and wellness space.


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