New Research Shows Rise in Digital Audio and Video Streaming Ads to Reach Physicians and Patients

Healthcare industry sees 61% increase in impressions from digital audio advertisements, finding them 120% more effective than digital display

At today’s Veeva Commercial Summit, Veeva Systems  released new findings about the diversification of digital media used in direct-to-consumer and healthcare professional (HCP) advertising in the U.S. The Veeva Crossix 2022 Trends in Health Advertising Report examines marketing campaigns across more than 230 life sciences brands and finds a notable increase in the use of digital audio and video channels, with marketers creating more targeted, meaningful brand conversations.

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The report aggregates media measurement and health data across $6 billion in 2021 advertising investments. It looks at year-over-year changes in consumer media behavior and the mix of digital channels used to reach both patients and HCPs, including:

  • Diversifying digital tactics: Pharma marketers are diversifying their media mix, relying on newer tactics to drive impact. In 2021, digital audio impressions grew 61% and streaming video impressions increased 18%.
  • Cutting through the noise: Last year, 50% more campaigns included podcasts and other emerging digital audio channels — particularly in categories like women’s health and preventative medicine. The rate of new patient starts from these digital audio tactics grew 11%, proving to be 120% more effective than digital display ads.
  • Reaching HCPs where they are: Niche, HCP-focused sites were 55% more likely to drive new patient starts last year than programmatic ad placements. However, audience-based targeting still played an important role, with programmatic media generating the majority of HCP reach.

Detailed analyses of select brand campaigns also show the growing impact of precision targeting and multichannel strategies. For example, oncology brands that air media on streaming services increased targeting effectiveness 49% compared to their linear TV buys. One pharma brand also found that, for its highest priority HCPs, orchestrated messaging across both digital ads and personal sales engagement helped drive 80% of subsequent new patient starts within this group.

“In a world of digital choice, healthcare marketers are leaning on data to uncover new strategies for optimizing their media spend,” said Sarah Caldwell, general manager of Veeva Crossix Analytics. “The most data-driven brands are successfully boosting their reach and conversions with a more diverse, targeted mix of patient and HCP touchpoints.”

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