Healthcare Companies Should Adopt CTV/OTT Strategies to Target Their Niche Audiences

Industry Insights
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    There are many prerequisites for the expansion of  Сonnected TV advertising in 2022. Over 35% growth is predicted to take place for these types of ads across different industries. The only difference is how fast this will happen in different areas. The  fact  is that some industries are already actively using CTV advertising while others still lack expertise in this sector, and they only start to examine the previous outcomes of campaigns to see the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.

    A number of factors point to the rapid occupation of the healthcare industry by CTV. One strong indication  was  that the majority of healthcare-related ads were previously  done via linear television, but the industry representatives later admitted that this method was not able to  generate the expected return on investment (ROI). 

    So can CTV become the holy grail healthcare marketers need?

    The current state of healthcare advertising

    In highly competitive industries,  commercial agents use whatever tactics and ploys available at their disposal to grab the target audience’s attention. Due to healthcare’s status as one of the most heavily-regulated industries in advertising, marketers must be careful and creative when designing strategies and often need to find alternatives to standard approaches.

    So how hard can healthcare advertising be? Unlike other industries, it’s held to a higher standard, reflected in legislation. For instance, the Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act of 2017, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and some other regulatory  laws pose challenges to this particular marketing field. Some of these laws have the laudable aim  of preventing unscrupulous marketers from misusing personal patient data. 

    Needless to say, the dominant internet advertising platforms like Facebook or Google are  very cautious about advertising healthcare products. For example, Meta requires marketers to be certified  by Legitscript, a third-party company that validates telemedicine providers and online pharmacies. Also, the majority of healthcare sub-verticals should be licensed by Google to run Google Ads. Aside from that, marketers can also revert to linear TV advertising, which not all of them can sustain. Despite the fact that a typical seller’s toolset can be somewhat limited for healthcare advertising, the good news is that more and more programmatic companies are finding creative ways to engage with healthcare customers. In fact, they have already considered CTV an efficient option for pharma marketers looking to reach a greater  target audience.

    CTV is becoming a safe and sound option

    CTV offers a slightly different advertising perspective, allowing optimal performance by first targeting the needed HIPAA-compliant audiences. Driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), CTV advertising platforms can mitigate uncertainty about compliance by relying on DSPs and SSPs to remove any ad content that might violate healthcare policies.

    This is why CTV advertising has fewer compliance issues but provides an opportunity for better ROI estimation than linear TV.  

    Along with better compliance, CTV advertising platforms provide nuanced targeting options  based on demographics and behavioral patterns to reach healthcare providers or prospective clients programmatically. Depending on the chosen format, ads can be placed precisely where you need them while the content is being watched.

    Is HIPAA compliance a real obstacle?

    HIPAA has long been a serious challenge for any programmatic advertising platform, especially when marketers have to rely even more on first-party data this year. CTV advertising, however, is adapting to the times. Several years ago, advertising in a cookieless world while staying HIPAA-compliant would have been seen as next to impossible. However, with modern data-driven advertising capabilities, this challenge can be overcome.

    The good news is that CTV has never relied on using cookies. Also, most CTV platforms are able to  reach audiences in a HIPAA-compliant way by processing anonymous clinical data to target patients with the profile needed for marketed treatment. Once a CTV campaign is launched, the algorithm will do its magic to optimize performance based on the initial results. 

    Most patients are already  sensitive to advertisements, and according to the Deepintent  report seeing non-relevant ads all the time. If patients have  rare conditions, pharma companies can make a real breakthrough here with CTV advertising without the risk of alienating them. 

    Big Data remains the key in any environment

    So how useful can CTV ads be for healthcare providers? As it turns out, reasonably effective: nearly half of patients have discovered new prescriptions via CTV ads. The reason for that is Machine Learning (ML) technology: it pulls real-world clinical data to determine correlations between demographics and disease and create campaign-specific modeled audiences. 

    As a result, CTV advertisers can analyze past campaigns and identify audiences more interested in healthcare products. Based on how viewers previously interacted with CTV ads, one can get a good insight into desired targeting parameters. 

    The more data you can feed to your machine learning (ML) algorithm, the better advertising results you can hope to get. As nearly a third of the world’s Big Data is healthcare-related, there are a great number of  parameters that can  be used in the CTV advertising campaigns that can ultimately help you find the exact audience that will be receptive to your message.

    In addition, Big Data allows you to  maximize your  campaigns to gain  more valuable metrics. So instead of going for video completion numbers, you can optimize for audience quality.  This enables you to set up  advertising campaigns that target the most critical objectives for your business.

    Many have argued that TV is  a relic of the past as far as marketing is concerned, but CTV is here to prove the opposite. In fact, the share of advertising budgets allocated to CTV in the past few years has been impressive. Healthcare marketers should consider CTV not only for its unparalleled ability to target niche audiences but also as a hassle-free way to achieve their marketing objectives while still staying within  legal frameworks.