By: Marc Guldimann, Co-founder and CEO, Adelaide

Targeting and attribution challenges are universal, but pharmaceutical advertisers encounter several unique hurdles with digital advertising. Given their often niche content, pharma marketers must target smaller, more exclusive audiences to drive results while developing impactful creative. Reaching these audiences is further complicated by HIPAA and FTC regulations — not to mention international laws like GDPR and the gradual deprecation of third-party cookies, which all marketers must consider.

Adelaide, a leader in the evidence-based media quality measurement space, provides marketers with a way to navigate the consumer privacy movement responsibly. Leveraging attention metrics, Adelaide has helped leading brands across all verticals understand true media quality to deliver better full-funnel outcomes. Here are three ways pharmaceutical advertisers may stand to gain even more:

  1. Adelaide Serves as a Privacy-Friendly Solution to Targeting

The decay of identity creates several challenges around audience-based targeting and retargeting. Despite Google’s delay of third-party cookie deprecation, browsers continue to fight fingerprinting attempts and reduce entropy used to uniquely identify users. This is an especially tough predicament for pharmaceutical companies given the need to target very specific audiences while maintaining reach.

Instead of trying to find new sources of identity, pharma marketers don’t have to look far to replace audience-based targeting. Classical contextual targeting is shown to outperform behavioral data for most objectives, which means marketers can achieve outcomes by reaching consumers based on the content they’re engaging with.

To uncover the context in which your creative has an opportunity to elicit the most attention, Adelaide can help. Our attention-based media quality metric, AU, is an omnichannel apples-to-apples rating that goes beyond viewability to reveal true media quality. Without using unique identifiers, AU evaluates hundreds of media quality indicators — coverage, interaction, clutter, position, and more — to predict the likelihood of attention paid to creative and reveal the types of media placements that drive outcomes.

  1. Premium Placement Quality Allows Creative to Shine

All advertisers must ensure creative is compelling, but pharma advertisers must also consider compliance. The FDA requires that pharmaceutical ads present the benefits and risks of a prescription drug in a balanced fashion, meaning a large portion of creative is dedicated to important safety information (ISI) rather than brand message. While having less space and creative freedom poses some limitations, it is not creative that captures consumer attention.

The role of media is to create an environment that funnels attention to creative. Even brilliant creative is unlikely to attract attention when presented in a low-quality placement. Pharmaceutical advertisers who focus on media quality can ensure their creative gets noticed and maximize impact. AU measures contextual and environmental quality signals to help advertisers deliver the right message with the right tone.

Highly attentive environments, for example, offer the potential for longer video placements or rich-media units, while less attentive placements call for creative that quickly delivers messaging. By optimizing towards the most efficient sources of attention, pharma marketers can make the most out of every placement despite creative restrictions.

  1. Optimizing to AU Results in Better Full-Funnel Outcomes

Working with some of the world’s leading brands and agencies — including advertisers in the pharma and healthcare space — Adelaide has proven that optimizing towards attention metrics drives more impactful and efficient brand outcomes throughout the funnel.

By increasing transparency and revealing the true value of your media investment across channels, AU helps advertisers uncover valuable optimization opportunities.

In partnership with a major healthcare provider and its agency, Horizon Media, Adelaide compared AU-optimized media to viewability-optimized media. AU optimizations outperformed viewability across multiple Kantar brand lift categories. On average, attention-optimized placements yielded 85% greater impact on brand familiarity and 77% greater impact on brand perception.

“Direct measures of media quality like attention metrics have helped Horizon future-proof our measurement stack against the coming privacy changes,” said Keith Brewer, VP of Digital Strategy at Horizon Next. “Partnering with Adelaide, we’ve realized several key benefits including better outcomes across the funnel, higher resolution into media quality than we’ve seen with traditional metrics, and the ability to optimize mid-flight and increase efficiency across campaigns.”

As the digital media landscape continues to evolve, marketers’ approaches to targeting, attribution, media planning, and activation must follow suit. For pharmaceutical companies, this need is even more pressing.