Industry Leaders Discuss Privacy First Marketing - A Summary - Oct 2020


In a recent thought leader discussion DHC brought together stakeholders from the digital marketing ecosystem to discuss how major changes to consumer privacy are impacting pharmaceutical marketing now and will continue to evolve in 2021.  Below are some of the key takeaways.

1. Consumers want control of their data

A recent study by W2O revealed consumers want control of their data and transparency about who is using it and how.  76% of survey respondents agree their data should not be shared unless they give explicit permissions. However, if rules are defined, about two-third of respondents would be willing to share their data if it were for the purpose of the greater good and helped others.

Crossix’s CEO, Asaf Evenhaim sees this new digital age of privacy-first and consumer control as an exciting opportunity for the pharma industry to create sustainable advertising strategies.

asaf evenhaimConsumers are interested in an exchange of value, but it has to be above board. It has to be done on the table and not hidden based on mechanisms that are unclear to the consumer. On the other hand, we should not lose sight of that exchange. We get so many services on the internet. We’re used to that. We’re getting so many of them without paying for it. The only way that works is if there’s a business model behind it. If we want an advertising business model, then we’ve got to have that exchange above board and done well.”

2. Audience targeting is changing

Pharma marketers are changing the way they leverage data for targeting purposes, shifting from audience targeting to more of a contextual strategy. 

lisa flaizLisa Flaiz, Multi-Channel Marketing, WW Digital Hub Lead, BMS said “Contextual targeting might get a whole lot more important again. The discussions we’re having are about changing the way that marketers use data for targeting. It often comes around to the issue of context and whether digital advertising will go back to being less audience targeted and more contextually targeted.”

Healthline’s, SVP, Sales & Strategy, Brendan McHenry offered his take on the shift to contextual targeting stating it never went away rather we are realizing its potential once again due to a rapid progression of factors such as browser changes, regulatory restrictions and consumers increasingly becoming aware of privacy.

brendan mchenry “We are just starting to see the market catch up to a lot of the realities. One of the realities is contextual is going to become much more important and much more competitive. In terms of is it scalable, one of the things that you do have to appreciate about contextual is it is not a … if you build it they will come marketplace. You are going to have to rely on partners not only to develop the content, but also to effectively market that content and make sure that they are getting in front of the niche audiences we’re frequently talking about targeting here and doing it efficiently. That is going to be a challenge for the marketplace not in the future, but right now.”

3. Predictive marketing is the next step

From a positive perspective Stef Klaskow, Industry Lead, Google encourages pharma that we already have the capabilities and technology we need, and framed the current digital marketing shifts as more of an opportunity to take targeting, personalization, and predictive marketing to the next level.

stefani klaskow[This is an] opportunity for us to just shift the way that we’re thinking about things for the better of consumers, for the better of patients. We saw people use contextual targeting for a number of different reasons depending on what their marketing goals were. That has never changed. Certainly, over the past few years we have swung to the side of precision marketing. We got really good at being very precise using personalization, using the insights that we had. Now, we’re really up to the challenge to move to predictive marketing. We have all the things in place form a more sophisticated cloud computing, analytics, insight development, and of course, automation and machine learning. We have a great opportunity here to take contextual targeting and predictive marketing to the next level. That’s, quite honestly, what we’re going to have to do. We’re going to have no choice in the matter. We’re really in this place of moving from precision to predictive. We have all the right capabilities in place to do so from a technology standpoint. I think it’s just how we are going to ask and hope that our customers lean into that and know that they are in the right place, and their vendors are in the right place, to help them get to that next point.”

4. Contextual targeting improves the personal experience

Contextual targeting is perhaps defined differently today than it was many years ago. In the early days of digital advertising context usually focused on behavior, or what content a person was engaging with at a specific time. Today, with the availability of machine learning contextual is more about delivering a personal experience to a person relevant to where they are in their journey rather than just the content they consume.

Kamran Shah, EVP, Klick Health explains what it means for pharma marketers:

 “Now you’re able to take machine learning, apply that to say … how do I reach those audiences and also how do I personalize experiences? Not at a person – but where in the journey is somebody? I think when we start thinking of context, we need to think of it beyond the piece of information that they’re viewing at that time but where is this person and what can we gleam about what they’re really looking for. I think that’s really the other shift when I think of context. It’s not the traditional thought of what context really used to be.”

For more great insights and to listen to the entire discussion you can access the webinar on-demand here.  This thought leader discussion, along with additional research and analysis, will be included in an upcoming Industry POV featuring insights from the DHC group and member partners. The POV will be released in the coming weeks – request your copy now.

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