Is your DTC campaign working? New program tracks viewers from TV to pharmacy

Imagine you're a pharma marketer shrouded by an invisibility cloak. You can see when someone views your latest ad campaign on television, and then follow them to the doctor's office or even the pharmacy when they pick up their meds. A new initiative from Nielsen Catalina Solutions and marketing analytics firm Crossix Solutions aims to do just that, helping pharma marketers craft more targeted campaigns by anonymously measuring TV viewership in real time and tracking prescription purchases.

Dan Stein

Nielsen Catalina and Crossix's new program, dubbed "AdVantics Rx," follows audiences as they watch ads on TV, and then determines whether a consumer visits a doctor or buys a prescription based on the ads they were watching. The approach allows marketers to determine which television slots are most effective for advertising, and to weed out ad placements that don't yield the desired Rx numbers, Dan Stein, senior vice president of analytics services & product strategy, told FiercePharmaMarketing. Nielsen will bring its TV expertise and metrics to the table, including actual purchase data from more than 70 million shoppers, while Crossix will analyze the data to help pharma companies improve their ad campaigns.

"Our data allows advertisers to better understand which parts of their campaign are more effective in reaching their intended audiences, based on relevant health behavioral data" Stein said. "And then advertisers can make the critical link between the audiences reached and the campaign's incremental impact from a sales and ROI perspective."

The program could help marketers spend ad budgets more wisely, and help tweak campaigns as they roll out. Consider Astellas, which rolled out a new DTC ad campaign for its overactive bladder drug Myrbetriq earlier this year. Featuring a friendly, animated bladder that repeatedly dragged women to the bathroom, the first commercial was slated for spots on cable and network television as well as social media channels.

Which cable channels delivered? Which time slots? In the past, pharma companies have had difficulty measuring viewer data due to privacy constraints. Nielsen and Crossix's initiative is HIPAA-compliant, providing analytics to a pharma company without revealing personal information about the TV ad viewer.

"Other industries have been monitoring their TV buys based on audience reach data for awhile now, but pharma advertisers have been constrained by consumer privacy considerations " Stein told FiercePharmaMarketing. "Our solution resolves the privacy issues by leveraging HIPAA-compliant health data--combined with Nielsen Catalina's TV viewership information--to finally enable pharma to optimize their campaigns as other industries have."

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