Doceree offers glimpse into trends of 'programmatic marketing'

When HCPs' doors closed due to COVID-19, pharma opened a digital window.

A new study (PDF), "Programmatic Trends in Pharma HCP Marketing 2022" by Doceree, a global network of HCP-only platforms for programmatic messaging, finds trigger targeting of HCPs is on the rise.

The report, based on both primary information from campaigns running on Doceree’s platform as well as secondary research, found that 69% of U.S. pharma marketers prefer to use programmatic messaging platforms—which are essentially an automated form of marketing designed to create highly targeted content—to contact HCPs in order to better segment and really drill down to the right target audience.

Not surprisingly, the study also found a significant increase in digital spend worldwide.

“We are seeing five out of 10 dollars spent on digital being set aside for programmatic messaging,” said Harshit Jain, M.D., founder and global CEO of Doceree, in a release. “The outlook for digital campaigns targeting HCPs within digital channels is promising as we see pharma brands earmarking a significant budget to programmatic marketing,” he said.

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In addition, the report captures the latest trends that are shaping the programmatic pharma HCP marketing space. There was a massive jump of 53% in the use of programmatic in the realm of endemic (or native ad) publishers. As the end of cookies looms, the rise of first-party data continues in the endemic walled garden, and point-of-care platforms, according to the report, saw a “39% year-on-year increase.”

The report found brand marketers handling medical devices increased spend on account-based campaigns a whopping 135% over the previous year. While opportunity abounds to reach HCPs via point-of-care networks, catching them during “decision-making moments" is crucial.

Programmatic marketing is not new; it’s been big in social media and has steadily been gaining steam for healthcare, especially throughout the pandemic.

“Healthcare practitioner offices have been off limits to many sales representatives for a while. So there's lesser face time and lesser ability to get information around medical devices and/or pharmaceutical products,” Stephen Hoelper, Doceree's North America president, said. “I think part of the COVID-19 isolation trend is seeping into, what are the digital ways that you can get in front of a HCP in an efficient way?”

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And really, it’s all about efficiency. Doceree’s promo video shows that with this programmatic system the user can pinpoint their exact target: from U.S. based doctors, to female doctors who live in Manhattan and practice in Brooklyn who tend to prescribe a competitor’s product, to even if they prefer a mocha over a cappuccino. (That last bit is somewhat tongue in cheek.) The point is to get in there with one-to-one focus.

This comes after several reports from Indegene and Accenture have warned marketers not to "spam" doctors with digital media and overly promotional drug information, as they ask for more quality over quantity when it comes to contact.