Pharma marketers, don't throw away your TV ad plans just yet

Television is still king when it comes to pharma marketing, but streaming and audio are seeing some strong growth when it comes to ad impressions. 

This is according to technology and cloud platform Veeva Crossix, which has released a new report detailing some of the trends spotted in health advertising for both DTC and HCP campaigns.

The "2022 Trends in Health Advertising" report is the result of a collating health data and media measurement from hundreds of health-related campaigns. The information is gleaned from more than 53 billion digital impressions as well as 115 billion linear TV impressions equaling over $6 billion in media spend for last year.

The research points to three key trends: “the changing media behavior of consumers, a corresponding diversification of campaign tactics to reach both patients and HCPs, and better connections between personal and non-personal promotion for more effective HCP marketing.”

While digital display still hold’s the lion’s share at 80% of impressions, online video , streaming and audio ads have all seen improvement with 5%, 18% and 61% growth, respectively.

Despite the popularity of streaming platforms, when it comes to pharma reach, don’t discount good old linear TV. Sure, streaming is great for precision marketing, for example in the case of rare diseases; oncology brands airing both linear and streaming found streaming increased targeted reach by 49% compared to linear TV alone. However, when trying to reach more common disease populations such as diabetes patients, the return for streaming was only about 5%. Thus, it’s no surprise that linear TV buy is eight times higher than streaming.

The report also found that linear TV helped increase patient adherence by prompting current patients to continue their course and refill their prescriptions.

When it comes to reaching HCPs, direct buys are still the main aspect of digital campaigns, but for 2021, programmatic platforms were the top way to reach the market.

The report concludes: “While 80% of HCP targets were reached with digital media, a  smaller subset of that universe received sales detailing in addition to digital non-personal promotion. Zeroing in on the specific targets who were receiving orchestrated messaging by both sales and digital, the brand marketing team was able to ensure the highest levels of saturation from both touchpoints for the highest priority HCPs (Ultra and Tier 1).”