The data difference? Publicis adds data practice to sharpen healthcare media buying and planning

Publicis Health Media is marrying healthcare data to traditional media metrics for a digital mix that could cut pharma marketing costs and potentially improve patient care at the same time.

Dave Nussbaum, senior VP for the agency's new Business Intelligence practice, said traditional healthcare metrics like anonymous patient data on new prescription starts, adherence and healthcare plan information can be exponentially more powerful when they're matched to traditional media buying and planning data such as impression volumes, time spent with media and click-through rates.

With tools to link the two, pharma can analyze the results of marketing and advertising efforts, he said, for instance, what aggregate volumes mean in terms of driving patients to talk to a doctor, or what unique website visits mean in regards to consumers who have the targeted disease.

Publicis Health Media's Dave Nussbaum

"Everything is tied to placement and creative, and can be monitored or adjusted accordingly," Nussbaum said. "Now we're able to see by channel and by placement what's working, and how much it costs to drive the desired behavior such as going to the doctor or getting a prescription."

The analysis can also yield information on barriers, he said, such as doctors preferring a different branded drug or healthcare plans refusing to pay for a prescribed medication. Flagging the latter could create an opening for a pharma company to step in and suggest a copay assistance plan or offer coupons.

Data advances like this are important in the industry, Nussbaum said, not only because they reduce advertising waste and lower costs for marketers, but also because they can improve patient care and treatment. "We know the number one way to improve patient outcomes is appropriate medication use," he said.

Nussbaum and Sharon Patent, the vice president and group director for the new business practice, both previously worked for data and analytics firm Symphony Health Solutions.

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