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Connected TV for Healthcare: A Solution in the Digital Age

For healthcare marketers, running a successful digital campaign is met with unique challenges and strict nuances. Like other digital advertising verticals, healthcare campaigns need to reach the right audiences with captivating creative and informative messaging, but unlike other verticals, there is the overarching element to remain compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), that can often cause a great aversion to risk when executing a campaign.

Fortunately, marketers are finding ways to balance creativity and compliance, and this is largely due to the shift to digital advertising that is continuing to trend upwards. According to eMarketer, in 2019, spend increased over 20.1% to over $3.62 billion and it is projected to continue upwards by 19.1% in 2020. While healthcare and pharmaceutical budgets are on the rise, it still remains one of the lowest spending verticals, accounting for just under 3% of all U.S. digital ad spend. 

One key observation can be made about the current state of healthcare advertising—even in 2020, nearly 70% of all healthcare advertising dollars are still going into funding linear television campaigns. 

Why linear television in 2020?

Linear television fits most of the criteria for a compliant healthcare campaign. Rich in Important Safety Information (ISI) for pharmaceuticals, as well as running a marginally lower risk in targeting tactics compared to other advertising channels, linear television is tried-and-true for running traditional healthcare awareness campaigns. 

Even still, there are a few major blind spots with linear television, such as linking multi-channel campaigns and accurately reporting campaign performance. The question then remains; how do we employ compliant television advertising campaigns and amplify the impact of the creative in the digital age?

Enter connected TV for healthcare.

What is connected TV?

By definition, connected TV (CTV) consists of any type of TV that can be connected to the internet and can stream digital video at a viewer’s convenience. CTV is a subset of over-the-top (OTT), which encompasses all content that is streamed over the internet and does not require a subscription to a traditional cable or pay-TV service. 

CTV provides a more impactful solution for digital advertising in healthcare, for four main reasons:

  1. Accessibility: Media buyers have more choices for TV spend. There are now more opportunities for healthcare brands to reach their target audiences in more efficient ways.
  2. Affordability: The ability to target on CTV provides better healthcare audience efficiency, reducing media waste and the noise of reaching irrelevant viewers and households.
  3. Campaign Impact: CTV advertising provides the ability to assess progress against goals and metrics while a campaign is live—and make campaign optimizations and adjustments before the flight end date.
  4. Reaching and Engaging Cord-Cutters (and Cord-Nevers): Between 2019 and 2023, U.S. pay-TV households will decline by about 16%—while cord-cutters and cord-nevers will increase from 40.2 million to 56.1 million.

How to Leverage CTV for Healthcare Advertising:

CTV offers all of the benefits of linear TV advertising, but with increased control over which households receive your ads. 

Simply put, a CTV campaign for a healthcare brand enjoys the same benefits and impact as any other vertical, with only two unique campaign requirements to consider:

  1. Audiences: Like any campaign in healthcare, the most important thing to account for is compliance. While hyper-relevant audiences are often used, HIPAA requires the removal of all personally identifiable information (PII), and therefore healthcare marketers must use audiences that adhere to this requirement. If you are considering running a programmatic campaign, ensure the demand-side platform (DSP) that you leverage has HIPAA compliant audiences. For example, look for 3rd-party audiences from reputable partners such as HealthLink Dimensions and MedData Group, and consider offerings like custom segments and anonymized 1st-party CRM data services.
  2. Retargeting: CTV enables users to be tracked and retargeted with either a desktop or mobile ad. With other healthcare compliant ad units available, such as ISI-rich native and display, you are able to increase performance across the board and close an attribution loop that was previously open.

In summary, a CTV campaign for healthcare will optimally perform by first targeting the right HIPAA compliant audience, exposing this audience to a carefully curated creative, and then retargeting with either native or display ad units to amplify awareness.

Getting Started with CTV for Healthcare

Whether you are a healthcare marketer looking to target patients or providers, staying compliant and creative is always top of mind. If you are currently focusing on broadcast campaigns, starting a CTV campaign with existing video creative is not only frictionless but provides all of the same benefits, with none of the waste and accurate reporting.

Unlike linear TV, you can track the impact of your CTV healthcare campaigns in the same manner as with your other programmatic buys, and with healthcare advertising moving further into the digital age every year, the next wave couldn’t be more streamlined.

To learn more about StackAdapt’s CTV capabilities for healthcare, and to request a copy of our Connected TV Guide, reach out to your StackAdapt Representative.

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