Everyday Health And Videology Aim To Unlock Hard-To-Reach Health Care Audiences

CastreeShemmerHealth care and pharma brands spend north of $3 billion each year on TV ads, according to Kantar Media, but oftentimes the trade-off is the associated waste that results from mass reach.

Although these advertisers have been comparatively slow to adopt data-driven digital tactics, more are investing. EMarketer estimates the sector will spend $1.8 billion on digital advertising in 2016.

Publishers like Everyday Health, a portfolio of health and wellness properties with 50 million monthly unique visitors, are laying the groundwork for more digital dollars to flow.

Everyday Health on Tuesday rolled out a digital video platform for pharma and health care advertisers dubbed TVRx with video ad platform Videology.

About a dozen clients have used TVRx to run campaigns over the past three months in stealth mode, according to Yadin Shemmer, president of consumer and data science at Everyday Health.

“Our business historically has been focused on sponsorships and display and we didn’t have a lot of video inventory, which is pretty standard for a publisher,” Shemmer said. “The focus of TVRx is less about running video within the endemic confines of Everyday Health’s environment, and more about creating an audience-based approach to video as a complement to television to reduce waste.”

One of the main issues TVRx seeks to solve is unlocking hard-to-find, incremental digital audiences for marketers investing large sums in linear media.

Everyday Health’s advertisers were looking for ways to unlock incremental reach across properties and identify cross-screen opportunities to package with their TV buys.

As part of that effort, Everyday Health tapped Videology to work on proposals with marketers and agencies and execute campaigns on a managed service basis, according to Tim Castree, managing director of North America for Videology.

Videology and Everyday Health will have a small dedicated team stationed at the publisher’s office to support rollout.

Because of the tight regulatory compliance issues peppering the health and pharmaceutical industries, targeting niche audiences has, at times, been purposely oblique.

But those rules are typically situational – “Each pharma or health care company has internal restrictions regarding what they will and won’t do regarding targeting,” claimed Shemmer. “In the past, yes, restrictions with cookie-based targeting were prevalent, but it’s not some sweeping mandate now. It’s more on a case-by-case basis.”

Shemmer said TVRx is designed to address some of the inherent sensitivities of these unique targeting demands. The system offers several cookieless options where it can target based on geographies it predicts are more relevant to a specific health interest or condition.

For instance, it created a proprietary flu tracker that ingests multiple data signals to model down to the ZIP code level where there may be a flu outbreak, and tailor content and ads appropriately.

“We bring a first-party audience centered around health interests, not any data that stems from medical information or claims/records, which would obviously be a big regulatory issue,” Shemmer said. “We are only focused on nonsensitive health interests.”

Where Videology comes in is helping Everyday Health extend the reach of its own first-party data set. It uses Adobe’s Audience Manager as its data management platform, which has a server-to-server integration to Videology.

Videology focuses on the point of activation. Its role is to marry Everyday Health’s data sets to its own and ultimately drive decisions about “what impressions to show to who and where,” said Castree “and whether we should schedule [those buys] in a traditional television setting, bid in an auction or serve an ad in a premium digital video environment.”

TVRx is up against incumbents like pharma ad network PageScience, which built with AppNexus a digital video targeting tool that uses semantics to pre-score content based on historical ad performance and relevancy of topic and tailor that data to pre-roll.

One of TVRx’s key differentiators is its ability to identify and target incremental audiences, but also to close the loop in measurement, Shemmer said. Bottom-of-the-funnel sales attribution is notoriously hard for pharma and health care products because there’s commonly an intermediary (a physician or third-party distributor) acting as an agent for the end brand.

Everyday Health is working with a couple of neutral, third-party measurement vendors who specialize in offline sales attribution for the health care industry to measure the outcome of a campaign on a cross-screen basis.

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