WarnerMedia’s advertising and analytics unit Xandr has partnered with healthcare marketing and analytics platform Lasso to deliver programmatic advertising to the pharma and healthcare industries across CTV, social and email.
Mike DiNorscio, Lasso co-founder and chief revenue officer, told AdExchanger that the partnership, formally announced on Monday, had been underway since Lasso launched in December 2019 – shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the way sales reps and healthcare providers can interact.
DiNorscio – a former head of new business, of AppNexus’ EMEA division before it was acquired by AT&T and became a Xandr subsidiary – said that Lasso had looked at other DSPs before choosing Xandr.
“Until now, there really hasn’t been a tier one DSP that has really leaned in and built products specifically for the healthcare/pharma vertical,” DiNorscio said. “We all know that with COVID tearing up all the formal processes for patients, sales reps and the physicians themselves, it’s a fast-growing market from a digital advertising perspective.”
Allison Sanbongi, Xandr’s VP of strategic accounts, said that Xandr had been looking to work with companies that are concerned about privacy and consumer welfare.
Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers’ digital advertising spend grew over 14% in 2020 and is expected to surpass $11 billion this year, according to eMarketer. But they need digital tools with HIPAA-compliant data and targeting capabilities.
Lasso can send relevant ads to healthcare professionals or patients, including messaging about COVID-19 vaccines. DiNorscio declined to name the company’s clients.
“The industry was super fragmented, and in order to run even the most basic healthcare professional or consumer-targeted campaign in this space, you have to stitch together a number of different partners in order to basically get something off the ground,” he said. “It was incredibly inefficient. It was very costly and it was really holding these healthcare marketers back from being as productive as they could.”
Lasso’s tech sits on top of Xandr’s DSP and has a UI designed to streamline media planning, activation, and measurement across programmatic, social, email and CTV campaigns. Lasso has direct integrations with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and plans to add LinkedIn.
The platform also plugs into the Xandr Invest DSP (formerly AppNexus), which includes powerful machine learning-based optimization tools, fully customizable API architecture and direct connections to premium media publishers and distributors.
Separately, Lasso is also adding its unique healthcare provider data into Xandr’s programmatic platform Curate, so it can be applied to any DSP in the market.
“Basically, it means we can offer our solution … to any relevant healthcare or pharma marketer,” DiNorscio said.
Unlike, say, the auto industry, healthcare and pharma marketers have more niche audiences they need to target across social, email and CTV if they want to reach, say, 5,000 doctors via email with marketing materials about Lipitor.
“It’s a much more specialized and niche audience that requires really good identity resolution and targeting and it requires being able to tie those identities back to some sort of reporting,” DiNorscio said. “I want to know which doctors I’ve reached and what did they do. Then I can start to really understand the ROI of my marketing.”