Many companies are riding the wave of predictive targeting, an approach to marketing that analyzes user data to predict their behavior, and pharmaceutical companies should take note of opportunities to adopt the trend.
Predictive healthcare provider (HCP) targeting looks at specific digital analytics that provide context for an HCP’s decision-making practices and professional online behavior. This technique allows marketers to further maximize strategies for HCP engagement.
Data-driven probability estimates are utilized by companies like Amazon, think of those targeted ads that pop up on every site you surf, or Netflix, which uses algorithm-based viewing recommendations to pair you with the perfect content. This post will introduce the concept and techniques behind predictive targeting, and how it can be effectively applied to pharma marketing practices.
What is predictive targeting?
Predictive targeting is a way for marketers to anticipate future behaviors of targeted HCPs in order to better engage them. The process of targeting analyzes digital data to reveal online behavior patterns or certain demographic characteristics. For example, simple data points such as gender or educational background may be used to inform future behaviors; however, for predictive targeting to be truly effective, hundreds of different attributes need to be considered.
Online behavior patterns are moreover identified by looking at past and current actions of users. Machine learning—an application that allows a computer system to learn and improve from an experience without programming—is often employed to access and analyze these types of behaviors and actions. The algorithms used in machine learning detect which patterns and characteristics are relevant as predictors, then uses them to determine behavioral predictions.
How is predictive targeting applied to pharma marketing?
Predictive targeting is typically used to optimize conversion. Let’s use online retailers for example. Analytics currently detect a visitor’s purchase considerations and then convert the data into targeted ads, which in turn increase the likelihood of the visitor buying the product. In pharma marketing, predictive targeting is used to increase client engagement by analyzing and predicting the type of topics, services, or content that an HCP has shown interest in or has specifically searched for through various online channels.
Predictive HCP targeting is used to forecast HCPs’ behavioral patterns in the context of potential future actions. Demographic information and digital behaviors used in a predictive context can even help identify HCPs that are most likely to adopt a new therapy or treatment. By anticipating an HCP’s future behavior and receptiveness to certain content types, pharma marketers can adapt highly tuned marketing strategies with targeted messaging.
What are the benefits of predictive HCP targeting?
The ultimate argument for a predictive targeting technique is to uncover new, smarter marketing opportunities that allow companies to budget their resources more effectively. In fact, machine learning can help marketers identify responsiveness by looking at relevant data points as well as those which are less meaningful. This helps avoid so-called marketing waste that comes from a trial-and-error approach to marketing.
Predictive HCP targeting helps create more purposeful interactions and even identify missed targets. Furthermore, it helps with HCP value-based segmentation by gaining better insight into the ‘why’ behind targeted HCP behaviors. These segments are typically seen as actionable units around which a marketing campaign may be designed. In other words, predictive targeting helps determine the most effective ways to engage with a specific set of HCPs, and informs a highly focused marketing strategy.
What does predictive HCP targeting mean for the future of marketing?
Predictive HCP targeting, the practice of segmentation, and machine learning are techniques that not only help develop relevant marketing strategies, but also save pharma companies from waste by providing a more effective allocation of resources. This is the future: a hyper-specialized, machine-enabled approach to marketing that makes the most of a limited budget. These techniques rely on the ability to perform highly focused digital analysis and identify HCPs’ channel preferences and receptiveness to different content types on a deeply analytical level. In order to implement predictive HCP targeting in your next marketing campaign, team up with a medical communications agency to help bring your HCP engagement strategies into the future of pharma marketing.