Bringing Efficiency and Innovation to Hospital Marketing
True Media recently has partnered with WebMD to launch a new programmatic marketing program, specifically designed for hospital marketing. Below is Q&A with Sean Cotton, VP of Digital & Social Media, and Candice Rotter, Associate Media Director – Healthcare, on how this partnership was developed and how it will benefit True Media’s large client base of hospitals.
How will hospital clients benefit from this partnership?
Rotter: WebMD is the premiere place to go for trusted healthcare information. In the past they have always had a minimum spend requirement. This can be an issue when we are trying to target at the zip code level because there has not been enough available inventory to meet those minimum spend requirements. Now with our partnership, that is no longer the case, without that minimum we can get as targeted as we would like with each campaign.
Cotton: Yes, and it is very advantageous for hospitals to have their brands associated with an authoritative healthcare publisher such as WebMD when people in their area are researching their content.
What other advantages do you see with this programmatic buying method for WebMD inventory?
Cotton: The manual method of making digital media buys is typically a 40 step process. Multiplied over the many hospitals we represent and the individual campaigns that those hospitals run this would result in much of our buying team’s time being spent on data entry and email tasks. This method streamlines the process so our teams can spend more time on strategy and optimization which benefits the performance and results of our campaigns.
Rotter: I like the fact that we have the ability in real-time to see what is available for each symptom/service-line. This allows us to act quickly on timely campaigns and allows us the ability to secure all inventory that is available in those sectors.
Can you explain how the process works?
Cotton: Sure. Basically True Media is able to work through our programmatic partner, Coegi, to access online the available impressions on WebMD as a whole or at the topic level down to the zip code level. We can then select, reserve and buy the inventory that we want for our clients – and all of this is done programmatically, or in other words, through online ordering. We actually had custom areas set up for most of the hospitals we work with so we can do this for each of them based upon their market needs and service lines.
Rotter: First we were able to load all target areas for each hospital in the system. Then we are able to select that hospital for any campaign, and it automatically knows what our targeting perimeters are. Then you can select categories or content, such as flu, heart, sports medicine, etc., and it shows you all inventory that is available in those areas. You can then select what ad sizes you would like to commit to, and what impression levels the campaign objective requires. You can then secure at that time. It makes it a very efficient process.
What results have you seen so far?
Rotter: Great performance especially for niche campaigns. For example, one of our hospitals had a campaign promoting services for cervical cancer and we were able to reserve and buy specific content on WebMD for that condition in the area that the hospital served. The performance metrics for these type of campaigns are generally double industry benchmarks.
Cotton: I see an overall lift in the relevance and quality of our healthcare campaigns. Being able to integrate the leading healthcare Web site into any of our campaigns automatically improves the impact and relevance to the consumer for our hospital client’s brands. It has been very exciting for our team to be able to be at the forefront of this innovation and I feel that our hospital clients understand how the exposure on a premium site such as WebMD benefits them in terms of their brand image as well.