It’s not as easy as it seems. The audience for many pharma products is difficult to plan and budget for. OTC painkillers are easy. It’s a mass item. But as the condition becomes more specific, the audience will shrink in size but grow in value. Determining the proper reach and frequency in this vertical requires an understanding of the customer first, and technology second. Here’s an example. Suppose a pharmaceutical company is marketing an arthritis drug. Obviously they can look first at the 55+ demographic. But to plan and spend properly, deeper insights are necessary into the customer’s location and behavioral preferences. However, it doesn’t look like enough companies really think this through.
Let’s return to the arthritis drug example. Florida has the highest percentage of 55 plus consumers at 17.9 percent of the total population. That’s easy. But a more insightful approach shows that an online budget should be thoroughly planned and researched to determine how to best achieve the right reach and frequency. So while Florida is an easy get, in a survey conducted by Campus Continuum more than half of surveyed adults 55-75 said they liked the idea of retiring to a home on a college campus. Many college towns are reporting increased percentages of the 55 plus demographic.
On a DMA/MSA level, Florida and Arizona as top retirement destinations would be a top pick due to lifestyle and high likelihood of households with arthritis patients. But the trend toward college towns is why a local media/geo focus is critical to an efficient media plan. Brands need to narrow down to find smaller groups of customers. They can then define the target, focus more impressions among them and then statistically improve their chances of finding that target. Behavioral targeting on its own, while extremely effective, is not the only answer. Layering on a geo focus on local insight will tell a pharmaceutical marketer that Ann Arbor, MI might be a hotter market than Miami, FL for an arthritis drug.