Brand safety concerns continue to make headlines as existing publishers evolve their business models and new media opportunities are introduced. Maintaining an optimal media mix that produces the greatest results and minimizes risk to a brand’s reputation is a challenging feat in today’s precarious environment.
Social media messaging and digital advertising remain must-have tactics for pharma and healthcare organizations, but as the recent Twitter saga shows, brand safety issues within these channels seem to be no longer an “if” but “when.”
This reality started a debate among our team members here at PatientPoint: What’s a marketer to do? How do you continue to reach patients across a variety of media channels while ensuring a brand’s reputation and credibility remain protected?
Creating a New Mix
Voiding a brand’s presence within all social and digital channels based on brand safety concerns is extreme when opportunities, and competitors, still exist. Beyond the traditional go-to social and digital outlets, however, there are alternative, low-to-no-risk networks worth considering that can assist in optimizing a media mix:
- Gated Communities: These “closed” channels have proliferated in recent years and continue to attract more users, especially HCPs. According to a recent survey, 63% of physicians prefer online platforms to learn about the latest medical news vs only 12% who rely on public social media platforms. Examples of these outlets include Doximity, Healio, Medscape and Sermo along with patient-facing Health Union. These “walled gardens” offer marketers the opportunity to target and reach specific communities in a highly controlled environment.
- Online Directories: Ninety percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians. The targeting provided by platforms such as Healthgrades, WebMD and Vitals gives marketers the ability to align product messaging with specific HCPs based on prescribing behavior in a low-risk environment.
- Point of Care: The point-of-care channel laser-targets brand campaign messaging within key prescriber locations. POC digital programs operate in a closed-loop system that is not subject to bots and there is no user-generated content that could present brand safety concerns. This trusted, credible environment continues to gain increased attention from marketers: 2023 spend in the channel is projected to increase by 22%.
While alternative channels offer an appealing secure environment, marketers need to ensure outlets like these still support their specific business objectives and brand character, are fully compliant and, ultimately, effective.
Balancing Risk with Reward
All media channels present some element of brand safety concern. This can be either an explicit risk or, perhaps, a possible conflict of taste and tone between the content environment and the campaign message. It requires continuous oversight to ensure a brand’s reputation and image are protected. Those marketers who are able to successfully manage that risk while maintaining a strong presence within the channels their target audiences are using will see the greatest results.
Interested in learning more about how Point of Care balances brand safety while maximizing impact? Let’s talk.