Targeting healthcare professionals (HCPs) through search has long been a challenge for the pharma marketer. In the past, we’ve relied heavily on two core tactics to distinguish between patient and professional audiences:

  1. Selecting and prioritizing keywords which infer the audience’s knowledge level and intent
  2. Customizing ad creative to prequalify the audience prior to their click

These approaches – although still relevant and critical – do have their shortcomings. From the patient perspective, well-informed or chronic suffers become extremely educated regarding their condition. This leads to search queries and verbiage closely mirroring that of professionals. From the perspective of HCPs, we know that professionals leverage “natural language” when researching treatments to understand content their patients may be engaging with. How can we distinguish HCPs from informed patients given the similarities between their search behaviors?

Enter Bing’s Custom Audiences Integration. Custom Audiences is a Bing product that allows search marketers to utilize 3rd party audience data to create audience segmentations more expansive than what 1st party remarketing lists can provide.

PHM has partnered with Bing as well as 3rd party data suppliers typically leveraged for display and programmatic buys to create a first-in-pharma approach to building HCP audiences in search. By matching digital IDs to verified healthcare professionals through use of their National Provider Identifier (NPI) number, marketers can access up to 36 different segments of physician audiences to overlay alongside keyword targeting within Bing campaigns.

Our work was recognized for its innovation by being shortlisted for the “Audience Excellence Award” at the 2018 Bing Agency Awards on September 20. The inaugural awards event celebrated the drive and passion behind the recent work of some of Bing’s most highly-valued partners. This unique application of Bing’s Custom Audiences is a first for healthcare marketing. It has given us the opportunity to finally – and definitively – understand and optimize the audience that our search ads are reaching.

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