The Pharma Marketer's Guide to CTV and OTT Advertising

Avatar for Drew Teller
Director, Strategic Media Partnerships OptimizeRx Corporation

Leveraging CTV and OTT for Better Healthcare Advertising

It’s safe to say that the shift towards digital hasn’t just transformed how we consume media; it's reshaped how we connect with consumers and HCPs. As the streaming service market continues to evolve with countless options available today, there's a growing conversation around the eventual consolidation into just a few major platforms. In this dynamic landscape, Connected TV (CTV) and Over-the-Top (OTT) advertising have emerged as essential tools for pharma marketers, offering unique opportunities to engage with eligible patients and HCPs more directly and effectively.

To stay ahead of this curve, your brand needs to be perfectly positioned to meet viewers where they are. Imagine being able to proactively pinpoint your message directly to the viewers who need to hear it most, at a time when they're most receptive on the device they are using - that's the power of adding CTV and OTT advertising strategies to your marketing mix.

Understanding the Role of CTV and OTT Advertising

A pivotal trend reshaping viewer habits is cord-cutting, where viewers opt out of traditional cable or satellite subscriptions in favor of online streaming services. In fact,
35% of US households have now dropped their traditional pay TV subscriptions, opting for online streaming services instead, and streaming makes up 39% of total TV time, according to Nielsen. It's also worth noting that a substantial amount of today’s growth in streaming is being driven by ad-supported services – with subscribers growing at nearly double the rate of non-ad services. 

While the preference for streaming is still growing, there are audiences who haven’t committed to cutting the cord yet. Cord-stacking, where viewers have subscriptions for both traditional TV and streaming services – like those offered by DirecTV, DISH, Comcast, and Charter – presents a dual opportunity for pharma advertisers to reach audiences across both platforms effectively. 

With this growing number of U.S. households forgoing traditional pay TV, the message is clear: the audience is shifting, and so should your advertising strategies.  

But what does this shift mean for pharma marketers, and how do Connected TV (CTV) and Over-The-Top (OTT) campaigns fit into the new advertising landscape? 

  • Connected TV (CTV): Delivers content through internet-connected televisions, combining the traditional TV experience with the targeted, interactive capabilities of digital advertising. 
  • Over-The-Top (OTT): Streams content directly over the internet to a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, not limited to internet-connected TVs.  

By leveraging the unique advantages of both approaches, pharma marketers can more effectively reach target audiences directly. For example, if your goal is to keep your brand top of mind and drive awareness, ads watched via CTV are more likely to be watched all the way through than mobile ads. But if your goal is to drive immediate action and engagement like encouraging patients to discuss your medication with their healthcare provider, an OTT strategy can be more effective.  

CTV and OTT advertising campaigns allow brands to combine high-quality inventory, long-form video content, and the ability to engage with your healthcare audiences for incremental reach. It's about leveraging the best of both worlds—connecting with viewers through their smart TVs, streaming devices, and consoles, bringing your pharma brand a level of reach that pay TV can't match.


The Value of Dynamic Pharma Advertising Campaigns

By understanding how these channels bring tangible value to campaigns, marketers can leverage a comprehensive approach that ensures maximum impact.
 Picture your brand seamlessly integrating into the everyday moments of patients. This "surround sound" approach ensures that your message reaches viewers when they're scrolling through their smartphones or lounging in front of the TV.  

But how can you reach your audience and optimize campaign performance with CTV and OTT strategies? 

  • Micro-Neighborhood Targeting Integration: The integration of Medicx's Micro-Neighborhood® (MNT) to the OptimizeRx Dynamic Audience Activation Platform (DAAP) offers a privacy-safe supplement for targeting consumers. Leveraging these hyper-local geographies for consumer targeting, brands can engage patients based on disease state instead of relying on data from model audiences. 
  • Custom-Built Clinically Specific Audiences: Using real-world medical and prescription claims data, hyper-local areas down to a 9-digit postal code are identified based on health data signals and aligned with brand parameters. 
  • More Marketing Resources: With deterministic targeting methods, CTV and OTT advertising amplify campaign impact, allowing for desired outcomes with fewer ads and better budget utilization for your ROI.  
  • Balanced Viewability and Frequency: Strategic use of CTV and OTT advertising drives optimal engagement without overwhelming or annoying audiences, achieving a balanced approach to viewability and frequency. 

With advanced, privacy-conscious targeting methods like Micro-Neighborhood Targeting, pharma brands can seamlessly deliver tangible value by optimizing reach, frequency, and audience connection.  

Navigating the Future of Healthcare Advertising

The future of pharma advertising is here, and it's more dynamic and connected than ever. With CTV and OTT advertising campaigns, pharma marketers can bridge the gap between traditional TV's reach and the precision of digital advertising. It's about leveraging the best of both worlds—connecting with viewers through their smart TVs, streaming devices, and consoles, bringing your pharma brand a level of reach that traditional TV can't match.

Discover how to integrate CTV and OTT strategies into your marketing mix and make every message count – connect with us today to learn more!

Avatar for Drew Teller
Director, Strategic Media Partnerships
OptimizeRx Corporation