5 Ways to Improve Your Health Advertising Campaigns with Geolocation

August 1, 2019

It’s incredible how geolocation data helps us navigate today’s world.  Waze provides turn-by-turn navigation, avoids traffic, and calls out nearby points of interest. Apps like FindMyFriends and Footprint automatically locate kids to ensure they’re safe. With Citymapper, you can circumvent train delays on a commute with alternate options for public transportation, walking, ride sharing, and Citibike. So how can geolocation help healthcare marketers? Well, think about it like this: when users are hailing an Uber, tracking a route on Nike Run Club, or checking into a restaurant via Foursquare, the location data tells the marketer where the consumer is, providing them an opportunity to target messaging and advertising within a specific geography or designated marketing area (DMA). With geotargeting, your brand can be there without physically being there. Couple its precision with the efficiency and automation of programmatic technology for more accurate targeting and you get increased spend efficiency combined with hyper-targeting.

Consider these tips to help you make the most of geolocation in your healthcare marketing campaigns:

  • Build campaigns to target people in healthcare conferences
  • Target messaging to people in hospitals, medical centers, and physician’s offices
  • Create conditional geotargeting rules
  • Target competitor DMAs (competitive blunting)
  • Retarget based on specific geolocation parameters

What is geolocation and how does it work?

Geolocation is a family of technologies that utilize data provided by mobile device GPS and wireless radio triangulation to provide a location for a user. Of course, the data does not specify the actual person who is using the device, just where they are and that they are online. As part of the technologies, geofencing utilizes zipcode and other geographic data to confine a specific area. For example, you can fence a specific zipcode to either allow or deny certain campaigns. Geotargeting, then, is about utilizing geolocation data to specifically target individuals meeting certain criteria such as within a specific zipcode. The accuracy of the geolocation is dependent upon the service provider being used to provide the service. There are a number of commercial geolocation datasets, such as Maxmind. Regardless of the geolocation dataset, this technology provides healthcare marketers with some exciting opportunities to reach their audiences.

Build campaigns to target people in healthcare conferences

‍Rather than allocating your valuable marketing dollars to an overpriced, easy-to-miss conference booth your targets might not even see, consider a geo-fencing approach to digitally blast your brand’s messaging at and around a specific conference. A recent PulsePoint conference campaign saw a nearly 6% CTR compared to .35% industry standard.

Looking to target cardiology physicians? Center your geotargeting campaign around the American Heart Association conference. During the conference, enter a location perimeter around the conference center and surrounding restaurants and hotels. Next, identify your target audience as attending cardiology physicians. Layer additional demographic, device, or decile data to ensure you’re reaching those that matter with your brand messaging…and no one else.

Bonus tip: Focus on mobile formats and increase your bid for mobile customers. Conference attendees prefer phones to desktops or laptops.

Target messaging to people in hospitals, medical centers, and physician’s offices

‍While hospitals, physician offices, and medical centers are point-of-care environments with well-defined boundaries, these locations are increasingly restricted- or no-see to pharmaceutical salespeople.  Rather than a spend-inefficient, blanket approach to your entire universe, target high-value physician offices and hospitals to educate HCPs on disease state education and treatment options during a clinically relevant moment.

Create conditional geotargeting rules

‍Just as some brands target seasonally (think back-to-school or allergies), you can leverage geofencing technology to reach an audience within a specific geographic spread or DMA about a condition, illness, or virus such as Zika. Geotargeting can precisely connect disease state messaging with geographically relevant audiences to educate them on signs and symptoms to potentially decrease risk and minimize spread. The rules can be anything from time-of-day to an outbreak to a specific month of the year (i.e., such as a public awareness campaign). When the rules fire, the campaign is executed in the specific DMAs targeted by the geofencing parameters.

Target competitor DMAs (competitive blunting)

By establishing target parameters like competitors’ locations, users’ visiting frequency and timing, the nearby area, and more, you can connect potential prospects and viable clients to your brand in real time and with highly targeted ads. Say you are a brand manager for a walk-in clinic. With competitive geofencing, you can digitally influence and educate consumers driving to a nearby outpatient facility on the broad range of services your 24/7 walk-in clinic offers. 

Retarget based on specific geolocation parameters

‍You can optimize spend efficiency by combining remarketing and geotargeting to precisely reach consumers or HCPs after they’ve entered an identified geofenced location either within or outside of the area. Prioritize spend for those regions that demonstrate increased propensity for conversion and focus on those visitors who have previously landed on your website.

With great power comes great responsibility

Geolocation is a powerful tool for marketers because it enables them to target very specific messaging to individual geographies. But, as consumers have pushed back against the use of their personal data to target them with advertisements, healthcare marketers need to walk a fine line. The key is to balance the power of geolocation (targeting and fencing) with those privacy concerns so that you don’t undermine the trust that you are trying to build through your digital campaigns. Combined with programmatic health technology, geolocation can become a key component of your competitive blunting strategy or a component of your digital conference coverage plan to maximize the impact of your health marketing campaign.

Looking for more targeting tips?  Check out our take on sensitive disease state targeting.

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