Understanding the Hottest Topic in HCP Media: Programmatic Marketing Platforms

Jeril Jacob

Director – Engineering

According to a report from AccessMonitor™, the number of “rep-accessible” physicians – those who grant access to more than 70 percent of sales reps – dropped to 44 percent from 46 percent in 2015 driving marketing outreach to non-personal means. On the other hand, HCPs are willing to look for information online and slowly providing better credibility ratings to pharmaceutical websites. According to a report by the Decision Resources group, 46% of physicians surveyed in 2019 considered pharmaceutical websites as a credible source of information and 37% called them influential. Given that these numbers stood at just 27% and 25% in 2017, we can clearly see that information shared online is exerting much greater influence on physicians’ clinical decision-making and this is where Programmatic Marketing Platforms come into the picture.

If you a marketer focused on delivering your message to the right audience at the right time, then you must have heard of this newfangled tool named programmatic marketing platform. Everyone knows something about programmatic advertising, but no one knows everything. You are right to take an interest in it, because, according to this 2019 forecast by eMarketer, programmatic advertising display is set to rake in $59.45 billion in ad dollars this year, accounting for 84.9% of the US digital display ad market.

You are definitely not alone here. With the spend on programmatic marketing platforms growing apace in healthcare and pharma, all marketers are trying to understand what a programmatic marketing platform can do for them. As these platforms bring in a lot of jargon into the equation, some of the terms used will carry little meaning for the uninitiated. So, let’s look at them first.

Programmatic marketing platforms are fully automated. They are tools, which enable marketers to advertise in real-time by encouraging instant purchases of ad spaces, as in an auction. They avoid wasteful expenditure which is inevitable with traditional advertising practices. Which is why they are increasingly turning out to be the first choice of savvy marketers, who watch their media investments carefully. With a programmatic marketing platform, marketers can buy digital advertising space and target their ads right by using its AI features to analyze the behavior of a visitor to a given website.

With programmatic advertising, a marketer gets to check the boxes on all the following points on their wish list:

  • The tool helps marketers to reach the right audience by targeting specific professionals and collecting precise data about them. It tracks the reactions and behavior of their target audience on any online channel or device in real-time to get useful insights into their behavior and choices. It will then use this knowledge to optimize campaigns to increase your digital reach.
  • Built around the display, social, mobile and video ads; programmatic marketing platforms automate the process of buying online ad space. Its targeting techniques segment audiences using data. It can increase audience reach while improving targeting capabilities to achieve increased control, better efficiencies, greater transparency and a lot of real-time data. It reaches the right consumer at the right time and adds potential customers based on their online behaviors. Employing endemic advertising (placement of ads which appear natural and native to the market), it identifies the right opportunity to effectively exploit the context presented to the best effects.
  • Programmatic Targeting uses the context of a website or specific keywords to target ads with better accuracy and results. It can reach the target audience using personas, IP tracking, and geo-fencing. It can also use audience targeting, to look for users who would be most interested in a given offering. Using location or language-based targeting is also known as geofencing in programmatic ads. They target people who visited the site once without making a purchase and try to bring them back using ads, which is known as retargeting. It knows when and how to execute a campaign using insights from real-time data, scale and cost efficiencies. It eliminates laborious processes and human error, as it is automatic and data-driven.
  • Marketers today use programmatic marketing platforms to leverage the insights from the data to target the right audience and optimize their media buying and placement through bidding for impressions at the right time, literally buying ads by bidding on real-time auctions (or RTB a.k.a. Real-Time Bidding) at the same time as the targeted audience loads a website.
  • Let’s demystify the jargon around the different platforms associated with programmatic advertising:
  • Ad network: This platform connects a number of websites and offers inventory to advertisers.
  • Ad Exchange: This is where publishers meet advertisers and agree to display their ad, for a price. An ad exchange connects to a number of ad networks. Most of them handle mobile inventory these days as mobile has practically taken over digital advertising.
  • DSP: Demand Side Platforms let ad exchanges know which bidders qualify for certain websites and audiences. They enable an advertiser to place or buy ad inventory on the open market.
  • SSP: Supply-Side Platforms are what publishers use to connect their inventory to ad exchanges. They enable a publisher to control their ad inventory efficiently, dictate prices, buyers or channels and to make the most of their exposure to potential buyers.
  • DMP: Data management platforms fuel ad-buying decisions by sorting and segmenting incoming cookie data to offer insights into targeting the right audience. Advertisers use them in combination with a DSP but publishers use them along with an SSP.
  • CPM: This is the cost of programmatic advertising, usually counted as the cost per 1000 ad impressions. CPM is a highly variable number which varies by the quality of the inventory and the specific level of targeting. Based on the device, format, and placement, this could cost anywhere from $0.5 to $2 CPM.
  • With programmatic marketing platforms, you can reduce the overall advertising costs to a fraction of your usual costs by avoiding low performing choices. Increase reach by adopting only the high performing choices, encourage interaction and enhance performance.
  • Tracks the costs of each advertisement and also tracks engagement data in real-time to derive applicable insights to appropriately revise campaign parameters – like time of day, geography, audience segments, number of impressions and publishers – to increase engagement and conversion rates.


When used along with email and social marketing, programmatic marketing platforms can ensure an impactful marketing campaign for a brand as they harness deterministic data for each professional targeted. They use probabilistic (aggregates information collected to identify users by using deduplication algorithms to match them with a known user who exhibits similar browsing behaviors) and deterministic (can help identify someone precisely with inputs like their name, address, phone number, and contact information) data to give HCP marketers the ability to target the right audience, by understanding their needs and expectations. This would explain how programmatic advertising can reach 98% of the Internet, including the Google platform, with ‘endemic’ advertisements which improve conversion while bringing the costs down.

Programmatic marketing platforms are now within the reach of companies big and small, making everyone compete on a level playing ground. Small players can eliminate media agencies and middlemen to bring ad-buying in-house. They can manage their campaigns themselves at a fraction of their usual costs, with new AI-enabled programmatic marketing platforms.

Doceree is one such self-service platform dedicated to HCP digital marketing. Talk to us to know more about how you can benefit from our amazing self-service, programmatic marketing platform.

Five Things that Endemic Publishers in Healthcare can gain with Doceree

Jeril Jacob

Director of Engineering

By their very nature, endemic advertising yields high ROI. It’s only to be expected as endemic advertising is about placing ads that are natural to the market. Endemic advertising serves communication contextually to highly engaged audiences which encourages quick conversions thus making the most of each impression. Some of the benefits of endemic advertising include personalization of content, niche specialization and of course, increased conversion rates.

Let us look at a few stats to understand their effectiveness and importance –

  • Endemic/native advertising was the fastest-growing advertising segment, with 35 percent growth between 2017 and 2018 – eMarketer
  • Endemic/native advertising increases purchase intent by 18 percent – Forbes

And the most encouraging of them all says…

  • In 2020, endemic/native advertising will be more programmatic and mobile – eMarketer


About Doceree

Doceree is the world’s first self-serve advertising exchange for branded advertising/endemic marketing to Healthcare Professionals (HCPs). Powered by Espyian, a patent-pending HCP targeting engine that identifies and precision targets over 1 million* physicians across the United States for non-personal promotion and personalized experience.
The Doceree platform with its AI engine comprehensively ticks all the right boxes for endemic publishers looking to maximize ad revenue and sell off inventory.

Here are 5 things that endemic publishers can gain with Doceree.

  1. Access to leading healthcare and pharmaceutical brands – The Doceree platform is a host to some of the leading brands in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. You will be exposing your inventory to some of the highest bidders in the industry who are looking to pursue an endemic marketing approach and advertise their products to a relevant and engaged audience.
  2. Premium pricing for advertising inventory through programmatic – Spends on programmatic endemic advertising are growing as marketers come to terms with what a programmatic platform can do. Programmatic ads reach the right consumer at the right time and add potential customers based on their online behaviors.
    Doceree’s AI platform enables endemic advertising(placement of ads which appear natural and native to the market). Its AI engine identifies the right opportunity to effectively exploit the context presented to choose the best opportunity to place the ad and bids for it. So, as an endemic publisher, you can sell your inventory faster. As a result, more of your remnant inventory will be considered and sold at premium rates.
  3. Monetization of data – The benefits of monetizing data with the help of the Doceree platform are two-fold:
    • Increased inventory value – You know well that better targeting translates to more engagement. So, when you use data to uncover insights and segment your audience accordingly, your inventory becomes more valuable to advertisers. Advertisers will be willing to pay more as they know that their ads are reaching a highly targeted audience.
    • Optimization of cost per thousand impressions (CPM)– You can expect the CPM to increase with the type/format of ads and their performance on the site. With the help of data, you can determine which ad format has performed better, e.g. if the video ads worked better than image ads or a particular content type engaged more audience. Accordingly, you can optimize your inventory to increase impressions which results in higher CPM and bring in more ad revenue.
  4. Access analytics to understand user behavior and engagement – Slice and dice data to get in-depth information on the performance of each of your assets and understand how they are being utilized. You can use the insights to improve your performance and increase your ad revenue.
  5. Multiple platforms, multiple assets managed from a single interface – Be it your apps & website or different formats of assets (display, video, email), the Doceree platform allows you to add and manage all of them via a single interface. You can add multiple types of ad formats – gif banners or videos on websites and apps – to a single account and streamline your online presence across platforms. Publishers must be ready to leverage the growing demand and increasing spends on endemic advertising and Doceree is helping them sell off inventory and maximize ad revenue with its AI-driven programmatic ad-tech platform. Connect with us to know more.

How is Doceree addressing these 5 Challenges in marketing to Healthcare Professionals?

Harshit Jain

Founder & CEO

According to this comprehensive report, the spend on medical marketing expanded substantially between 1997 through 2016, to reach $29.9 billion from $17.7 billion, with direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and health services accounting for the most rapid growth, and pharmaceutical marketing to health professionals accounting for most promotional spending. A recent CMI/Compas study of promotional accessibility among various physician specialties found that accessibility increased for more than 70% of physicians when marketers used three or more channels; suggesting that a media plan which utilizes more than one channel can significantly improve engagement with your key physician audiences.

Marketing to Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) is an essential component of a marketing strategy for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, given the HCPs’ influence over a purchase. But, the increasing workloads on HCPs make it difficult for healthcare marketers to reach out to them and influence their purchase decisions. This presents some unique challenges to HCP marketers around the preferred communication methods and strategies needed to engage these busy HCPs.


Let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges faced by HCP marketers today for marketing to medical professionals.

  1. Reducing access to Physicians:
    HCPs have no time to spare for sitting at a desk, take meeting a medical rep or work on a computer, as most of them are work at capacity or get over-extended almost all the time. Moreover, compliance laws and policies govern such access to an HCP, requiring the HCP to report any payment received which exceeds $10 in value for activities like consulting, research, speaking engagements, travel, and even signature meals. Such control curtails the opportunities for marketing to healthcare professionals.
  2. Omnichannel marketing:Pharma marketers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy which is basically about offering the HCPs a fully integrated shopping experience that uses many channels, starting with a brick and mortar user experience and extending all the way to online shopping, even including mobile browsing. Such an approach would need a marketer to identify the preferences of the healthcare professional and synchronize their activities suitably to deliver personalized marketing messages to the right customer touchpoint. For marketing to healthcare professionals via multiple channels, the marketers will need to know how to pick them up on another channel, when they leave one without any decisive action and this task is not as easy as it sounds.
  3. Difficulties in targeting the right audiences:Very limited opportunities for targeting are available, and the few capabilities offered by some publishing platforms are only on the basis of geography and specialization. But marketers need targeting capabilities to be based on their prescription behavior and formulary access. The healthcare market is complicated and involves many stakeholders, like care providers, insurers and consumers. Everyone has a say in deciding which product or service to adopt. This complexity offers a challenge to HCP marketers as they create an effective marketing strategy for healthcare professionals but struggle to make it work.
  4. Inability to reach a critical mass of physician and achieve business goals:The changing market dynamics are making it hard for marketers to formulate the right strategy for marketing to healthcare professionals and to forge connections with them. At the best of times, a marketer’s reach to HCPs is fragmented and lacks engagement. While a company’s webpages may be considered promotional and disbelieved as a policy by HCPs, scientific journals may not always be open to carrying their message. Moreover, not all HCPs believe in continuing education and read medical journals consistently.  Medical conferences may provide an opportunity but not all the HCPs from the target group may be present.
  5. Lack of hard business metrics:Healthcare marketing has long been limited by its traditional approach to marketing. Most marketers tracked the number and frequency of calls made to an HCP as visits were the only channel they leveraged. Tracking metrics like growth in business, brand image, stakeholder engagement or marketing communications were not even considered a possibility. Without the right content, it is not possible to gain an insight into the interest evinced by the HCPs in their message and craft a strategy for following up on the qualified leads alone.


How can Doceree help?

While digital marketing for consumer brands commands 35-50% of their overall marketing budgets, pharmaceutical brands invest only 2-5% of their marketing budgets on digital. With the effectiveness of sales forces declining globally, the industry desperately needs an effective solution for digital marketing to healthcare professionals. Espyian is a self-service marketing platform, which is effective and dependable for brands, using which Doceree is attempting to solve these problems in marketing to healthcare professionals across the globe.

  1. Reach out to the Physicians: Espyian uses AI, data segmentation & analytics to identify the right healthcare professionals out of many similar looking and similar sounding profiles, whether on a physician networking site, a medical journal, telemedicine platform or even social networking sites. It integrates with a live database of validated HCPs to ensure that there’s no repetition of an HCP’s profile and no doubling of efforts to facilitate precision targeting.
  2. Ensure your Omnichannel Presence: Espyian is the first-in-the-industry to offer you the power to deliver sequential content, to promote the behavior change needed to take your HCP down the conversion funnel, quicker than you had anticipated. This is not re-targeting which is limited only to 28 days, because you now have the power to control the time that will take the HCP to start converting.
  3. Target the Right Physician: Doctors are very busy people with very little time to spare for any marketing approach. Reaching them is expensive and the results are not always positive. Espyian understands doctors’ behavior, so you can connect with them with precision. Its AI-based algorithm and live HCP Profiles ensure that no hcp healthcare professional is ever missed or ever repeated (more than required) when you run a marketing campaign for healthcare professionals.
  4. Reach a Critical Mass and achieve Business Goals: Many times, your marketing dollars are poured into a bottomless well, without offering any real returns. With Doceree, enjoy the best value for every dollar spent by you. Be completely aware of the healthcare professionals you are targeting, on which channels, how often and what has been the result of all the marketing efforts in real-time. Optimize both your content and investments using this self-serve platform.
  5. Access Reliable Business Metrics: Most of your marketing efforts are wasted on the targeted HCPs, who generally distrust pharma companies. Espyian creates Live HCP marketing communication profiles with unique identity graphs by integrating data with the live database of validated HCPs. It identifies the HCP to create a unique profile of each HCP by understanding the demographics, attitudes, and behaviors from over 1000 data points from our owned and shared privacy-safe databases.


Innovative technology like Espyian can cut through the clutter to totally revolutionize marketing to healthcare professionals. What’s more, this can be achieved with a high level of precision and personalization. To learn more, talk to us today