Media buying is a question of scale

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As online media scales to television-sized buys, how will marketers find enough relevant, valuable health consumers beyond the usual condition-specific pages?

Priscilla Lo
Director of media,
Digitas Health

While digital can achieve TV-style reach, one thing that sets digital apart is its ability to target by audience segments and behavior. Digital enables us to scale over time to reach targeted consumers across all aspects of their life, creating more enduring connections by providing valuable information, help and support. The pace of evolution is swift. For example, keyword research and behavioral targeting on broad portals will help discover new categories that engage consumers, and new technologies like Snaptell make even traditional media more personal and interactive. It is critical that creative and media collaborate to ensure alignment between messaging and media placements. So, digital media isn't just about reach—it's about using marketing as a service to consumers and building relationships that last.

Debrianna Obara
Vice president, media,

When looking at homepage take-overs on sites such as Yahoo! and MSN, the internet space rivals TV in terms of mass reach while delivering very competitive CPM pricing. While TV sells spots based on viewer demos, advertising on TV cannot guarantee that the viewer is suffering from any specific condition or confirm that the viewer is remotely interested in the advertising content. Online offers various options: Advertisers can place ads in specific health content—which guarantees that users to the area are interested in and possibly suffering from the condition. Advertisers can also deploy behavioral targeting to maximize buys so that people who visited the condition area are served appropriate advertising as they surf other sites and content areas. 

Ana Dan
Director, marketing systems & services, 
Abbott Nutrition

Managing health is about engagement, not just awareness. This means changing to a direct marketing and direct engagement practice from brand building activities. Forming communities of consumers or patients in more personal settings, with more customized content and tools, will take over the mass sites' message boards' “free for all.” Using tools that let consumers and patients retrieve, use and share services of value to them in their channel of choosing and on the go is the next step from their sharing of information online. The acquisition practice will move from mass media buys to focus on technology-enabled direct engagement in multiple channels. This will benefit media networks set up across many channels and will enable them to be compensated on engagement, not impressions.

RJ Lewis
President & CEO
e-Healthcare Solutions

I'm responding to this question from the ePharma Summit where after a comScore presentation showing 5x ROI from online for multiple brands, an audience member asked, “Why are your budgets not shifting from [lower ROI] TV to [higher ROI] online much quicker?” The common response to this question, and the one that came from the audience, was “online is hard to scale.” Lack of scale online is a fallacy. The fact is people are spending more time online, at the expense of other media, and this “media consumption shift” is outpacing the “media purchasing shift,” at the expense of marketers. Today's online programs are highly scalable, and only becoming more so.
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