As television advertising continues to evolve, advanced audience targeting has emerged as a key driver for better planning, more efficient budgeting and maximizing returns. By leveraging custom privacy-safe audiences created from tokenized real world health data, it’s possible to reach the right patients, bringing the precision of digital targeting to TV and enabling one-to-one targeting across households and connected TV devices.

The current television ecosystem is highly fragmented, encompassing linear TV, OTT, CTV, cord cutters and traditional viewers. This presents a significant challenge for advertisers, who need to understand the full scope of their buying inventory and navigate this complex landscape to ensure their content reaches the intended audience. It’s also crucial to understand a partner’s full product portfolio, such as if it has a streaming service attached to its addressable offering, which can greatly impact campaign performance. Combining different media streams such as set-top boxes and streaming services can also help achieve unduplicated unique reach.

Likewise, marketers must stress the highest possible audience quality while ensuring an audience can scale. Though traditional targeting methods such as age, gender and geographical location have been considered the “go-to” for targeting, this information is too generalized to effectively enable patient reach and increase conversion. Instead, tailored privacy-safe health data sets created from AI to align with a campaign’s objectives — for instance, targeting women aged 25-40 known to suffer from eczema — has been proven more effective. In a recent partnership between Swoop and an MVPD provider, the use of custom audiences resulted in 20-34% incremental lift in doctor visitation, drug screening and brand conversion. This underlines the potential of custom data sets to drive substantial conversion rates across the TV ecosystem.

These custom audiences can be activated across multiple channels and activation points, ensuring advertisers reach their target audience wherever and however they consume content. Advertisers that utilize the same custom audience across planning, activation and measurement have more options for reach, especially with dynamic ad insertion technology, which further enables precise delivery to specific households or individuals. A recent trend in the TV space is using identity graph mapping to target precise individuals within a household. This enables advertisers to personalize a message to a patient at a specific point in their healthcare journey, helping educate them about a diagnosis or treatment at a key interval when an improved outcome is most likely.

By understanding whom an audience consists of, it’s possible to reach cord cutters or even cord nevers who consume content through various channels. This balanced multi-touch strategy ensures no potential patient or household is left untouched, however, not targeted too frequently, maximizing reach and engagement without diminishing returns. It’s as important to connect with the right patients as it is to reach them when they’re most receptive to a message, whether at 6 a.m., 3 p.m. or 1 a.m. 

Ultimately, to achieve a successful campaign, advertisers must establish what they want to measure, which will dictate the targeting strategy. Whether driving adherence, competitive conquesting or simply finding qualified patients, each campaign’s unique objective is the most important driver.

Custom audiences are expected to play a crucial role in the future of TV advertising, including overcoming the challenges of fragmentation and measuring more effectively. The pharmaceutical industry, in particular, is likely to continue to adopt this approach to enhance campaign performance. By taking a consultative and collaborative approach, Swoop provides white-glove service to its agency partners and drug manufacturers, paving the way for more effective and efficient TV advertising strategies. For more information on how to get started using custom patient audiences, contact us today.

Kate Ludwig is the VP of advanced TV partnerships at Swoop. She focuses on leveraging custom data to advance audience targeting, which, as a result, improves return on marketer investments while deepening patient engagement and interest. In her role, she is the organization’s subject matter expert across advanced TV solutions within the pharmaceutical marketing ecosystem and manages cross-business initiatives for Swoop’s portfolio of offerings. Before joining Swoop, Kate was an account executive at DISH Media, responsible for The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG) where she focused on advanced TV opportunities while maintaining a consultative and creative approach with clients. Prior to that, she worked exclusively on addressable initiatives at Modi Media, GroupM’s Advanced Television group, as well as Spectrum.