This week Frank Lin, DMD’s Chief Technology Officer, and I are at Digital Pharma East talking about audience identity management technology. That’s the data technology that identifies individual HCPs when they visit participating medical websites.
If you already use a web reporting tool, you may be wondering why you need another. Some of the marketers at DPE have had the same question. After all, services like Google Analytics can give you a pretty good idea how much traffic you’re getting and what content is most popular with your website visitors.
At a glance, audience identity data may not seem so different. In fact, it provides an entirely new level of accuracy that is essential for effective marketing planning.
Aggregated v. Individual Data
Google Analytics reports aggregated website data, while audience identity management provides individual data. Specifically, it reports the name, specialty, and unique browsing habits of every “tagged” HCP who visits your website. This is a crucial difference.
Instead of knowing how many times a piece of content was viewed, you can know exactly who viewed it. If aggregated data tells you a recent clinical trial was viewed 500 times, audience identity data can tell you how many times it was viewed by specific physicians as compared to other users, or even bots.
Insights From A Year of Data
Until you can identify the individual HCPs who visit your brand websites, you can’t be 100% sure about your audience.
We’ve been reporting audience identity data for more than a year now, and during that time we’ve learned a lot about pharma website traffic. Among other things, we know that the vast majority of visitors to pharma websites aren’t physicians. In most cases, they’re actually bots, rather than humans.
Over the last year, we’ve also talked a lot about the various applications of audience identity data. Many of our clients are using it to expand their email lists, refine website content, and target digital ads.
These are important tactics, but the single biggest reason pharma marketers should be using audience identity management technology is more fundamental.
Accuracy Is Essential
Virtually every digital marketing decision you make depends on knowing precisely who (and how big) your audience is.
Until you can identify the individual HCPs who visit your brand websites, you can’t be 100% sure about your audience. And when your aren’t 100 percent sure about your audience, every aspect of your marketing plan—including your messaging, sales pitch, and digital strategy—gets thrown off.
In this context, the difference between aggregated and individual data is critical. For example:
When your aren’t 100 percent sure about your audience, every aspect of your marketing plan gets thrown off.
- If your brand home page had 500 unique views last week, you need to know if your visitors were 500 physicians. Or, as is more likely, 450 bots and 50 physicians.
- If a report on the efficacy of your latest product drew a record number of visitors, you need to know the specialties of those visitors.
- When a piece of content attracts attention long after you expect it to be effective, you’ll want to know if there is a secondary audience for your product, and if so, what traits those physicians share.
Audience identity data delivers this level of specificity. It may not always report the results you hope for, but from a marketing planning perspective, it’s always better to have all the facts.