If your data provider claims to know everything about your website visitors, you should be concerned.
It’s really hard to do authentication well. You can’t fully authenticate healthcare professionals (HCPs) based on first and last name only, or even based on a name and one email address – though that’s all the information many websites require for registration. Instead, a thorough authentication process requires first-party sourcing, domain matching, cross-checking against the American Medical Association Masterfile, and ongoing quality assurance.
The stakes are too high to cut corners. Digital fraud is out there, and pharma is particularly vulnerable because of the very high cost per click (CPCs) and cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) compared to other industries.
Data vendors are incented for quantity, not quality. Marketers require huge amounts of data, and vendors are often willing to sacrifice accuracy in order to deliver it.
All this adds up to one solution: pharma marketers need to ask data providers tough questions about their authentication process.
The Proof Is In The Data
The sourced and validated HCP profiles of a high quality email database are at the foundation of audience identity management technology.
We use first-party, opt-in data. Whenever an HCP registers on one of our partner sites, that medical publisher passes the HCP’s information on to DMD for our email database. The Audience Identity Manager℠ (AIM) tags each HCP at the same time, and authentication begins. Still, since many websites encourage registrations by not requiring too much information, we don’t always have enough data to authenticate every visitor to our high standards.
The vast majority of AIM tags are authenticated. Each authenticated HCP is assigned an AIM tag that identifies him or her as a doctor, mid-level prescriber, or nurse. Around 85% of tagged HCPs fall into one of these three categories.
If we can’t authenticate, we let you know. Any tagged visitor we can’t authenticate is labelled a “person of interest.” This category could include a lot of different types of people. One person of interest might be the kind of specialist you’re targeting (but who didn’t provide enough information to verify that), while another could be a consumer who registered directly on your site.
When we talk with clients about their AIM data, they want to know what a person of interest is and whether or not they’re valuable. We welcome this question. We’ve made a deliberate choice to be transparent that this category exists.
Rather than claiming more knowledge than we have, we provide you with the “person of interest” profiles so you can decide how best to use them. Perhaps you can check them against your own database, or maybe you’re satisfied with other indicators of their validity. We think you should get to make that call.
If You Don’t Understand, Ask Questions
The next time you encounter a data vendor who has all the answers, be ready to ask where their data comes from and how it’s verified. Require transparency and request an explanation of anything you don’t understand 100%.