Hear me out. 50 years ago, color TV was just becoming the norm, and the US market consisted of a handful of established broadcast networks. In 1970, there were only 2,490 cable TV systems in the United States, serving up Columbo, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Burnett to 4.5 million subscribers. Finite, scheduled programming yielded a captive, reliable, and easily quantifiable audience, and advertisers had little reason to question whether television was an effective vehicle to connect with the masses. Not only were there well-defined, reliable opportunities to capture audience eyeballs, there were also fewer advertised drugs.
Fast forward to today: Television has changed remarkably. Viewers are virtually unlimited in their options for on-demand media consumption, which extend far beyond the traditional set box: OTT, CTV, digital video, IoT, and more. The result? Traditional TV viewership continues to wane as more and more households switch to streaming services and connected devices.
The cords may be cut, but we’re still watching. You just have to know where to look. According to Nielson’s Q3 2018 Total Audience Report, connected TV devices are in 68% of homes, up from 63% in 2017, and smart TVs are up to 41% from 32%. The future is video advertising, and though healthcare is notoriously slow to adopt innovation, the industry must embrace it or jeopardize a critical opportunity to reach and engage its health audiences.
For the healthcare industry, what’s old is new again as innovative digital video formats emerge to solve for the constraints of traditional television spots. Video is the optimal engagement channel for DTC and HCP audiences alike, but rather than jury-rigging voiceover-heavy pharma TV ads to retrofit digital inventory, new formats will guarantee that healthcare brands can effectively deliver a message that resonates with its intended audience at a digitally relevant moment.
Want to keep up? Here’s what you need to know:
TV advertising isn’t over. It’s evolving. Coupled with contextually triggered advertising, new digital video formats will enable marketers to buck convention and integrate with the modern behaviors of their health audience while innovatively adhering to thorny regulatory constraints, ultimately leading to higher conversion. How are you incorporating video in your marketing strategy in 2019?
Chris Neuner, Chief Strategy Officer at PulsePoint, has 20 years’ experience driving performance in the interactive marketing and media space. He brings to PulsePoint a proven track record of partnering with leading pharmaceutical companies and agency partners to build successful businesses.
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