As pharmaceutical marketers look to integrate mobile into their marketing plans, they are evaluating two options: to build mobile apps themselves or to align with existing apps that already reach their target audience in a positive way. That decision lies in what the marketer is trying to achieve.
For brands whose patient audience would benefit from information or data-capture on their cell phones, then building an app to meet those needs might be a wise investment. However, the value proposition being offered in exchange for that consumer data must be compelling enough to motivate data input. A great brand can and should be seen as presenting a positive solution for meeting a customer’s need; however, if that value-position is in the product itself and not in the mobile offering the product is considering, then the brand should consider the more moderate approach of advertising on existing applications that have already established popularity among the right target audience. There is value in aligning their great product brand with that of a great mobile app brand that already has customer trust and loyalty. Both of these paths, when executed well, deliver messages to the right audiences in a relatively uncluttered environment when the person is in the right mindset to appreciate a relevant message.
These “build” vs. “buy (advertising)” approaches vary in other ways as well. Because data defines the mobile audience, advertisers can more accurately target their message and achieve larger scale when buying. Large scale can be obtained when building as well, but it is a much slower process. There are far fewer privacy concerns when buying advertising because no personal audience information is being shared directly with the advertiser. The availability of anonymous targeting data helps improve the quality of the connection to each user. It’s a win-win-win situation for the brand, the mobile app, and the consumer when brands have a relevant value-proposition and message for the target audience.
R.J. Lewis has served the pharmaceutical industry for his entire career. He is the Founder & current CEO of e-Healthcare Solutions (EHS), the first vertical Internet advertising network in healthcare, which he started in 1999. Today, e-Healthcare Solutions is a Premium Advertising Network serving both advertisers and publishers in the digital healthcare marketplace. EHS exclusively represents the advertising, sponsorship, email, and mobile opportunities of more than 400 quality digital publishers in the pharmaceutical/healthcare vertical. The Network delivers high-value exposures and engagement for marketers with their target audiences across the many niches of the healthcare marketplace. e-Healthcare Solutions delivers proven results for both advertisers and publishers.