Precision Health Media is one of a large number of ad tech companies that began life as a vertical ad network and have been trying to evolve into a broader "platform." The New York-based company still has many of the attributes of an ad network -- it was initially known as Good Health Media when it was launched four years ago with ad serving powered by Adify -- such as representing 280 health sites.
As the company looks to build out some self-serve ad functions next year, the concentration right now involves sharpening its focus as a contextual/semantic provider, promising to match advertisers and agencies with sites that have shown they can directly reach allergy sufferers or those afflicted by, or deeply interested in, specific diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
"If a brand just wanted to reach those consumers looking into type-1 diabetics, we could find that kind of content by going through the 280 sites in our system," says Bill Jennings, Precision Health's CEO, in an interview with AdExchanger. "But we don’t just rely on semantics. For example, with diabetes, there happens to be an obvious belt of six or seven states with a higher than average incidence of the disease, so we’ll test inventory heavily against site readers in those areas. With pollen count, it’s the same thing, as we’ll target placements to readers in locations where allergy issues are trending."
For the most part, behavioral targeting is off-limits to pharmaceutical marketers, Jennings notes. On average, Precision Health claims that its ConditionMatch contextual ad product delivers a click-through rate 40 percent higher than the industry average. It also claims that tests by a "major pharmaceutical marketer" -- it wouldn't identify the company -- showed that ConditionMatch lowered cost-per-visit by 71 percent. Furthermore, Jennings points to ConditionMatch's use of four years worth of site data, which allows the company to track the historical performance of a particular URL when it runs a specific kind of ad.
"The Interactive Advertising Bureau and other groups have agreed that drug companies should be tracking consumers’ illnesses or medical problems directly. It makes sense. And from a practical standpoint, it forces advertisers to do better forms of targeting to get to the right audience. For example, our advertisers are up to 50 percent more likely to reach a consumer who has filled a prescription when compared to targeting general health portals, such as WebMD."
One of the biggest problems agencies with niche health conditions have is finding enough inventory. Again, because of the limited behavioral targeting options, audience buying is hindered to some extent. "If you think about conditions like gout, COPD, or MS, they might have to contact 12 to 18 sites individually to find the inventory. So we're positioning ConditionMatch as a way to aggregate our sites' collective 57 million monthly users and become a one-stop shop for media buyers."