BioPharma Rewind: A Crash Course in Digital Media Strategy - Silverlight Digital - New York Media Agency

BioPharma Rewind: A Crash Course in Digital Media Strategy

At the recent BioPharma eMarketing Summit in San Diego, Silverlight Digital’s Lori Goldberg and Michael Ackerman treated the capacity crowd to an interactive workshop – we called it a Crash Course in Digital Media. In unpacking everything shared and learned at the workshop, we’ve put the highlights in this blog to recap for those that couldn’t attend. The crash course focus was on changing healthcare marketing paradigms that create new opportunities for marketers, and how we can best capitalize on the new opportunities they present:

Voice Assistants, such as Alexa and Google Home, are among many shifting paradigms as voice-controlled search enters the marketplace; As of early 2019, over 100 million Alexa devices sold and 52+ million Google Home devices sold. Sixty-five percent of users claim to have used a voice device to search for symptoms of a disease or health condition.

Including voice, other healthcare media types that are experiencing a paradigm shift in popularity include mobile (+20%), social media (+7%), artificial intelligence (+45%) and Point of Care media (+48%).

YouTube is now the most popular “TV network” for 18-49 year old’s; 50% view other patients’ stories on video when they feel doctors or family don’t understand their condition.

Speaking of YouTube, today’s consumer wants to be shown, not told. This paradigm shift challenges past behaviors where advertisers would use video to tell about a product. These days, patients wish to view video that teaches them how to use a product, such as a Glucometer.

Patients use Google to educate themselves on treatment options; the “trust me I’m a doctor” days are gone. Patients want to partner with a doctor to find a solution – together.

Artificial Intelligence is nothing new in digital media. From look-a-like patient modeling to programmatic ad buying to Amazon product recommendations, AI continues to be baked into most everything we do.

Searches for personal – sometimes embarrassing – health issues mostly take place on mobile devices.

In mobile targeting, marketers are focusing on micromoments where consumers search based on immediate need or curiosity: “I want to know,” I want to go,” “I want to do,” “I want to buy.”

Map your patients’ daily journey and understand their micromoments to better target mobile ads that give them what they’re searching for.

When marketing at medical conferences, map the entire journey from the airport to the conference floor. Target mobile conference apps, airport signage, and taxi headrest video screens along your customer’s journey.

80% of patients seek out educational information featured at their Point of Care (doctor’s office) according to ExL Events.

The patient journey begins online, where 81% search a medical issue before seeing a doctor (

Social media is becoming a more trusted source of information for patients and healthcare providers alike:

  • 40% of consumers say information found on social media affects the way they deal with their health (Mediabistro)
  • 52% of caregivers had participated in an online social activity related to health in the past year
  • 90% of millennials trust healthcare information shared by others on social media (Search Engine Watch)

In terms of analytics, a high bounce rate is often not what it seems. Bouncing – the acting of quickly leaving a website after hitting only one page – may indicate the consumer found what they wanted, such as a phone number, hours of operation, a coupon code, or address.

In most cases, ad position is the single most influential way to increase clicks; but adjusting ad copy can be a cheaper path to success than higher bid cost.

Everybody lies, but search engines may act like truth serum by collecting medically curious and truthful searches in a private setting. What does herpes look like? Why can’t I get an erection… Why does it hurt when I pee? Advertise to this discreet audience on mobile using their unfiltered language.

Age 50 is the new 42; our older generation is hipper and tech-savvy than ever before. 91% use a computer, and 80% have a smartphone.


A huge thanks to Mark and Simon at BioPharma eMarketing Summit for inviting us to host this workshop. We look forward to seeing you all there next year.

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