December 01, 2021
By Jay Ro, VP, Experience Analytics
For our pharmaceutical clients, achieving business impact not only means building brand value for consumers, but also a deep understanding of the patient journey. Acquiring new prescription customers and helping those same customers stay on script require very different approaches for effective marketing.
Whereas driving consumers from brand awareness to consideration to conversion is critical for acquisition, retention has additional challenges in continually bringing value to the customer. Primarily, those challenges revolve around establishing the pharmaceutical company as their trusted partner that encourages adherence through their medical journeys.
From that standpoint, it’s easy to see the need to build trust and familiarity through personalization throughout the entire user experience. This translates into more comprehensive methods of performance-measurement reporting across the end-to-end journey to identify optimization opportunities toward ad drivers, site engagement, and ultimately high-value actions and conversions.
Across the Board
Over the past few years, the RAPP Analytics team has focused on generating insights and business intelligence that measures the impact personalization brings to the customer journey. Starting from paid-media acquisition to the site experience and culminating in high-value conversions, we see that serving personalized, custom content elevates user engagement across the entire journey funnel.
Impactful personalization can be initiated through a number of avenues, including user-generated responses via quizzes and surveys, or based on their history of content consumption. Whereas a uniquely personalized experience would be the best-case scenario, brands more commonly group users into some form of pre-defined persona segments as an initial first step. These personas are defined by several attributes (including behavioral and psychographic) and mapped toward audience mindsets or interests, whether they are desiring to learn more product information or be motivated to make changes toward healthier lifestyle habits.
Content can then be personalized from creative ad drivers served (via differentiated imagery and messaging copy) to landing page motifs and themes, and further along to other site elements such as article content and topical sections.
For our Lilly clients, this sort of personalized content approach has paid off in substantial ways:
1. Better site engagement. Users who were served a harmonized personalization experience (from media to landing page to site content) had better site engagement — up to 60% higher click-through rate, up to 160% higher page views per session, 20% lower bounce rate, and almost two-times higher incremental lift-to-site conversions.
2. Higher session metrics and high-value events. Users who were served personalized content based on their persona mindsets saw higher session metrics and higher-value events — 15-times longer average session duration, 3.5 times more pages per session, and up to 300 times higher site conversion rates.
3. Higher incremental return on ad spend. Users who were served a personalized content experience saw, on average, 20-25% higher incremental return on ad spend compared to similar users who did not receive any personalization.
Above and Beyond
By analyzing performance drivers and understanding the impact each personalization element has, strategic planning can take a data-informed approach toward both holistic and discrete adjustments across campaigns and tactics. We’re able to select the right combination of imagery, messaging, and copy in our creatives. We also can adjust page assets to optimize user response, such as reducing questions in quizzes and surveys to MVP (minimum viable product) levels to increase efficiency and bringing CTAs more above the fold.
We’ve evolved the integrated media mix to enhance dynamic content capabilities (such as DCO units), and we’re able to select the right audience to reach them at the right time to drive them to the right destinations so they can engage and respond in the best way to help them on their journey. By bringing this level of attention to the user, they are able to build a relationship with the brand that lasts well beyond the first conversion.
To ensure an effective personalization experience for the user, brands need to ensure that they are building the necessary foundation to support it. Here are a few places to start:
1. Ensure there is an MVP level of available content that makes sense with the touchpoints of the site and is relevant to the customer. There needs to be a sufficient volume of content available to bring enough diversification to the experience. Simultaneously, ensure martech capabilities are well-suited for relevant data capture and content delivery that supports a smoother personalization experience.
2. Harmonize across the user journey. From media creative units to destination landing pages to content on-site, the experience needs to build continuity. Data can inform where best to drive audiences and expectations around what actions they’ll take when they arrive.
3. Leverage creative imagery, messaging, and copy to help set the right expectations. Personalization is fluid, and a user’s mindset can shift depending on their present state. So would what value exchange resonates most with them, whether it’s looking for savings offers or partnering together in their journey.
While the impact of personalization may be intuitive to most people, the path toward enabling that personalization can be complex, requiring multiple workstreams across multiple disciplines working in concert. It has been a multiyear journey to realize the potential of personalization for some of our clients, but the careful and methodical planning and work that went into it is now bearing great fruit.
It’s never too late to get started. Most brands already have some level of understanding of their customers and what resonates with them. By deepening their understanding of their customers (through data analysis, measurement, and reporting), brands can then express that understanding back to their audiences via personalization to then deepen engagement throughout the customer journey.