phamax talks

Pharma Banner Ads Secrets

With Sam Bradford-Smith, executive director at Medscape

As a seasoned expert in healthcare media and digital marketing, Sam brings a wealth of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and shares groundbreaking insights into the effective use of banner advertising in omnichannel strategies

In this episode

How banner advertising fits into an omnichannel marketing strategy for maximum impact.
Innovative approaches to banner ads that go beyond traditional methods.
The untapped potential of digital techniques in pharmaceutical marketing.
Sam’s expert insights on creating effective, engaging campaigns that resonate with HCPs.

Summary of this episode

Expandable banners

Engagement through expandable banners: Expandable banners offer a blank canvas for creative engagement. They allow integration of video, interactive elements like polling questions, and gamification. HTML5 provides untapped technical capabilities for creating richer and more interactive banners.

Technical expertise required: Creating expandable banners requires specialized skills and capabilities from creative agencies. While they may demand more effort, the rewards in terms of engagement and value extraction can be significant.

Placement possibilities: The availability of expandable placements depends on the publisher. While some medical journals may have strict guidelines, others, including Medscape, offer such placements. Publishers might require support from third-party ad servers for technical capabilities.

Banners for disease awareness campaigns

Importance of exposure in disease awareness: For unbranded disease awareness campaigns, exposure to messaging through display banners is crucial. While click-through rates are often low, the focus should be on creating impactful visuals and messages to capture attention and elicit some form of action.

Utilizing expandable banners for interaction: Expandable banners can enhance engagement in disease awareness campaigns by providing interactive elements within the banner frame. This allows for better metrics and value derivation beyond simple clicks.

Contextual targeting for relevance: Contextual targeting plays a vital role in disease awareness campaigns. Targeting specific content or specialities within medical publishers can significantly improve engagement rates compared to generic run-of-site campaigns.

Programmatic Advertising

Definition of programmatic advertising: Programmatic advertising involves programming the parameters for displaying ads to an end user. It provides a broader reach by finding the target audience across the internet based on set criteria, allowing fine-tuning of targeting parameters.

Advantages of programmatic advertising: Programmatic advertising offers flexibility in targeting, including brand-safe environments, specific geographies, and time preferences. It enables precise control over where and when the campaign is visible.

Data layers and targeting accuracy: Programmatic advertising relies on data layers for targeting accuracy. Deterministic data provides a one-to-one match, ensuring precise targeting, while probabilistic data relies on signals from user interactions, offering a slightly lower accuracy rate.

Personalization of customer journeys

Personalization with banners: Personalization with banners is possible through behavioural targeting within certain platforms. It involves targeting users based on their interactions with specific content, allowing for a more tailored approach to display banner campaigns.

Complexity and variations: Personalization requires complex campaign setup with multiple variations and formats. While it adds complexity to the user journey, it can provide valuable insights through A/B testing of different creative variations.

Data limitations in Europe: In Europe, where data limitations exist, personalization may be more challenging. However, publishers can offer personalized targeting at a country level and based on user preferences, provided the necessary data is available.


Display Banner Advertising as an integrated approach: Display banner advertising should not be viewed as a necessary evil but as a crucial part of an integrated campaign approach. It serves as a cost-effective way to gain broad reach and visibility, especially during product launches and at different stages of a brand’s life cycle.