The Role Of Audience Targeting In Healthcare: Q&A With Semcasting’s Ray Kingman

The Role Of Audience Targeting In Healthcare: Q&A With Semcasting's Ray KingmanThe Role Of Audience Targeting In Healthcare: Q&A With Semcasting's Ray Kingman

Audience targeting across screens and devices is essential to marketers. It’s also challenging to implement.

Semcasting is an audience targeting platform that claims to connect any customer or audience to their Internet footprint and offer nearly 100% reach on any device through data and analytics. It also offers campaign optimization technology with privacy protection.

Audience targeting is discussed in all sectors of marketing, but RTBlog spoke with Ray Kingman, CEO of Semcasting, who looks at targeting through the lens of healthcare.

The healthcare sector is obviously a rich source of data. There’s data on individuals and their conditions, prescriptions, doctors, number of visits to doctors, and more.  Semcasting’s technology aims to help pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to identify the conditions of consumers in a specific area, mapping them to doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics by specialty and disease state.

RTBlog: What’s the mission of Semcasting?

Ray Kingman:  The mission is to bring account-based marketing intelligence at scale to chief marketing officers. We have a twice-patented IP targeting technology and proprietary household and business data. Digital audiences are defined in account-based marketing terms, rather than by inferred interest and behavioral intent.

Our platform aims to make audience selection and onboarding as transparent as direct mail. Our goal is to offer targeting at scale to B2B and B2C campaigns on any device with full transparency as to who’s being targeted.

RTBlog: Does the company focus exclusively on healthcare?

Kingman: Our largest verticals are retail, finance, and healthcare on the B2C side largely due to our ability to provide full-coverage trade area targeting. Brand managers want the ability to reach as many consumers in a trade area as possible, while prioritizing those who match an ideal profile.

In the B2B arena, we service industries and verticals (including healthcare). In these areas, we’re providing audiences to decisionmakers and influencers by offering the CRM onboarding and named pipeline extensions these organizations seek.

RTBlog: What’s your unique advantage?

Kingman: Our strength is in our ability to provide deep and comprehensive specialty data. The data is built offline based on real people and businesses with known addresses, attributes, and affiliations.  Matched with our online targeting capabilities, the data empowers campaigns that want deterministic data for things like financial affluence, home services, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, politics, and more than 2,000 industry categories.

RTBlog: Where in the ad-tech ecosystem does your company fit — demand-side platform, data-management platform, etc.?

Kingman: For lack of a direct comparison, we fit best in the DMP category. However, unlike other DMPs, we source, compile, create, and package all of our own reference data. Our data covers most households, businesses, and mobile devices in North America.  The data is licensed in offline form to build up the CRM data of several companies in the Fortune 500 and support database marketers’ analytics and campaign design.

RTBlog: How is your company using consumer data, or data provided by physicians, to create audience segments?

Kingman: All of our medical healthcare data is designed so that it can be used to create custom audiences specific to the needs of each a campaign. Similar to a retail trade area model, our health data is based on scoring patient propensities according to the distribution patterns and service areas of physicians, clinics, labs, hospitals, etc.  There’s no reference or access to any patient data in our system.

We have nearly one million doctors and healthcare professionals broken down by around 200 specialties.  We overlay that with over a billion prescriptions covering over 1,500 brand and generic drugs. Combined with CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] data and a comprehensive medical taxonomy on disease conditions, disease states, and symptom indicators, we use our genetic modeling platform to generate patient propensities tied to multiple levels of regional geography.

The key to our health data is that through the application of comprehensive data from the provider side, we’re able to supply coverage of thousands of different disease types and pharmaceutical remedies without compromising privacy.  The targeting capability and distribution frequencies were explicitly designed to meet or exceed recommendations of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] compliance standards.

RTBlog: What’s the end game?

Kingman: When you hear about how ‘Big Data analytics’ are transforming healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry, the focus is usually around health insurance coverage, or managing the cost of care or drugs. Big Data in healthcare was designed to primarily serve the institutions and improve internal efficiencies.

We’re hoping to provide the consumer side of patient healthcare marketing an effective alternative to costly television and radio outreach. Digital distribution of healthcare information holds lots of promise.

Desktop and mobile offers 80% plus unique user reach vs. 20% via spot TV buys.  By applying the right distribution technology and digital audience targeting, healthcare marketers can be far more customized in their outreach and more effective and efficient in their communications with patients.

RTBlog: Is there a tie to programmatic media buying?

Kingman: All of our custom audiences are created for programmatic real-time bidding. Once audiences are scored and prioritized based on the needs of the campaign, they’re on-boarded to our patented IP targeting technology: Smart Zones.

IP targeting is necessary in order to maximize the reach and coverage of the healthcare service areas of each provider. Onboarding to a cookie will only net you a third of your audience.  In addition, there will be issues with delivery and device restrictions using cookies.  IP targeting allows the healthcare marketer to execute with full coverage to the geographic distribution area, while meeting all of the important privacy compliance requirements.

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