CONTEXTWEB Study Finds Pharma Advertisers Can Realize Large Gains in Campaign Performance, Efficiency by Targeting Beyond Health Content


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NEW YORK, N.Y., June 1, 2011 – A new Intelligence Report released today by CONTEXTWEB Inc.,, a leading provider of integrated digital media services, reports that pharmaceutical advertisers can realize significant gains in campaign effectiveness and efficiency at scale by moving beyond a limited focus on premium health content.

The report from CONTEXTWEB, entitled “Pharmaceutical Digital Marketing: Go Beyond Traditional Targeting,” also recommends a mix of digital marketing tactics as the best formula for achieving success in pharma advertising while remaining compliant with federal restrictions and maintaining brand safety. Importantly, these tactics avoid the use of cookie targeting, a generally discouraged practice in the pharma industry.

Among other findings, the report reveals how pharma advertisers using custom content channels called “Hotspots” realized click-through rates that were 70% above average for pharma campaigns, and 24% more efficient in terms of cost per click. A Hotspot is created by analyzing the content consumption patterns of an advertiser’s audience target. The report also used a “Smart Target,” a sample demographic profile of typical pharma consumers. The pharma Smart Target was created by combining leading third-party audience data with CONTEXTWEB proprietary system data to analyze action patterns – in this case, clicks on pharma ads.

“Pharma advertisers face greater challenges than those in many other vertical categories, due to federal restrictions on everything from consumer information privacy to requirements for creative copy,” said Rose Ann Haran, Chief Marketing Officer for CONTEXTWEB. “On top of that, health content is some of the most expensive advertising real estate there is due to limited supply. To address these issues, we created this report as a roadmap to help pharma advertisers explore alternative strategies and tactics. The insights we gained through analysis of billions of ad impressions in Q4 2010 will help pharma advertisers meet campaign goals in a cost-effective manner.”

Some other research findings include:

• Pharma advertisers can realize nearly three times the reach when using inventory from the long-tail Internet (i.e., websites not as heavily trafficked) as compared to popular short-tail sites.
• When using a mix of health- and non-health-related content, reach can increase by over 600%.

To download a copy of the CONTEXTWEB Intelligence Report, visit

Report methodology:
CONTEXTWEB analyzed performance on more than 300 million impressions across 20 pharmaceutical advertisers using campaign data from the CONTEXTWEB platform throughout Q4 of 2010. In order to benchmark the performance of ads on short-tail and long-tail domains, each site was classified according to its total Internet reach. Classification was based on the proxy of the comScore 250, a unique reach categorization of the top 250 ad-supported web domains, per comScore’s May 2010 Key Measures Report.


CONTEXTWEB is a leading integrated digital media services company that delivers consistent, measurable online ad performance on hundreds of millions of real-time impressions every day. CONTEXTWEB layers online and offline audience data with highly relevant content to deliver unique audiences at scale. Its proprietary page-level contextual technology delivers brand-safe environments and ranks among the top 20 ad-supported properties, according to comScore. CONTEXTWEB counts among its clients Fortune 500 companies in pharmaceuticals, automotive and consumer goods, among others. Investors in CONTEXTWEB include leading venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson (“DFJ”), DFJ Gotham Ventures, DFJ New England, Updata Partners and Investor Growth Capital. CONTEXTWEB is headquartered in New York with offices across the country and in the UK. For more information, please visit:; follow us on Twitter @contextweb.

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