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The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Contextual Search Ads

Posted by | 8:46am on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The first example I saw where they used contextual advertising was when I went to the site and looked up "autism." At the top was a pretty sophisticated interactive ad for Cymbalta. 

One of the other presenters at the CBI conference I spoke at last week really sparked my interest. Revolutionhealth was presenting to the mostly pharma audience about contextual advertising on their community health site.

They have a site with forums for patients to post stories. What a great example of web 2.0 at work in a positive behavior-changing way. The site includes cited information from places like The Mayo Clinic, and an easy-to-use navigation system for understanding a diagnosis, treating it, caring for patients, and of course it has community forums. One huge benefit of patients and caregivers posting on their site is that there is constantly new content, and their search ranking is also  legitimately high.

The first example I saw where they used contextual advertising was when I went to the site and looked up “autism.” At the top was a pretty sophisticated interactive ad for Cymbalta.

Brands are starting to do this using Google as well. The classic example is the Lunesta ad which shows up in the middle of the night on web gaming sites. I can’t wait to see how far this will go the more we learn about actual behavior (from paying close attention to the data). I expect to be surprised by the seemingly random connections that will be made between different communities of people.

We are still clearly at the beginning of this trend. eMarketer predicts that US spending on search marketing tactics other than paid search ads will increase through 2011, but that more than one-half will continue to go to more general key word buys.

US Search Engine Marketing Spending, by Type, 2006-2011 (% of total and millions)

About Wendy White

Since founding Siren Interactive in 1999, Wendy has been recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of niche pharma brands, patient empowerment and online marketing. Her vision for how the internet can facilitate interactions and provide crucial information that patients, caregivers and their healthcare providers previously struggled to find has propelled Siren to the forefront of relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies.

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