Digital Marketing Retargeting

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and Healthcare Marketing

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been wondering about the potential impact of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook fiasco on healthcare marketing. I have to believe that for a lot of the people paying attention to this scandal, this is their first exposure to any level of detail about how companies use data to achieve marketing objectives. This event has the potential for awakening and sensitizing consumers to the power and intrusiveness of digital marketing.

Although experience tells us that the American public has a short memory and generally is not tuned in, this event has no doubt raised awareness of data harvesting and targeted digital marketing. What I wonder is whether or not healthcare consumers will now be more sensitive to invasive digital practices such as cross-device targeting and domain retargeting? I think it is a fair question. Retargeting can feel creepy or stalkerish when its done by a retail company. In healthcare, the creep factor increases tenfold. Because of this, many healthcare organizations already tread lightly when it comes to retargeting and are careful to use it for only a few select services. I also see hospitals and health systems capping their retargeting campaign by setting limits on the number of impression per day and by limiting the duration of the effort. Google, recognizing some of the challenge inherent in this arena, has placed restrictions on remarketing related to medical and health messaging.

I do wonder if healthcare marketers will now be dealing with better educated, and perhaps more suspicious, healthcare consumers. With that in mind, we may want to curtail some of these digital marketing practices. Frankly, if we’re doing stuff now that has the potential for creeping out consumers, maybe we shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. In healthcare, we might want to hold ourselves to a higher standard.



2 comments on “Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and Healthcare Marketing

  1. Great perspective Dan. I agree, as healthcare marketers we need to lead the way and hold ourselves to a higher standard. Let’s be vigilant about enabling a balance between digital and human interaction.

  2. Pingback: Digital Marketing in Healthcare Should Be More Thoughtful – The Healthcare Marketer

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