5 Surefire Ways to Prevent Ad Fatigue for HCP Campaigns

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through a website or social media platform only to see the same ads over and over again? I’ll venture a guess and say that you’re nodding your head. I’d bet HCPs on your target list are doing the same. This isn’t to say digital ads are bad. In fact, most people say the opposite. One study found that 83% of people agreed with the statement “Not all ads are bad.”1 However, your digital advertising can lose its luster when ad fatigue sets in, causing performance to lag. Here’s everything you need to know about ad fatigue for HCP campaigns and what you can do to prevent it.

Ad Fatigue Meaning

Ad fatigue happens when your target audience sees your ad too many times and becomes less likely to engage with it. When ad fatigue occurs, ad prices (CPM, CPC, etc.) often go up while return on ad spend (ROAS) goes down.

Ad Fatigue-Related Statistics

  1. 91%: The percent of people who believe ads are more intrusive now than they were in the past.2
  2. 4,000 to 10,000: The estimated number of ads people see daily.3
  3. 42.7%: The percentage of internet users who use ad blockers.4
  4. 87%: The percent of people who say that, in general, there are more ads than there were in the past.5
  5. 83%: The percentage of people who’d like to filter out the intrusive ads.6
These stats show why people, including HCPs, are frustrated with ads, as well as the actions they’re taking to avoid them. You’ll notice, however, that none of them say, “People don’t want to see ads.” Rather, they say that the current approach to digital advertising isn’t working. HCPs aren’t tired of seeing ads. They’re tired of seeing the wrong ad, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

How to Know if HCPs Are Experiencing Healthcare Ad Fatigue With Your Ads

Diagnosing healthcare ad fatigue isn’t as simple as dissecting other performance proxies. If you want to know how many HCPs saw your ad, you look at impressions. If you’re curious about how relevant your ads are, you look at clicks or CPC.
But what is there for healthcare ad campaign fatigue? Nothing specific. Instead, you’ll have to rely on a couple of metrics, experimentation, and intuition.
First, look at the click-through rate (CTR), which is the ratio of how often HCPs who see your ad click on it. With a larger agency, you can expect an average click-through rate of .07%. If your CTRs are below that, it may be time to rethink your ad strategy.
Also, look at the number of clicks, website visits, asset downloads, and conversions, which tell you if HCPs are engaged with your brand and what you’re selling. Are your ads doing what you want them to do? If not, there’s a chance you’re dealing with healthcare ad fatigue.

Ad Fatigue for HCP Campaigns: How to Avoid It

There’s no denying that ad fatigue for HCP campaigns is a challenge. Here are strategies you can use to avoid healthcare ad fatigue.

#1: Set a Frequency Cap

A drop in performance can come from showing your ads to HCPs too many times. Said another way, your ad frequency is too high. It’s one of the primary drivers of banner blindness, a form of selective attention, in which HCPs ignore banner ads. Healthcare ad fatigue and banner blindness go hand-in-hand.
Before you start to take your ads apart, try setting a frequency cap. By making this subtle adjustment, you’ll limit the number of times an HCP will see your ad and give them a better advertising experience.

#2: Optimize Your HCP Data

Dealing with healthcare ad fatigue? It may have something to do with your data. The reality is that you won’t always build the perfect target list of HCPs. For example, if you’re advertising a cardiology device to a mix of HCPs — say 40% cardiologists, 40% urologists, and 20% radiologists — 60% of your audience will quickly grow tired of your ads.
If you suspect this is the reason for declining performance, determine if your HCP target list consists of people who are actually in the market for what you’re selling. If not, take another look at your list and rebuild it with better data.

#3: Test New Ad Types

Many advertisers still default to more “old school” ad types, such as banner ads, because they’re tried and tested. It’s the same reason you see a lot of Hondas and Toyotas on the road. They’ve been around and people gravitate to what they know.
If you apply this strategy to your HCP campaigns, you’re delivering the exact experience HCPs are growing tired of. This is why you should experiment with different ad types. For example, instead of investing everything in traditional banner ads, move some of your spend to native, Rising Stars, and expandable ads. You’ll engage HCPs in ways they aren’t expecting.

#4: Introduce Key Opinion Leaders to Your Strategy

People value the opinions of friends, family, and peers more than anyone else. In fact, 93% of people said they trust friends and family about information related to brands and services.7 This is why influencer marketing is so popular. Data shows that the ROI of influencer marketing is 11X greater than some types of digital marketing.8
Despite its popularity, however, influencer marketing isn’t too common in healthcare. At least not yet. That’s changing as more healthcare advertisers introduce key opinion leaders (KOLs) into campaigns. By using KOLs, you can change the long-standing narrative of HCP engagement. Now, HCPs who may have immediately ignored your ads because they thought it’d “just be another ad from the CEO,” could give it another chance because it’s coming from a peer.

#5: Add More Value With Better Creatives

Overcoming HCP ad fatigue isn’t only about the backend of your campaigns. Sometimes, the best way to wake HCPs up is to boost the value exchange.
Is the value of your ad, i.e., what an HCP gets from clicking it, worth it? If you’re constantly delivering ads that don’t provide value, HCPs will eventually disregard them. Think of it like a comedy show. Would you keep going to see the same comedian if previous shows failed to make you laugh? No. The same goes for your ads. If HCPs expect to get nothing out of them, they’ll grow tired of them.
So how do you deliver more value? Offer hyper-personalized, thoughtful creatives. Here are a few best practices:
  • Utilize Animation: In one study, 70% of respondents said interactive ads are more engaging than traditional ones.9 However, your animation shouldn’t exceed 15 seconds or loop more than three times.
  • Include Your Logo: What good is an ad if the viewer doesn’t know who’s running it? Even if an HCP doesn’t click on an ad, you’re still building brand awareness.
  • Hyper-Personalize: An ad will only be successful if it speaks to your target audience. Promoting a new drug for depression? Your messaging to primary care doctors should be different than how you relate to psychiatrists.

Overcoming Ad Fatigue: Final Thoughts

Ad fatigue for HCP campaigns doesn’t have to be your downfall. While it’s something to keep in mind, especially as more healthcare companies are investing in digital ads, there are steps you can take to treat it. If your declining ad performance is because HCPs have seen your ads too many times, take a step back and look at your frequency, data, ad types, engagement methods, and value.

Sources

1,  5., 6. Willner M. NEW DATA ON WHY PEOPLE HATE ADS: TOO MANY, TOO INTRUSIVE, TOO CREEPY. VIEO Design. Published 2016. Accessed September 23, 2021.

2. Coppola J. The Psychology Behind Why People Dislike Ads (And How to Make Better Ones). Wistia. Published January 23, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2021.

3. Marshall R. HOW MANY ADS DO YOU SEE IN ONE DAY? Red Crow Marketing Inc. Published September 10, 2015. Accessed September 23, 2021.

4. Dean B. Ad Blocker Usage and Demographic Statistics in 2021. Backlinko. Published March 9, 2021. Accessed September 23, 2021.

7. Friends and Family Still the Most Trusted Sources of Brand Information. Marketing Charts. Published June 3, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2021.

8. Dopson E. 30+ Influencer Marketing Statistics to Have on Your Radar (2021). Shopify. Published August 18, 2021. Accessed September 23, 2021.

9. Mialki S. 13 Interactive Ads That Maximize Engagement with Prospects. Instapage. Published November 10, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2021.