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Tune Into Condition-Specific Patients – Why Health Marketers Need to Include Broadcast Radio in the Media Mix

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By: Emilie Branch, Content Manager, Swoop/IPM.ai

Pharma investment in AM/FM radio has steadily increased year over year; according to Miller Kaplan, network radio ad spend grew from $49 million in 2018 to $126 million in 2021. Swoop recently partnered with Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® to demonstrate how Swoop custom patient audiences can be used in conjunction with Nielsen Audio Data for broadcast radio planning and activation.

Westwood's radio ecosystem consists of more than 250 million listeners per month, while Nielsen are leaders in analyzing key audiences. By unifying Swoop's real world data universe of 300 million de-identified patient journeys gathered over ten years with the Nielsen Portable People Meter panel, marketers are given insight into the behavior of precise patient segments. This enables better media planning and the ability to reach audiences more effectively over radio.

For this demonstrative study of psoriatic arthritis patients, 2,459 listeners in the Nielsen panel were found to overlap with the custom Swoop segment. By analyzing listening behavior, spend can be better directed for optimal outcomes and an enhanced media mix.

Taken further, by targeting custom privacy-safe precision audiences across multiple channels — enabling the same patients that are targeted digitally to also be reached on AM/FM radio — engagement opportunities increase and campaigns become more memorable, leading to a greater likelihood of conversion and script lift.

Findings from the study reveal that the 2,459 targeted patient listeners are more likely to be women between the ages of 35-64. Among this modeled segment, 83% spend 8 hours per week listening to AM/FM radio, indicating a significant opportunity for engagement.



Listening was evenly distributed from Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM (25%), Monday-Friday 10AM-3PM (26%), and Monday-Friday 3PM-7PM (26%); other sessions occurred on the weekends (14%) and during weeknights after 7PM (9%) — these numbers indicate that audiences are primarily tuning into broadcast radio during the weekday, likely while commuting.


Types of programming interacted with varied greatly as Spanish, Christian, Album Rock, Sports, Classic Rock, Oldies, News/Talk, and Alternative Rock all captured 50% reach or higher.


Some interesting trends emerged specific to the psoriatic arthritis segment, with Sports, News/Talk, Christian and Urban having a significantly greater share among these patients than in the US overall.


Connecting Swoop’s precision-based patient segments to nearly all AM/FM radio listeners enables marketers to optimize their media plans so that programming reaches the right audiences on the channel of their choice. Radio can no longer be overlooked – adding AM/FM radio to Swoop’s robust media ecosystem gives marketers the insights they need to allocate campaign spending more accurately and target more effectively.  

About the Author

Emilie Branch 

Content Manager



Emilie has nearly a decade of experience in marketing, writing, research and strategy for the pharmaceutical industry. She has contributed to top pharmaceutical publications including American Pharmaceutical Review, European Pharmaceutical Review, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Manufacturing Chemist, Pharmaceutical Outsourcing, Specialty Chemicals, and Contract Pharma. Prior to joining Swoop/IPM.ai, Emilie served as Strategic Content Manager and Managing Editor for Pharma’s Almanac where she lent her voice to some of the industry’s top players including GSK, MilliporeSigma and ThermoFisher Scientific. 



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