Lifescript Strengthens Personalization for a 20% Lift

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The online health resource uses more than 400 behavioral characteristics to segment its users.

According to Pew Research, 72% of Internet-enabled Americans seek health information online. That hefty demand makes for a lively supply of competition in information portals and resource centers. Instead of tackling the entire market head-on, Lifescript focuses on establishing itself as the premiere health destination for women.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers represent the largest component of Lifescript's advertising revenue, but the pharma sales cycle is complex and indirect. Brute force display ads encouraging patient-doctor conversations gain little traction, and therefore little revenue. To enhance the performance and precision of its marketing platform, Lifescript constantly works with its CMS provider, Sitecore, to segment visitors on an ever-expanding matrix of characteristics. “It helps us be a good partner to our largest contingent of advertisers, helping them find audiences for niche drugs and clinical studies,” says Jack Hogan, Lifescript CTO and cofounder.

The most recent segmentation enhancement pushed the tally to more than 400 behavioral characteristics. Focusing heavily on site behavior and topics researched to build an understanding of a consumer's health concerns and lifestyle considerations gave Lifescript a 20% year-over-year boost in advertising revenue. Superior targeting of existing ad modules played a part, but the development of interactive consultation modules is the newest segmentation win.

These modules are offered to visitors who, through clickstream behavior, are seen as likely sufferers of a particular condition, from Hepatitis C to grass allergies. First launched in autumn 2014, the consultation modules blend guided video presented by a physician with articles and checklists that act as a personal health inventory and informal prescreening process. The modules educate visitors on the details of conditions and available therapies and provide guidance for live physician consultations.

Strong audience uptake indicates that the segmentation is accurate. One module, a Type II Diabetes consultation, saw nearly 40% of visitors work through the entire 10-step process to complete the consultation, at an average of over 11 minutes engaged on the site. The five-part Allergy Checkup Series led to a 4.6% lift in prescription fills for the targeted drug sponsoring the module.

Lifescript now segments its content into more than 80 different channels, giving it flexibility to personalize content to a wide range of visitors and build marketing platforms for a substantial range of therapies, drugs, and treatment options. The Sitecore back-end helps identify and engage Lifescript users who may be managing these conditions or have risk factors, and to quickly package relevant content and present it to targeted visitors. “We've made it very easy internally to stand up a new health center on our platform, without being hindered by the need for IT to build something new,” Hogan says.

Return on personalization doesn't stop with Lifescript's core health information portal. The company recently purchased the assets of family-focused publisher Parent Media Group, inheriting a lead-generation and consumer discount platform called Deals for Mommy in the process. Under previous ownership, the Deals site had no specific targeting or personalization.

After the purchase, Lifescript applied its existing real-time user-targeting system to the Deals platform, and saw an immediate 30% lift in conversions. Clickstream data now steers visitors to offers that are more likely to reflect current needs, from prenatal supplements to products for toddlers. “We were able to get those quick results in the parenting category, which we had never worked in before, because of that powerful, real-time clickstream targeting,” Hogan says. “Segmenting user communities creates meaningful lifts for us and for our advertising partners.”

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