Developing a great branded healthcare website (Part-1)

websiteToday’s consumers don’t just question, they challenge and flat out reject the irrelevant, unnecessary, and insulting.  Yet a lot of pharma and biotech websites don’t talk to people, rather they read like a drug label or worse, a used car salesperson.  It’s ironic that an industry so entrenched in processes often can’t develop a great online branded experience.

Step-1: What do we know ?

Here is what we know about the online health environment;

(1) More and more people are using the Internet to access health information including the use of mobile devices.

Engaging epatients in dialogue

(2) With higher deductibles and co-pays expect consumers to spend more time online looking for health information before going to the doctor.

(3) There is a journey to collect health information that involves more than one health site.  Consumers may  go to your product website but they will also use social media and other health websites, like WebMD, to help them make treatment decisions.

path to Rx converion con

(4) More and more heath choices are being made by the patients based on “quality of life” as they define it, not fair balance.  Consumers are going to fact check you and read what others are sating about your product before they ask for it or fill it at the pharmacy.


The first step in developing a great branded website is called discovery.  

Discovery is an in-depth exploration of current-state activities, assets, process, metrics and future-state needs and wants. This phase typically involves business driver interviews and discussions to understand the approach to date, as well as the vision that the project stakeholders hold for building upon previous success.

More importantly the people who are building your website need to understand everything you have available around your target audience including:

-What are the current treatment options and how do they compare to your product ?

-What are the processes involved in making the decision to go see the doctor and ask for an Rx?

-How much does your product cost vs. generics and competitor ?

-What type of health information is your audience looking for and how can we align it with brand objectives to drive conversion ?

This is where your relationship with your agency is key.  You need to be able to provide them with all the current research you have so they can understand the “why?” and the “how?”.  If you have any unanswered questions you should not take educated guesses but instead conduct extensive research to get a better picture of your audience.

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