KEY TAKEAWAY: According to a 2016 STAT-Harvard poll, only 7% of consumer respondents were motivated to talk to their physician about a prescription drug they saw on TV, down from 21% in 2015. The poll also indicated that 57% of U.S. adults support ending Rx drug TV advertising. So then why would DTC managers continue to invest in TV?
TV is glamourous and can lead to rapid awareness, but with prescription drugs awareness does not always lead to an Rx. If you actually talked to patients who asked their doctor for an Rx you would probably learn that they went online to learn more about your brand. In all likelihood, that included a visit to your product, website, but the vast majority of people go to several websites to learn about your product’s benefit vs. side effects.
So the next logical questions is “why aren’t pharma marketers spending more time and budget developing their websites?”.
Last week I did an analysis of several top drug websites and the metrics were appalling. The bounce rates were high, time on site was low and page views were non existent. This falls directly on the agency and the people managing the agency. Most do have a great process for developing a website, but all too often it gets cut because of budgetary concerns.
Perhaps it’s time for DTC marketers to think about downstream marketing. Once awareness of your brand has reached a targeted level marketing has to be focused on pulling patients into the brand and getting them to ask for your brand from their doctor.
Can you measure your website effectiveness when it comes to driving business objectives? Absolutely. Tactics like pop-up surveys and targeted CRM can dive you a detailed picture if your website is delivering on business/brand objectives.
TV can be effective for some products, but today we’re dealing with very skeptical consumers who fact-check everything. You can develop a website in a vacuum and then wonder why your page views are so low or you can understand that your website is a hell of a lot more important than TV ads.