Let your audience design the perfect website

  • Pharma marketers often view website creative as the key to building a great website, but bounce rates indicated that online health seekers disagree.
  • Your website homepage should be a combination of key messages that are important to USERS and intuitive navigation that makes it easy for online health seekers to find the information they are looking for.
  • As your brand moves through the life-cycle your home page should change to reflect updated needs of your audience.

Pharma marketers love eye candy.  To them the look and feel of the website is often more important than the content which is a huge mistake.  Websites are about users not what YOU want to say.  A good website balances user needs and wants with key messages that drive the desired behavior.

One of the exercises I love to do, in research, is having our target audience design our website.  We start with a clean slate and tell users to put on the hat of pharma company. We then ask “what should the website look like?”.  You would be surprised what insights this approach yields.

While DTC marketers test messages to the nth degree people often don’t find those messages relevant when they’re in health seeking modes. You need to keep websites visitors engaged on your site and to do this you need to listen more and sell less.

Just when you think you have a great website your metrics start to decline as your product moves through its lifecycle.  Why?  Because online health seekers have different questions as they learn about your brand.  Pharma marketers who listen to their audience via social media can learn what information users need and want as awareness increases with your target audience.

The key is that websites need to be fluid. Content and homepages need to be updated frequently.  You should be testing new things all the time and eliminating content that’s not being read.

While this should be common knowledge you would be surprised how many pharma marketers still have the mentality of “oh, and we need a website to support TV”.  I hear it all the time and keep thinking that “they just don’t get it”.   But alas, some product websites are starting to get better.  They are giving their agencies more freedom to focus on patients, but it often requires hours of conference calls and meetings.  You can’t turn around a big cargo ship in a small river, but that will change as they realize that TV doesn’t drive behavior; digital does.

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