Pharma under utilizing product websites

KEY TAKEAWAY: While DRG and other research organizations continue to show that people are visiting pharma product websites an analysis of online metrics continues to show that they aren’t meeting the needs of online health seekers.

This week a client asked me to prepare a detailed report on their website.  The good news, their traffic was good; the bad news, a bounce rate of close to 90%, fewer than an average 3 page view and less than 1:00 time on site.  In other words, people were coming to the site but aren’t finding the information they need.

Think about this for a second: people are voluntarily searching for your site, coming to your site, but leaving because your site doesn’t meet their needs.  In an age of excess online noise and lack of time pharma should be making every attempt to keep people engaged on their product sites.

Too may calls to action?

If your interactive agency is not being held to basic website metric standards, then you need to find another agency. Your goal, when developing an online product website should be keep people engaged on the site and ensure THEY get the information THEY are looking for.  In addition, you should be offering a pop-up survey to ask visitors to rate your website.

In all the research that I have led or been involved with the same things keep popping up when it comes to pharma websites:

1ne: The website looks like an ad from a medical journal or there are too many calls to action.

2wo: The copy on the website is often too long per page and requires a college degree to understand.

3hree: The message on the website is not customized to your audience segments (i.e. switchers, care givers, new patients).

4our: You lack the credibility to inform and spend too much time “selling”.

5ive: There isn’t a list of which insurance companies cover your product.

Seems pretty “common sense” doesn’t it?  Yet too many pharma websites violate every one of these needs and don’t even bother to conduct usability testing because the budget limits the strategy.  Then when metrics begin to go south I get the call asking “why”.

Simple layout, key message callout

Pharma websites are a KEY resource, but they have to be done right and they have to optimized as your product goes through its life-cycle.  Invest when your product is getting ready for approval, not after people have visited and said “no thanks”.

One thought on “Pharma under utilizing product websites

  1. DTC marketing has become a virtual Sword of Damocles for the industry.

    Much of traditional pharma appears to be in its decline phase which eventually leads it to the many actions that are sullying its reputation: increased pricing to captive audiences, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, limited availability, etc.

    Marketers have only product, price, placement, and promotion to use on its behalf, and all four are being abused.

    DTC contact should be limited to pure education of end users (consumers), and the physicians, pharmacists, and other professionals in the value chain should receive the information needed to decide which products and services are appropriate therapy for the consumers they treat and counsel.

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