What is the effect of DTC marketing?

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY: DTC marketing does increase awareness of new drugs and health conditions, but there is a huge disconnect between “taking action” and awareness.

Any statistic that groups all of DTC marketing into the taking action category should be discarded.  The type of action that patients take, from going online to learn more to asking their doctor about the product largely depends on the audience behavior within each health category.

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Here are some examples..

MS Audience: Very active in social media and always looking for information on how to live with/better manage their health problem.  Listening on social media could have predicted the issues of Biogen’s MS drug as patients were not happy with the drug side effects.

Type 1 Diabetes: Another segment that tends to be very active on social media, but newly diagnosed patients have different needs from caregivers who are very concerned about loved ones.  While inhaled insulin sales are in the dumpster this audience likes the product and wants more insurance coverage.

These are just two examples of different audience behaviors, but they are also predictive of how this audience might respond to DTC ads.  For this reason marketers need to measure to awareness and think “pull through” to overcome the barriers to getting an Rx such as making an appointment with their doctor or prequalifying the consumer by letting them know that their insurance covers the product.

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It’s a multi-touch environment, but too many DTC marketers believe that a TV ad is going to lead to action when clearly it may not.

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