Will DTC marketers learn the lessons of 2016?

KEY TAKEAWAY: The DTC marketing environment is changing before our very eyes, but unless organizations can acknowledge and adapt to the changes the ROI on DTC marketing will continue to decline.

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 why does TV seem to get the biggest slice of the DTC budget?

Online marketing, to a lot of people is a black hole of expenses. Search, online ads, web development and testing all add up and then somehow we all have to figure if it’s providing an ROI.  Click stream analysis clearly shows that online health seekers are going to a lot of different health sites to get answers to their questions, but I see this as an opportunity for pharma, not a threat.

Given consumers use of mobile devices, the sites they visit and the help they need navigating the healthcare environment a comprehensive web site that is more sticky can enhance the online brand experience.  But that’s not enough, we also have to get back to website basics such as the 3-2-1 rules (3 clicks is 2 long to get to a website page) and the rule that if your page cannot be read by two scrolls than you’re loosing people.

I understand that TV can quickly raise awareness, but today awareness is not enough.  We have to pull through via an integrated approach that includes online when online health seekers are looking for health information.

Don’t get buried in data for the sake of data.  Think like a patient and talk to people as people, not market segments.

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