KEY TAKEAWAY: As DTC becomes less effective (7% of TV ads result in patients asking for an Rx) and pharma bleeds talent you can count on the DTC National to self congratulate the industry and neglect the real problems facing pharma marketing.
When I was at Lilly and offered a speaking opportunity at the DTC National I didn’t want to go because I thought that our industry had better things to do than pat ourselves on the back. I was forced to go because it “checked off some KRA’s in my development plan”. Now 90% of the people that attended that conference are gone, either by choice or having been let go but the DTC National still goes on.
The DTC National is a profit center and public relations tool for the magazine, nothing else. It’s also a chance for vendors to pick up more leads and hound potential clients, but what makes it so phony are the awards for campaigns that, well, stink.
A quick poll of some of my clients found that nobody is planning to attend even though the conference is in their own backyard. I have often told clients that all they need to do is become a DRG subscriber and they will get all the insights they need on our industry.
Today we will see Tweets from the National that are DUH, but some will act like it’s the greatest info ever. Sad, really.
There’s a reason why real ad awards continually ignore the pharma industry: our DTC stinks. Pharma still thinks of digital marketing as a tactic, rather than a mindset and the industry keeps ignoring patients while trying to “sell” them.
If you’re going to the DTC National my condolences.