What happened to journalists that actually think? The latest is “fewer than one-third of the most common drugs featured in direct-to-consumer television advertising were rated as having high therapeutic value.” Really? Did they ever think patients have a choice about what’s considered “therapeutic value”?
There is no doubt that the digital environment is going through a shakeout. Except for TikTok, social media use is declining, and even Amazon is finding out that technology can’t lead to more profits. The way people search for health information has plateaued, but Dr. Internet will still be the first place many people look for health information. Here are some things some DTC marketers should focus on.
The way people search for health information online and make treatment decisions has slowly changed. DTC marketers who use the same formulas as before will find themselves adding meaningless data to slide decks to show that their strategy is working, but they are only following themselves.
Digital marketing is losing its luster. Too much online ad fraud and too little ROI, and now social media seems to be sinking. TV is still the first place consumers learn about new products, but a research study found that 90% of consumers typically multitask while watching TV. There is a significant disconnect between what DTC marketers believe their TV spots do and actual results.
Digital ad spending in the industry will reach $15.84 billion in 2022. Although growth in digital budgets is slowing, we estimate the category will see nearly $20 billion in spending in 2024. For every $1 million invested in online banner ads, just 0.1%, or $1,000, derives value for brands, resulting in $999,000 wasted by brands. So why is pharma wasting so much money?
Consumers would ask their doctor about an advertised prescription drug in a perfect world. In our REAL world, that isn’t the way it happens. Is there a disconnect between what DTC marketers think will happen and what happens with DTC?
The pandemic is changing consumer behavior, and there is zero chance they will return to their carefree spending ways. Using the same ads to advertise prescription drugs repeatedly is a waste of money and doesn’t lead to sales.
Pharma DTC marketing is unique, and drug marketers need to think more about the journey from awareness to requesting an Rx. In addition, the patient journey is different for each product category and audience. Some will lead to more online research, while others may not.