Consumers do pay attention to DTC ads for prescription drugs. A study by the Pew Research Center found that 72% of adults have seen a DTC ad for a prescription drug in the past year. Of those who have visited a DTC ad, 57% said that the ad made them more likely to ask their doctor about the drug.
DTC ads can effectively raise awareness of prescription drugs and their potential benefits. However, there are also concerns that these ads can lead to over-prescription and other unintended consequences. For example, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that DTC ads for antidepressants were associated with increased prescriptions for these drugs, even among people who did not meet the criteria for depression.
Overall, the evidence suggests that DTC ads can effectively raise awareness of prescription drugs, but they should be used cautiously. Patients should talk to their doctor before taking any prescription drug, even if they have seen a DTC ad.
Here are some of the pros and cons of DTC ads for prescription drugs:
- Can raise awareness of prescription drugs and their potential benefits.
- Can help patients start conversations with their doctors about their health.
- Can lead to increased competition among drug companies, which can lower prices.
- Can lead to over-prescription of drugs.
- Can give patients the impression that they know more about drugs than their doctors.
- Can be misleading about the risks and side effects of drugs.
But what about the measurement of TV ads?
There are several ways that pharma marketers can measure the effectiveness of their TV ads. Some of the most common methods include:
- Reach: This measures the number of people who saw the ad. This can be measured by Nielsen ratings or by using a custom survey.
- Frequency: This measures how often people saw the ad. This can be measured by Nielsen ratings or by using a custom survey.
- Attention: This measures how engaged people were with the ad. This can be measured using eye-tracking technology or asking people how much they remember about the ad.
- Brand awareness measures how well people remember the brand after seeing the ad. This can be measured by using a custom survey.
- Call to action: This measures how many people took action after seeing the ad, such as visiting the website or calling the doctor. This can be measured by tracking website traffic or using a custom survey.
In addition to these traditional methods, several new technologies can be used to measure the effectiveness of TV ads. For example, attention measurement technology can track how long people look at an ad, and eye-tracking technology can track where people look on the screen. These technologies can provide valuable insights into how people engage with TV ads.
The specific metrics that pharma marketers use to measure the effectiveness of their TV ads will vary depending on their specific goals. For example, a marketer who is trying to increase brand awareness may focus on reach and frequency, while a marketer who is trying to drive sales may focus on call to action.
By measuring the effectiveness of their TV ads, pharma marketers can make sure that their advertising dollars are being well-spent and that they are reaching their target audience.
Here are some additional tips for measuring the effectiveness of TV ads:
- Set clear goals before you start your campaign. What do you want to achieve with your TV ads? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or something else? Once you know your goals, you can choose the right metrics to measure your success.
- Use a variety of metrics to get a complete picture of your results. Don’t just rely on reach and frequency. Use other metrics, such as attention and call to action, to get a complete picture of how your ads are performing.
- Track your results over time. Don’t just measure your results at the end of your campaign. Track your results over time to see how your ads perform and adjust as needed.
DTC marketers’ love affair with TV is still valid, but the missing piece is that they’re not analyzing what people do when exposed to DTC TV ads. Very few, for example, see a TV ad without doing more research. The cost and side effects of the drug also come into play when patients evaluate the product’s benefit.
In repeated click stream analysis of drug company websites, I have found that online health seekers usually go to other websites to gather more information. DTC marketers need to know what’s being said about their products online.