Drug websites fail in engagement

u failedPOST SUMMARY: According to Comscore drug websites are getting traffic, but where they really fail is in page views, time on site and bounce rate.

I just finished a detailed web analytics analysis for a newly launched pharma product and the report card was dismal. While the traffic numbers were good they were offset by a high bounce rate, time on site and page views.  At a detailed follow up meeting we found that the brand had failed miserably at every level when developing the website, including lack of research with the target audience and the use of drug brochures as a copy for the website.


The question of why is not as important as the question as why does this keep happening again and again? It happens primarily because too many DTC managers feel that the initial research they received is “good enough” for developing a website and the fact that most agencies are told to develop a website off a brief without any detailed insights.

The perception that digital marketing is less expensive than off line marketing prevails at too many organizations.  In this age of short attention spans and continued digital interruptions more, in depth, research, is needed to get digital marketing right.


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The reality is that digital DTC marketing is becoming less and less relevant in the decision making process healthcare consumers.  Drug websites read like a medical textbook, use too much sales language and often fail to meet online health information users basic needs.  Part of the problem is a lack of talent and the need to concentrate on a global digital presence  but a bigger part is that budgets are being cut and it’s always easier to tell an agency to just do it.