As DTC conference kicks off challenges paramount

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY:  Another DTC conference kicks off today in Boston (yawn) and as usual DTC marketers will pat themselves on the back and share obvious trends while consumers ignore most DTC ads.

A survey of more than 500 Treato.com users found that[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] consumers are rarely motivated to take action after seeing an advertisement for a drug on TV.[/inlinetweet]

DTC Effectiveness

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Only seven percent of respondents said they have asked a doctor about a drug after seeing an advertisement about it on TV[/inlinetweet]. This is significantly down from last year’s survey in which 21 percent of respondents said that they had asked a doctor about a drug they saw on TV.

The Treato.com survey also revealed that consumers aren’t easily influenced by celebrities in DTC advertisements as 76 percent of respondents said they are no more inclined to pay attention to a drug advertisement even if it features a celebrity.

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OK.  So a sample size of 500 people is kind of small but the findings are what I have heard in research since late last year.  DTC marketers, if they so desire, can show a correlation in new Rx’s to a Geico commercial and most senior pharma executives don’t understand enough about marketing to challenge the results.  So what’s really going on?

DTC ads do raise awareness, but where DTC marketers keep falling down is the huge barriers to awareness and asking for, and getting, a requested Rx.  Pharma has invested a little in digital marketing, but lags in executing digital strategies to maximum benefit.  Almost all pharma websites are stagnant and most are too afraid to do anything on social media.

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As for the DTC conference, I think an executive in Cambridge said it best when she said “why spend the money to attend?  It’s just vendors trying to get leads and presentations that we either know or are not relevant to my audience”.