DTC TV ads: Awareness to conversion

partnerships-in-ad-agency-client-relationship-at-theoutsideviewblog-com-e1330033501754KEY TAKEAWAY: Pharma DTC TV ads are great at generating awareness, but brands are failing to follow consumers as they decide which healthcare treatments are right for them. The “journey” to chose healthcare treatments could be a long one that encompasses a lot of touch points.

I just received the results of a quantitative survey on DTC TV ads from a media company.  The goal was to learn what consumers did as a result of seeing a DTC ad (if they expressed interest) and what touchpoints were the most important. (n=354) Here are the key topline findings:

1ne: TV ads do generate awareness of new drugs which in turn translates to further action for targeted audiences.

2wo: In most cases the first step in interest is to go online at the drug website.


3hree: Continues interest, after visiting drug company website, was to “do more online research”.

4our: Top needs, for information, were: side effects, cost and comparative treatment options.

5ive: Patients currently taking an Rx drug were not likely to switch to a newer drug unless that drug had substantial benefits vs. current medication.

6ix: When visiting drug company websites the safety page is still a top destination.


7even: When asked “are you likely to make an appointment with your doctor to ask for the product” the majority said “no”.  Those that email access to their physician’s office said they would just ask for it via email and thought that “having to go in for appointment” would take too long.

8ight: Online resources included WebMD as well as other health sites.  Some said they would use social media but when asked to rate the influence it rated very low.

9ine: Drug company websites were rated as “poor” by a majority of people in the survey.


Nothing new here, but it clearly shows that marketers need to think clearly and map the patient journey from awareness through Rx.  In addition, while TV generates awareness, marketers should be continually measuring awareness and then switching tactics to pull through.


Product websites should be continually evaluated. Page views, top pages and bounce rates should be measured from referring site to determine best performing aspects.  This is an area for major improvement.  I have seen some product websites that have pages which have no page views on certain pages but are still in place. This is unacceptable.