Is DTC marketing still relevant?

ListenKEY TAKEAWAY: DTC marketing has to evolve beyond TV spots and a product website to be effective because patients have too many treatment choices and aren’t scheduling appointments with doctors just to ask for an Rx.

In the old model of DTC marketing, awareness leads to conversion, but that’s not true anymore. Today awareness rarely leads to conversion as patients go online to learn more about existing treatments vs. new ones.  If a patient, for example, is taking a generic statin it’s going to be hard to get them into the doctor, get their cholesterol checked and ask for Crestor.


If patients are satisfied with their prescription medication(s) asking them to learn about new ones, go to the doctor and ask for a different Rx is going to be a challenge.

More than outcomes…it’s quality of life

For some health conditions it’s more than outcomes, it’s about quality of life while taking the Rx. If a patient is taking a medication and it’s well tolerated the challenge for DTC marketers is convincing patients that the benefits of their product outweigh the risks.  But, how?

1ne: Community – Share current patient stories focusing on the quality of life vs just the medical benefits.

2wo: Give patients real-life reasons why they should take the time to schedule an appointment with their doctor to talk about your product.  Medical claims alone are not enough.

3hree: If you have an online symptom checker ensure that you clearly state that it’s not a diagnostic tool, but, rather a tool to print to take to your doctor in the very near future.

4our: Listen to patients using social media and research. Ask them what it will take to get them into their doctor and ask for your product and execute strategies around those findings.

analysis social media

5ive: Cut TV. Once awareness has reached your audience spending more money on TV is a waste of money.  Focus on tactics that pull patients in.

The process of learning about your product, scheduling an appointment with the doctor, asking for your product and filling it is challenging but, understanding what’s really important to your audience can lead to DTC marketing that resonates with your audience to ask for the product.