Key metrics or DTC marketers

SUMMARY: DTC metrics change by product life cycle and DTC managers usually have to justify their budgets. Never report just raw numbers. You should tell a story on the value of your marketing using metrics that senior managers understand.

That which you can’t measure shouldn’t be done? That’s what most DTC marketers believe because management wants concrete results. However, healthcare marketing is not CPGs or an eCommerce site. What’s so unique about DTC marketing is that all initiatives work together to drive a targeted patient behavior. Here’s how to measure some DTC tactics by life-cycle:


  • TV – Biweekly awareness numbers of target audience in correlation with reach and frequency.
  • WEBSITE: Number of visitors to website.
  • SEARCH: Number of visitors coming to website from both paid and organic serach.

The key thing to remember is that regardless of DTC, your numbers will increase as your product gets out to the market. Your objective is to try and determine if your DTC is reaching the right audience.


  • TV-Awareness measured monthly. If awarness is high you need to think about reducing your TV budget and using pull-through tactics.
  • Website- Now it’s time to really measure your website activity. Forget about total visitors and concentrate on total visistors vs. bounce rate, time on site and pages viewed. If you’re offering a coupon you can measure downloads and redemptions. You should also be monitoring up and downstream click analysis to see where your online health seelers are coming from and going to.
  • Social Media – What’s being said about your product? What are the biggest concerns? What is the biggest misinformation and how can you correct it?
  • Online Ads – What’s the visibility of your ads? How many people are coming to your website via online ads versus the bounce rate? Are your online ads metrics being reviewed for fraud?
  • On site at physicians office – Are patients asking about your product as a resut of being exposed to product information at the site of treatment.


  • Your goal here is to defend your market share. You might want to, for example, offer a permanent discount via a copay card. Reinforcing updated clinical trial data can also give potential switchers pause to rethink treatnent options.
  • Work closely with your HCP team to get feedback on what potential new competitors are saying about their product as opposed to yours.
  • I also believe that you should conduct reserach with current patients to ask them “why they have stayed on therapy?”. You might find, for example, that it’s just convenience of being used to your product and having few side-effects.

It’s been my experience that DTC marketers are being asked to justify budgets for just about everything. What can be cut without affecting market share? Do we really need another TV ad flight? Why do we need a content plan?

The above list is by no means complete, but it highlights some important metrics that senior managers can understand. If you have good agency relationships, you should be asking them to justify recommended tactics as well.

Mose senior people know the cost of marketing but not the value. You need to plant seeds with them and update them on how patient behavior has changed and what they are doing before asking for a new treatment. An easy-to-understand snapshot of what’s happening in the market is always welcome and usually leads to people asking questions like, “what if we expanded our website content?”.

You’re marketing not only to patients but also to company influencers who want to understand why you’re spending so much on DTC.