Pharma continues to ignore digital

  • 187 commercials for about 70 prescription medications have collectively aired almost half a million times since the start of 2018.
  • Drug companies shelled out $2.8 billion, according to marketing analytics provider
  • Spending on digital remains weak for the drug industry.

Stupid is as stupid does.   Despite research showing that TV DTC ads drive less than 7% of viewers into doctors to talk about the ads brain dead pharma marketers still are saying “look at me” with the bulk of ad dollars spent on TV.

Sure TV is great for raising awareness, but there is a serious disconnect between awareness and patients asking for and receiving the advertised product.  Over the past 3-4 years my team has done a lot of in depth analysis of the relationship between TV ads and sales.  Here is what we found:

1ne: TV ads, when products are new, drive traffic to pharma websites but bounce rates are high.

2wo: Click stream analysis indicated that people who visited pharma product websites came from or went to other online health sites or social media.

3hree: Pharma website visitors indicate a high level of dissatisfaction with pharma product websites.

So why the continued reliance on TV ads?  Because pharma DTC marketers like to play producer and it’s a star on their review.  Why is digital getting so little money?  Because too many marketers don’t understand digital and how patients are making treatment decisions.  Most brands don’t have a dedicated eMarketing person and it clearly shows.