Pharma websites aren’t convincing visitors

KEY TAKEAWAY: The results of an exit survey on two top pharma websites had terrible news for the marketing team. Less than 10% of visitors to the site were going to ask their doctor for/about the medication, and the vast majority (84%) said the website failed to answer their questions about the drug or health condition.

Two months ago I worked with a client to launch an exit survey on their product website. The survey was served to visitors who viewed at least three pages and asked about their intention to ask their HCP about/for the product and whether the site answered their questions. (n=22,544)

Less than 10% of visitors said that they “were likely” to ask their HCP for the drug as a result of the information on the site and over 80% said they still had more questions. In other words you’re attracting visitors to your site but you’re not listening to what THEY want.

When we work with a client the biggest piece missing from the puzzle is research with online health seekers and usability studies. They either leave it to their agency to develop the site or they don’t have the budget to ensure the site has information people want to make a treatment decision.

The first thing that anyone needs to know about digital, websites, is that it’s about users not what you want. Anyone can turn off your message with a click of a mouse. A good agency will try to develop a website that balances the needs of users with the wants of the marketing team. Unfortunately, the marketing team usually overrides decisions that favor users.

The other issue that we consistently run into is the reading level of health information on the websites. Health information should be at an 8th grade reading level but our analysis shows it often is at a 12th or 13th grade reading level. In other words either regulatory or legal people want already approved language or they don’t want to spend the money to hire a good copywriter.

These are all lost opportunities that, in the age of online health seekers, is unforgivable.