Proof Pharma marketers don’t get it

imagesPOST SUMMARY: According to John Mack 70% of DTC spending last year was on TV. To me, that’s proof that DTC marketing is still stuck in the past and too many DTC marketers are attending way too many DTC conferences.

The idea that someone is actually going to pay attention to a TV commercial and much less actually ask their doctor about a medication they saw on TV is myopic and dated. Yet, DTC marketers continue to follow agencies who prefer TV because it’s more profitable to their bottom line then digital marketing.

[bctt tweet=”TV drives awareness the web drives conversion.”]

Nowhere is this more true than with prescription drugs. However, we continue to see really poor drug websites that were designed with a “do a website attitude” rather than with a great process that involves research and continued optimization.


I have started to work with more CPG companies because they “get it” while you still meet a month’s worth of meetings just to be able to do research for digital marketing.  The best website I ever worked on involved input from our target audience who were instrumental in our website design which led to an increase in time on site and a decrease in bounce rates.  Too many pharma marketers are still fighting the battle with management to do more things digitally and there have been too many talented marketers who have left the industry.

I’m not sure that we will ever see a return to powerhouse DTC marketing within our industry.  There are just too many people who have been enticed by big salaries who are not willing to “shake the boat” to bring about the change that’s really needed.  It’s a shame because a record number of consumers are turning to the Web for health information and right now pharma’s voice is getting lower and smaller.