In the intricate web of healthcare, a strand that often seems to be somewhat isolated is the pharma marketing sector. It’s no secret that the ultimate goal for pharma marketers is to amplify drug sales and, by extension, their market presence. However, the disconnect between these marketing strategies and genuine patient needs and experiences is a growing concern. The burning question is, “Why is there such a gap, and how can it be bridged?”
In today’s digital age, information is just a click away, and this is particularly true when it comes to health-related queries. Health seekers often use the internet to gather information about their health conditions, treatment options, and pharmaceutical products. As a result, pharmaceutical companies have a unique opportunity to provide valuable information and answer the questions of these health-conscious individuals through their product websites.
Research shows that online health seekers are not engaging with pharma product websites. Pharma websites continue to read like medical journals and are boring. Their reading levels should be 6-8th grade, but my analysis shows that most are 12+ grade reading level. Here are some tips for making pharma websites more engaging.
SUMMARY: Falsehoods have been shown to spread faster and farther than accurate information, and research suggests that misinformation can have negative effects in the real world, such as amplifying controversy about vaccines and propagating unproven cancer treatments. Therefore, health misinformation on social media urgently requires greater action from those working in public health research and practice. (Source: US Library of Medicine) There is a huge opportunity to help online health seekers cut through health misinformation.
- DTC marketing is not the reason why prescription drugs cost so much.
- DTC ads raise awareness around health conditions.
- DTC ads do NOT lead to unnecessary Rxs.
- The FDA needs to study what people do when they see a DTC ad.
OPENING: Online health seekers decide whether to stay on your website within the first five seconds of landing on your homepage. They decide if your site addresses their questions after looking at 1.24 pages. Here are what I found in over two years of research with online health seekers.
SUMMARY: The number of visitors to your website doesn’t mean anything if you have high bounce rates and low page views/time on site. More than half of mobile users leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load, yet too many pharma sites are not optimized for mobile. Houston, we have a problem.
SUMMARY: Among US adults who looked for health information and used the internet for their most recent search, the percentage who reported accessing health information without frustration was stable during the study period (from 37.2% in 2008 to 38.5% in 2017). The percentage of online health information seekers reporting easily accessing health information did not meet the HP2020 objective. Continued efforts are needed to enable easy access to online health information among diverse populations. (Source: Public Health Reports)