POST SUMMARY: As more and more people go online for health information DTC marketers are denying, for the most part, that there is a significant issue of “trust” when it comes to prescription drug marketers.
Trust. A small word that has huge implications when choosing healthcare treatments. Just read the headlines; Brian Williams lied about coming under fire in Iraq, the Anti – Vaccine movement leads to more children being endangered by serious health problems despite leading doctors and scientists saying otherwise. Do DTC marketers really believe that someone is going to see a commercial or go to their website and run to the doctor to ask for an Rx?
I have binders of both qual and quant research with online health seekers and if I had to choose a common finding from all of them it would be that they go to to a lot of sites before making up their minds about which treatment is right for them. Even when their doctor prescribes a treatment that are more likely to still do research before filling their Rx.
How can drug companies win back the trust of a skeptical public? Transparency. A word that we all talk about a lot, but very rarely use in our day to day practices. We should conduct every meeting like their are patients in the room with us and first ask “what’s best for them?”.
Then there is content. Drug companies still talk at people rather than to them and when they do talk, it’s often complicated terminology that forces patients to look elsewhere to answer their questions. To this day I don’t think there are any drug companies that treat patients like customers.
In research DTC marketers would be wise to ask their audience “what can we do to earn your trust” and act on those findings. Pretending it’s not an issue is not an option anymore.