Until pharma learns to “think digital, ” they will stuck in the past

The Pew study found women are more likely to seek health information online than men (85 percent compared to 75 percent) and younger consumers are more likely to research health topics online than senior citizens .

Only 22 percent of Americans over 65 have Internet access, according to Pew. Of those, 70 percent have searched for health topics.  The challenge remains to close the gap between people with Internet health access and those without, but improvements are also needed in helping people find relevant information once they are online.

Search engines are the first stop for 8 out of 10 people seeking health information, but often people are not able to locate the most current or accurate Web sites.

Fake news?

One topic that keeps coming up in my research (qualitative) is the frustration of online health seekers to find both relevant information and information that’s easy for them to understand.  Pharma sites too often use “label language” and a number of questionable websites often communicate bad or inaccurate information.

Why hasn’t pharma made the connection?

1ne: It costs time and money to develop a content strategy.

2wo: Pharma measures total visitors rather than engagement for their websites.

3hree: No dedicated brand emarketing people.

4our: Agencies have not invested in copywriters who can write in a style that talks to people rather than trying to “sell them”.

5ive: Most pharma websites still don’t provide links to good, credible health information.

6ix: Pharma websites are updated in months rather than days.

A HUGE missed opportunity

We are moving beyond quantitative measurements to a qualitative measurement era in Internet marketing. You should be measuring engagement levels on your sire like time on site and the number of pages viewed rather than the total number of visitors.  with DTC marketing.


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