SUMMARY: Pharma product websites are supposed to drive brand objectives: new Rx’s. But is that model really relevant today? No. A lot has changed in the way online health seekers make treatment choices and unless pharma websites adapt the will become more and more irrelevant.
When we audit a pharma website the biggest problems we find are:
1ne: The website tries too hard to sell rather than educate and inform.
2wo: There is no content marketing plan.
3hree: Content is too hard to understand.
The reasons this happens are varied but usually, come down to a misallocation of budget dollars and lack of a good process to understand your online audience.
DTC marketers, for the most part, still love TV but with all the political ads coming it’s safe to say that a lot of people will be turning off TV. As more and more people go online for health information pharma websites are being left out. Sure the raw traffic numbers may look good but when compared to bounce rates they are clearly missing opportunities.
Health topics are everywhere in the news but the “buzz” around news only lasts a short time, Online health seekers are confused when they read thee stories and want a good, credible source of information so they can make educated treatment choices.
Pharma product websites need to change and agencies need to lead the charge. They need to transform from billboards and brochures to health sites where online seekers turn to for credible health information. They need to provide links to health information that helps them learn about how to manage their health issues. Finally, content needs to be updated on a regular basis, written by though leaders like they’re talking to patients one at a time.
I keep hearing how pharma is throwing more money into digital but the truth is that the money needs to be spent on basics. Things like usability studies, research with your audience with the express purpose of developing a great online experience which will, in turn, lead to more business.