Why is pharma stuck in digital marketing 101?

SUMMARY: Pharma continues to allocate too much money for paid search while failing to adequately measure the key metrics of their dollars. There are a lot of opportunities to stop thinking abou “we are a regualted industry” and what is possible t drive patient behavior.

The Pew Research Center’s 2013 Health Online report found 72 percent of Americans have gone online to find healthcare information in the past year. Companies that provide the answers they’re looking to get more traffic and have opportunities to build trust with patients.

If you analyze the digital marketing budget of most pharma brands you would be probably be shocked at how much they are spending, monthly, with Google. While it’s necessary to purchase some keywords during launch digital marketers, and agencies, should be analyzing these key words in depth beyond clicks.

What should you look for?

1ne: Clicks to website in relation to time on site.

2wo: Click to website in relation to the total pages viewed.

3hree: Clicks to website to top “pages that drive action”.

Why shouldn’t you look at raw traffic numbers? Because there is a good chance a lot of people are coming to your sire and leaving it because they don’t like the homepage or they didn’t realize it was a drug company website. The bounce rate is a great barometer to determine if people are interested in your content/website or if they’re leaving before they read more.

Why aren’t you blogging?

Marketers who blog are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. Why doesn’t pharma blog more about the constant changing environment within healthcare online health information? Does, for example. prescription fish oil really work when I’m reading that fish oil in general doesn’t work?

Digital Dictionary Health Care Diet Concept

Don’t give me that “we’re a regulated industry” crap. You do have time to write, and get approval to topics of interest to YOUR audience. If the content is written by one of your though leaders it can be really influential.

Product Samples?

Pharma continues to dump a lot of samples on doctors, but they have no idea if those samples lead to an Rx. What if, instead, an HCP handed a patient a brochure with a unique texting code that would provide them with a free sample at their local drugstore? What if you also provided a unique URL meant to drive behavior with coupons to continue treatment with a free discount on other products?

More importantly do you know what percentage of your samples actually lead to an Rx? There are services starting to appear that can bring instant analytics to your desktop so you know if your sampling program is driving brand objectives or if HCP’s are using them for patients who can’t afford medication. It’s time to stop thinking about what you can’t do and start thinking about what you should be doing.