Why pharma’s TV spend is declining

(Fierce Pharma) A fresh slice of data from Standard Media Index suggests that might be the case, revealing spending on linear TV fell for the first time in years and that digital’s share of the media mix passed 50%. Here are the reasons for the decline.

1ne: The journey from awareness to asking for and getting an Rx has become more complicated. There is a lot of noise to cut through, and insurers and PBMs have a more significant say in what doctors can write.

2wo: Streaming viewership has surpassed cable TV. According to Nielsen, streaming viewership reached new highs, exceeding cable usage for the first time.

3hree: DTC marketers are stuck in a rut. I always tell potential clients that each health category is its micro-market. TV may work for some products but not for others.

4our: TV DTC tries too hard to “sell.” It’s not about selling anymore; it’s about helping people navigate the world of healthcare in a system where trying to get help is often difficult.

5ive: 52% of all consumers stop paying attention when ads come on TV, which is as high as 61% for people aged 55 and over.

6ix: The budgets are tightening. Loss of patents, new legislation on pricing for Medicare, and a decline in new drugs is forcing DTC marketers to work with smaller budgets.

7even: Talent evaporation at agencies and within DTC. I’ve seen a lot of good people leave the industry.

8ight: The pandemic has changed the way patients research new treatments. They are using the Internet in different ways to fact-check pharma’s claims.

While some suggest a shift to digital, the answer may depend on how they use it. Paid search plays a minor part, and online ads are ripe with fraud. Pharma must help educate patients and stop using dated marketing messages.