Will DTC marketers always be laggards?

laggardPOST SUMMARY:  Omnicom Media Group, the global media network that oversees more than $50 billion in annual ad spend for clients such as Apple, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Pepsi, is advising its clients to shift as much as 25% of their TV advertising budgets to online video. Will DTC marketers get the word or will we still be bombarded with drug commercials via the evening news?

Omnicom’s move is an admission that traditional TV budgets are under direct attack from online sources. Previously, the ad business’s official line was online video would grow alongside traditional TV. Now it seems that digital video is eating TV’s lunch.   The global online video market is in an explosive state of growth. Researchers predicted online video ad spend will overtake the amount spent on TV advertising as soon as 2018.


Kraft said earlier this year that it plans to plug half of its media budget into digital advertising by 2016, after saying it drives “twice” the return of traditional TV advertising.

So with CPG companies pouring more money into digital will pharma follow their lead?  My guess is yes, but it’s going to take a lot of meetings and time before any pharma DTC marketer pulls money from TV and puts it into digital.  In addition pharma is not exactly brimming with digital talent.  They tend to rely more and more on agencies and there is that nagging belief that digital marketing is less expensive than TV when that is NOT always the case.

One thing is clear the days of the same old repetition of DTC ads is not going to provide the ROI pharma marketers need to keep budgets healthy.