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10 Reasons Why Small Rx Brands Need Digital Media... & Why They Can Afford it Too!
March 21, 2012
Even small pharmaceutical brands need digital media. And they can afford it too. Just because you don't have a seven figure DTC budget doesn't mean you should forgo direct to consumer marketing… just do it in the digital channel. Smaller pharmaceutical brands often assume that direct-to-consumer is a zero-sum game – either you do it or you don't. What these brands fail to understand is that the efficiencies inherent in the channel and the digital media marketplace not only make it possible for smaller brands to conduct consumer marketing but they make it the ideal place to focus marketing dollars.
Here are 10 reasons why small pharmaceutical brands SHOULD run digital media:
#1 Patients are getting their health information online.
According to Manhattan Research, 86% of Online Americans (<168MM) are online for health info and, of that group, greater than 65% research prescription drug treatments. Better than half of those who research online report that the information they find influences the questions they ask their health care providers with nearly 2/3 reporting that they ask about drugs by name.
#2 Brand awareness is critical for any prescription drug brand.
We know the trajectory of NRx's in the first 6-10 weeks following brand launch has historically determined the total value of the brand. Putting all of your eggs in one basket (sales and/or professional marketing) is risky – Brand awareness among patients seeking therapy invariably leads to branded requests/inquiries which has the ability to effectively elevate awareness among health care providers.
#3 Awareness yes, but also acquisition.
Awareness can (and certainly does) lead to acquisition but digital media can also be used to drive acquisition directly. By deploying ad creative that has acquisition-oriented calls-to-action, digital media can capture people further down the purchases funnel and directly drive them to acquisition content like coupons and copay assistance programs.
#4 "Fish where the fish are" or "waste not, want not."
Digital media allows for targeted, contextually relevant placement of marketing messages – banners and paid search ads can be served only to people reading or searching for information on or related to specific conditions or diseases.
#5 Reach with dollar efficiency.
Digital media facilitates maximum reach at low cost – cost per click (CPC) media buying models ensure that a brand only pays when someone takes an action (e.g., clicks thru to branded website) but because media dollars are spent on the click vs. the impression, mass impressions are achieved as the budget is spent.
#6 "Parity through placement."
Placement is the great equalizer in advertising. If your brand/message is where the patient is when they're most receptive to brand messaging (e.g., when they're searching/researching), then the brand is as relevant and viable an option as any competitor. Maybe your brand won't be able to buy as much media as competitors but, if it's in the right place at the right time, the campaign can be successful.
Digital media can be geo‐targeted so that only people who live in certain areas (states, DMAs, time zones, etc.) will see the brand's banners and paid search ads. You can get local without being limited to local or less desirable media properties. Geo-targeted ad serving allows you to be local on thousands of well-trafficked, highly-relevant, 1st tier media properties like Drugs.com, Everydayhealth.com, NYTimes.com and iVillage.com.
#8 Ability to measure effectiveness.
Because the call‐to‐action is literally an action (click), digital media is an instant and infinite measurable tactic which allows for near‐real time benchmarking, optimization (see #9 below) and ROI evaluation for every media dollar spent.
#9 Ongoing optimization.
Unlike traditional media, digital media campaigns (and the strategies that drive them) can be managed down to the day‐part, placement, creative execution and spend‐level. Because we actively manage campaigns and review performance daily, we are able to make adjustments to optimize each media dollar spent. Efficiency compounds over the life of the campaign with each week recognizing efficiency gains over the previous.
#10 Paid search and display (banners) work together.
Paid search generates significantly more traffic (e.g. visits) than banners but banners run in conjunction with paid search has been proven to positively affect "branded searches" according to comScore which reports a 260% lift as the benchmark for the health care industry.