comScore, Inc. released results from its seventh annual Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry, conducted in partnership with marketing innovation consultancy Evolution Road LLC. Based on comScore’s permission-based panel of one million U.S. online persons and survey data from 139 pharmaceutical studies, these benchmarks show that online direct to consumer (DTC) marketing is more effective than ever in increasing conversion among patients and prospects. The study also introduces new insights into conversion lift rates across various medication categories.
“Our annual benchmarking study continues to support the findings of previous years that online DTC marketing is very effective at driving new scripts and increasing adherence for existing patients,” said John Mangano, vice president for comScore Health Solutions. “More importantly, the increased volume of studies in the past two years provided enough data to break out studies from the past two years from the prior five. What’s amazing is that we’ve observed a fifty percent increase in key conversion metrics in the past two years. The value of DTC online marketing for pharmaceutical brands is greater than ever.”
Historical Trend of Site Conversions Reveal Recent Campaigns Show Higher Rate
In previous studies, branded website visitation has driven the highest lifts for prospects and patients in influencing awareness, favorability and conversions. The most recent benchmarks show that site visitation continues to have this impact, influencing new patient starts and adherence or refills. When comparing the results of campaigns from the past two years (2011 to 2012) to those from 2010 and earlier, it was found that the more recent studies delivered significantly higher lifts across a variety of metrics. Most notably, a 10.6 percentage point increase was seen in campaigns driving discussion of treatments with a medical professional. Several other actions, such as discussing a brand, receiving a prescription, filling a prescription and taking a prescription, achieved increases of approximately 5 percentage points versus earlier studies.
A comparison of lifts in conversion for Lifestyle and Blackbox drugs highlights variability seen across categories. Online marketing tactics for Blackbox drugs, which are defined as drugs that carry warnings about significant side effects, showed higher conversions for discussing treatment and a particular brand than Lifestyle drugs. These results make sense given the context of Blackbox medications having greater side effects. However, both Blackbox and Lifestyle drugs showed the same conversion lifts when it comes to patients actually receiving a prescription.
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