DTC Marketers Shifting Budgets

Pharmaceutical companies continue to adjust their marketing strategies in response to the slow economic recovery. Most of these companies advertise both to prescribers (physicians) and consumers.  In addition, pharma companies also allocate marketing budgets to specific phases of product life cycles.  A survey released by Cegedim Dendrite shows how marketing expenditures in this industry will change during 2010.

Companies are reallocating their traditional DTC spending which was heavily geared toward TV ads and spending some of these funds in different areas as follows:

  • Targeted direct to patient (DTP)
  • Health care professional promotions
  • Persistence and adherence programs
  • Integrated non-​personal promotion

Survey respondents also indicated that they will increase funding by life cycle stage as follows:

  1. Awareness 37%
  2. Trial 30%
  3. Usage 48%

Analysts indicated this same pattern occurred in 2009 and shows that pharma companies are focusing their spending on retaining existing customers instead of trying to win new business.

Survey respondents agreed that more money should be spent on relationship marketing with existing customers. Less money will be spent on traditional media such as radio, TV, direct mail and print. Instead, the following percentages of survey respondents say that spending increases will occur in these formats:

  • Websites 67%
  • Relationship marketing 58%
  • Medication adherence/​compliance 55%
  • Email 54%
  • SEO 54%
  • Banner ads 52%

Specific relationship marketing programs likely to benefit from increased spending include refill reminders, rebates/​coupons, loyalty/​co-​pay assistance programs and event sponsorships.

As the industry continues to search for the most effective way to spend marketing funds, individual companies are keeping an eye on government regulations. Executives also cited competition from generics and integration of consumer and physician marketing as key challenges to address for the rest of this year.

[Source:  2010 Direct-​To-​Consumer Industry Check-​up. Cegedim Dendrite. June 2010. Web. 30 Jul. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.