Search Continues to Perform for Pharma Marketers

The pharmaceutical industry may have been a little slower than other industries to shift their ad budgets online but these marketers pharmaseem to be making up for lost time.  In the past year, online pharma ads have increased significantly. comScore research shows that this move to digital is paying off for pharma companies.

comScore has been studying online pharma marketing for 7 years and this year’s Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry report shows that branded websites are “influencing awareness, favorability and conversions.” There are multiple steps between making a consumer aware of a specific medication and getting them to take the medication. A well-​design website can serve as a marketing tool in this regard and lead consumers through the purchase funnel.

Because of their interaction with these websites, consumers show a higher rate of  several desired behaviors as the percentages in the following list show:

  • Discussed treatments with a healthcare professional +10.6%
  • Discussed brand with a healthcare professional +4.7%
  • Asked for a prescription +0.9%
  • Received a prescription +5.3%
  • Filled the prescription +5.0%
  • Took the prescription +5.0%

Researchers also took a look at how consumers are arriving at branded websites. Consumers who came to the sites from natural search showed the higher conversion rates. Paid search results also drove significant traffic and conversions. While the display ad path showed a rise of over 7% in the prospects and patients who intended to discuss treatments with their healthcare professionals, this channel ranked lower across the board in terms of awareness and favorability.

This study also found that pharma companies increased their display ad efforts nearly 21% between this year and last year. However, about 30% of these ads were deemed to be not viewable by the researchers.

Currently, about 46% of U.S. consumers take prescription medications.  To learn more about Pharma Advertising Responders, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Sources: Carrns, Ann. Many Struggling with Prescription Drug costs. Bucks​.blogs​.nytimes​.com. 12 Sep. 2012. Web. 18 Jul. 2013; New Pharma Digital Marketing Benchmarks. Comscore​.com. 25 Jun. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2013] 
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.