Be a Smart Marketer, Pharma within Health Content for Hispanics Online
Pharma Spending Online - Disproportionate to Pharma Interactive Usage
US pharmaceutical and health care industry online advertising spending is projected to be $1.19 billion in 2008, a healthy 22.1% increase from 2007, and is expected to grow to $2.2 billion by 2011. Yet these figures appear small in comparison to the industry’s total advertising spending. In 2008, 4.1% of total advertising is online advertising, increasing only to 5% by 2011 for the US pharmaceutical and health care industry. 1
Meanwhile, 7,601,000 unique visitors, or 40.2% of the US Hispanic online audience has visited content in the health category, of which 29.4% have visited content within the health-information subcategory, and 6.7% have visited content within the pharmacy subcategory, as depicted in Chart #1.
It is also important to note that one third of visitors first became aware of a prescription medication site or product through an online marketing program, of which banner ads, specifically, were responsible for driving 10% of all traffic. 2
Now that the online medium has been established as an important vehicle for building brand awareness for prescription medication sites, it goes hand in hand that online resources (Web sites and e-mail) are the preferred media by which 73% of US Internet Users would prefer to receive information on Health, Beauty and Fitness overall (TV/radio came in at 3.7%) 3.
Another benefit of advertising online for pharma is that it does not face the problem of over saturation like that of TV. A study by Prospectiv found that 72% of respondents claimed there were too many drug treatment advertisements on television. The Prospectiv study goes on to state that 83% surveyed expressed concerns that pharmaceutical ads on TV can be confusing/misleading, while 89% agreed that TV drug treatment advertisements need to be more closely regulated. 4
Pharma Advertisement Online Deemed Highly Credible
As if brand awareness, high category visitation, and the benefits derived from under saturation were not enough, the online medium scores high marks in credibility for pharma-related interests. Prospectiv’s 2007 Pharmaceutical Marketing Consumer Preference Index Poll disclosed that 75% of respondents view the Internet as their most trusted resource for ailment and drug treatment related information, followed by broadcast media (15%) and magazines (10%). 5 Prospectiv’s findings very closely match comScore’s study which deems that 73% of respondents (top 2 box) visiting prescription medication sites deem that the information was credible. 6
Drive Traffic to Pharma Sites from Contextually Relevant Placements
As mentioned previously, of the 40.2% of Hispanic visitors who frequented content within the Health category, only 6.7% had visited content within the Pharmacy subcategory. 7 This actually makes sense, as consumers to prescription medication sites focused on the ailment instead of the actual name of the drug; “Consumers sought online information most frequently for specific health conditions, including depression (2.9 million unique visitors), bipolar disorder (1.8 million unique visitors), and insomnia (1.7 million unique visitors).” 8
As an example, just a quick glance at Terra’s Salud (Health) channel (http://www.terra.com/salud/) shows easy navigation to information on many types of ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, HIV, obesity, allergies and more. Many pharmaceutical and health and wellness marketers have leveraged Terra’s Health audience by “owning” an area of interest and plugging their ad messaging into a targeted content section. This creates an ideal environment for those seeking online information on specific health conditions.
Relevance to Visitor is Key
To concur with aforementioned statements that the online medium is ideal for increasing brand awareness among pharma campaigns, Dynamic Logic reports that aided brand awareness among pharmaceutical campaigns is 4.6 while the average brand awareness norm is 3.5. Pharma is actually listed 3 rd, following apparel (4.7) and entertainment (7.2). However, where Pharma needs help is in brand favorability at 2.1 which is the same as the average brand favorability of 2.1, and listed 8 th in Chart #2. 9
Perhaps the answer to moving the needle on the lower funnel metrics such as favorability and purchase intent lies in finding those actually afflicted, or ‘sufferers’, that are in need of reprieve.
An additional and very valuable insight for creative designers is to consider including a picture of the product (picture of the pill and/or packaging along with the pill or dosage) actually within the creative. Dynamic Logic was kind enough to share with our Smart Marketer readers that creative with shots of the product perform remarkably better than omitting the actual product.
Be a Smart Marketer, leverage research among the health category overall to determine its role within the pharmaceutical subcategory.
Visitors usually turn to the Internet for information about specific ailments or afflictions first
, and are then exposed to the actual drug and prescription manufacturer site, a third of which are introduced to a prescription manufacturer site for the first time online.
Continue the brand exposure by couching your message within integrated sponsorships of areas about the ailment that the product treats. Also, within the creative itself, consider adding a product shot as well as a call to action ‘Click Here for More Info’ to direct the visitor to the actual manufacturer site or mini site. 10
The online medium is enticing for pharma campaigns yet under-utilized when compared to overall pharma advertising spending since it has strong marks for credibility and visitation in comparison to more traditional media. Use this disparity - as well as the insights provided by research, - to your advantage for pharma campaigns within the interactive space, where 40.2% of Hispanics online have visited content within the Health category during Jan 08. 11
Finally, Terra wishes to congratulate Stop & Shop, who has announced that all of its Pharmacies now offer Spanish language prescription labels and information.
Every day more and more marketers are recognizing the importance of advertising to this market.
1.) eMarketer. US Pharmaceutical and Health Care Industry Online Advertising Spending, 2006 – 2011. Chart. August 30, 2007
2.) comScore, Inc. Thirty-Three Million Consumers Researched Prescription Medication Using the Internet in Q3, 2006, Seeking Information on Drug Health and Safety. Press Release. Reston, VA. Dec 6, 2006
3.) eMarketer citing Prospectiv. Select Media by which US Internet Users Would Prefer to Receive Information on Health, Beauty and Fitness. Chart. Apr 2006
4.) Irwin, Tanya. Consumers Prefer Non-Branded Sites for Health Info. Mediapost July 23, 2007
5.) Irwin, Tanya. Consumers Prefer Non-Branded Sites for Health Info. Mediapost July 23, 2007
6.) comScore, Inc. Thirty-Three Million Consumers Researched Prescription Medication Using the Internet in Q3, 2006, Seeking Information on Drug Health and Safety. Press Release. Reston, VA. Dec 6, 2006
7.) comScore Media Metrix. Key Measures Report. US Hispanic Service. Jan 2008
8.) comScore, Inc. Thirty-Three Million Consumers Researched Prescription Medication Using the Internet in Q3, 2006, Seeking Information on Drug Health and Safety. Press Release. Reston, VA. Dec 6, 2006
9.) Dynamic Logic. Dynamic Logic’s Market Norms Q4/2006. Provided to Terra Networks
10.) Dynamic Logic. Dynamic Logic’s Market Norms Q4/2006. Provided to Terra Networks
11.) comScore Media Metrix. Key Measures Report. US Hispanic Service. Jan 2008
To learn more about how you can reach Terra.com's quality audience with your marketing message, call us at 212-354-2700. Visit http://www.terraknows.com.
By Natasha Funk Published February 29, 2008. If you missed past issues of Terra’s Smart Marketer Series and would like to obtain them, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.