Pharma Online Spending Going Up?





















US direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketers say they plan to increase their online marketing spending this year and decrease spending on traditional media, according to a March 2008 Cegedim Dendrite study. Respondents generally said they planned to spend more this year on Web sites, search and e-mail marketing, and less on TV and radio.

Cegedim said that while respondents said they wanted to see more focus on emerging and targeted channels, and less on general mass media tactics, the industry seemed reluctant to actually reallocate budgets to make it happen.

My Take: Pharma, medical device and health care organizations are under increasing pressure and are finding it harder to reach consumers and health care professionals. I personally see a slight increase in understanding of the value of interactive but that hasn't necessarily translated to an increased budget. There is a natural and consistent movement to delivering more interactive and online marketing, but it's not what I would consider anything close critical mass.

Most of Pharma is not participating in rich experiential marketing online. The money for that will not likely be incremental to current DTC efforts due to business pressures. There are efficiency and effectiveness gains to found and any incremental gain will likely come out of a decrease in TV and other traditional forms of media like print in trade publications. In the near future will there be a TV commercial playing ad nauseum about waiting for your Cialis moment during prime time television or will it play when you’re on WebMD or Google searching for ED?

I think the jury is still out whether the money will flow online in the short term, but I know this: That's where the consumers are and they are looking to be engaged and are having conversations with or without you.



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