Over the past year, we analyzed hundreds of pharma websites across the US and EU5, and saw the many ways the digital landscape varies greatly by country the balance between unbranded and product websites, level of registration required to access content, degree of innovation and investment, types of content offered, among many other differences.
Pharma marketers engaging with European consumers undoubtedly face a different set of challenges than in the US, including greater restrictions on branded consumer promotion. Not surprisingly, then, we found less digital activity and investment in the EU digital landscape than in the US.
However, this doesn't mean that we didn't see great examples of digital initiatives shine through Europe (see examples below). Digital and social often work best when brands focus more on providing valuable content to their audience and less on the product, and European pharma digital marketers have naturally been in this mindset given their regulatory climate.
And our studies show that despite the challenges, there are significant opportunities for greater patient digital engagement in Europe. In 2014, 9 in 10 online EU consumers went online for health information, tools or services. Additionally, while only 13% of online EU consumers visited condition websites from a pharma company, another 39% were interested in using one.