What do patients think of pharma brand digital content and services? Can they find them? How do they feel about them and what do they do as a result?
Our clients ask us these questions often and it’s something we’ve been tracking at a macro level for years, but recently, we launched a new study to give DTC marketers more granular insight to how patient groups (RA, MS, and diabetes, to start) felt about 120+ specific brand resources (websites, apps, financial resources, patient education and support programs).
This Digital Brand Perception study resulted in some powerful findings, which we hope will give clients a better understanding of patients’ experiences with their content and services, and how to optimize to be more discoverable and effective.
As a sneak peek of some of the new findings, here are two considerations for DTC marketers…
Make the patient – and not your brand – the hero
Multiple Sclerosis product websites are fairly effective in driving patient action – about one in three MS patients who visited the 10 product websites we tracked talked to their doctor about their condition as a result, and one in five requested the brand.
While there’s a host of factors that could affect a patient’s likelihood to talk to their doctor about a treatment, it’s worth noting that three of the top four product sites driving Rx requests (those for Tysabri, Gilenya and Aubagio) are also some the MS websites with the most compelling patient-focused messaging and imagery.
In particular, Tysabri.com, the MS product website we found to be most likely to drive product requests, sets up a story with their patient as a hero (“The Fight is in You”, “Fight for the Things that Matter”), and the product as a tool they can use on their journey.
In contrast, the MS product websites least likely to drive Rx requests are much more brand-centric – with imagery and messaging much more focused on the product and its benefits.
Brands need to double down on raising awareness of their digital content
One common thread across multiple brands tracked was low awareness of their digital resources, for example -
Given the very competitive content landscape in the US, this is not entirely surprising, and it’s become especially difficult for brands pushing out new resources into their patient’s digital ecosystem to gain attention.
Despite this, we see that patients do want support from pharma brands – three in five online consumers expect pharma companies to help them with more than just providing a medication.
And if brands are able to get the right content to their patients when they need it, it does drive results – 4 in 5 online consumers take a health-related action as a result of using pharma websites.