Online Advertising Aids Brand Favorability and Awareness : comScore

Reston , VA :comScore, Inc. has released results from its third annual study Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry, which found that exposure to online media, including a brand’s website and online ads, had a significant positive lift on a treatment’s awareness and favorability. The results also showed that visitation to a brand’s website generated significant levels of incremental new patient starts and refills. The study, performed in conjunction with pharmaceutical marketing consultancy Evolution Road, LLC, is designed to help pharmaceutical marketers better assess the success of their online marketing activities.

The study evaluated the impact of various online marketing activities including banner ads, rich media, search marketing and visits to a brand website on a pharmaceutical brand’s awareness, favorability and sales results among both patients and prospects. The study was based on comScore’s one million person U.S. panel, for which online activity is passively observed, and survey data collected throughout the past several years.

The study found that branded websites were the most effective form of online pharmaceutical marketing, with existing patients increasing their refill rate nearly 25 percentage points compared to those who did not visit the site. Patients who were new to a treatment increased an incremental 11.9 percentage points higher than the control. Exposure and interaction with rich media advertisements also improved refill rate among existing patients with a 14.0-point lift versus the control group.

“A brand’s website is the most effective online tactic for pharmaceutical marketers. Not only does it provide visitors with critically important information on the condition, treatment options and the drug itself, but it is also one of the few environments where a brand can build a dynamic and recurring relationship with its patients,” said John Mangano, vice president of comScore marketing solutions. “It is important though to realize that a brand’s website is only one critical piece of a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes online display ads, search marketing and offline marketing working in unison to raise awareness, educate consumers and ultimately drive conversion.”

The study also found that online advertising and branded websites had a significant positive impact on awareness and favorability among patients and prospects. For prospects, exposure-only to an ad increased both aided and unaided brand awareness, with increases of 4.1 and 4.2 percentage points, respectively. Pharma websites played the greatest role in increasing awareness and favorability among patients and prospects. Prospects exhibited an 18.0-percentage point lift in favorability after visiting a branded website, while patients reported a 17.2-percentage point lift.

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