The endless text of pharma disclaimers is at home on the Web.
Web sites are getting pharmaceutical marketers' interactive budgets this year, according to a new study by the Medical Broadcasting Company
(MBC) and CBI Research
A plurality of pharma marketers said site spending would be most likely to get their budgets this year.
Far fewer respondents listed search engine marketing as a top budget priority. That is at odds with a recent comScore Networks
study indicating that search is the main way that people develop brand awareness for pharmaceuticals.
Brand awareness is only one of the goals a Web site accomplishes, however. Given that most people are looking for health information
first and foremost when visiting a site, the focus on sites over search makes sense.
Despite consumers' reliance on search engines to locate health information, some marketers are also leaving search campaigns to their competitors while concentrating on display ads, according to Jack Barrette of Yahoo!
eMarketer estimates that overall online ad spending by the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry will rise 19% this year.
eMarketer Senior Analyst Lisa Phillips has noted that as drug makers launch more products to treat specific conditions, the targeting offered by the Internet means more ad dollars will go digital.
Merck recently announced plans to cut its television spending and boost its efforts in more targeted media such as online communities. Merck said it would test iVillage and other online communities to launch new drugs such as Januvia, for diabetes, and Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine.
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