Marketing Report
Health-conscious audiences struggle with connecting pharma messaging across channels, report news

Health-conscious audiences struggle with connecting pharma messaging across channels, report

MAGNA Media Trials and PatientPoint has released a research study, “Pharma Messaging Effectiveness: Cross-Channel Analysis.”

The report explored the impact of prescription drug advertising across media channels and resources (e.g., online health portals, health and wellness blogs, social media, TV, radio, pharma websites, etc.). Pharma ads served in a healthcare provider’s (HCP) office outperformed all other channels as the most trusted source of health information, regardless of respondents’ age.

The study found ads showed in an HCP office earned up to over 16% higher level of trust compared to ads on websites and online health portals, which was the second most trusted communication channel.

Kara Manatt, EVP of Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA: “We continue to explore the benefits of matching the right audience with the right message across industries. Consistently, the data shows that advanced strategies, like this cross-channel approach tested for pharma ads, yield better outcomes than traditional demographic targeting alone.”

The study revealed pharma brands can benefit from a strategic messaging approach that aligns to audience channel preferences, e.g., pair ads in the HCP environment with social media ads to reach adult Gen Z (19%), while combining HCP ads with pharma company or brand website ads to connect with Millennials (16%), Gen X (13%), and Boomers (10%).

Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer, PatientPoint: “We now have confirmation that Americans are most focused on healthcare in the spaces and places where they receive care, and the results of our research firmly cement the doctor’s office as the most influential place for brands to reach healthcare consumers along their treatment journey. This research also underscores how targeted marketing in the endemic, highly contextual physician’s office environment can most effectively reach the right patients with the right information at the right time.”

A focus on trustworthiness is one area of opportunity identified for pharma advertisers. The study demonstrated that pharma brands could be more effective with less frequent advertising and by emphasizing clear, transparent messaging designed for education and actionable purposes.

When it came to pharma ads appearing on social media, research participants noted, “I’ve seen these types of ads way too many times in this setting,” and those appearing while browsing online “use complex medical terms that are challenging to understand.”

On the flip side, the top reason for participants to trust ads shown on TV and video channels was “the information they convey is educational.”

Transparency was the main driver of trust on the social media channel, with patients wanting brands to disclose the potential risks and any alternatives to the advertised treatment. These results point to the possibility of enhanced advertising outcomes based on the right mix of messaging and a cross-channel strategy. Tapping into the healthcare provider’s office places prescription medicine ads in the go-to source for trusted health information (55%), as well as the most trustworthy, suitable (84%), and relevant (5861%), and preferred (55%) environment for patients.

Melissa Gordon-Ring, Global President, Health at Initiative: “Data that can empower pharma brands to deliver even better engagement strategies across their diverse audiences is incredibly valuable. Our clients, many of which are reputable, well-established brands, have a wealth of information they can provide, beyond just their product offerings. We are committed to partnering with them and exploring tools, platforms, and channels that help ensure their messages reach consumers and meet their needs.”

The full study can be accessed here