Gartner Says U.S. Pharmaceutical Brands Must Adopt a Patient-Centric Narrative to Improve Digital Strategies

Report Ranks Digital Performance of 88 U.S. Pharmaceutical Brands;
75 Percent Rank Above Average Despite Unprecedented Scrutiny and

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/digital?src=hash" target="_blank"gt;#digitallt;/agt;–Very few U.S. pharmaceutical brands have transitioned from a
brand-centric to patient-centric narrative to accommodate today’s savvy
and skeptical consumer, according to new research from Gartner, Inc.

The inaugural Gartner
L2 Digital IQ Index: Pharmaceutical Rx U.S.
ranks the digital
performance of 88 pharmaceutical brands operating in the U.S. market.
These brands were measured across more than 1,200 data points against
four critical dimensions of digital marketing, including site
functionality, direct marketing, social media and mobile. From these
calculations, three brands were classified as Genius (Repatha, Humira
and Fasenra), 28 as Gifted, 37 as Average, 9 as Challenged and 11 as

“Pharmaceutical brands in the U.S. face unprecedented levels of scrutiny
and regulation, including strict limitations that have a profound impact
on how they market to consumers,” said Chris Beland, sector lead at
Gartner. “Despite these difficulties, consumers continue to look to
brands’ digital channels for credible information and guidance.”

Gartner research on decision making for healthcare reveals that 70
percent of consumers believe they have access to credible information,
and 64 percent feel that they can apply that information to help improve
their decision making. “It’s not enough to have average digital
capabilities these days —pharmaceutical brands must ensure that their
content is present, relevant and meaningful enough to take action on,”
added Mr. Beland.

From the analysis, four key findings emerged that U.S. pharmaceutical
brands must keep in mind moving forward:

Form Follows Function: Presently, brand websites are
information-rich but content-poor. Only half of patient/caregiver sites
incorporate patient stories, and conversation guides are not
consistently synced with their healthcare provider (HCP) counterparts.
For example, 76 percent of brands provide materials to help patients
prepare for their next doctor visit, but only 41 percent have similar
materials on HCP sites to help doctors prepare for the conversation with
patients. This limits both the quality of those engagements and the
brand’s ability to inspire discussion.

Get In or Go Home: In an environment where TV ads arguably have a
neutral impact on brand awareness, winning brands generate superior ROI
on their display ad efforts through efficient placement, prominent calls
to action and substitution toward more effective video/mobile formats.
Across the 78 brands with detected display ad activity, quarterly site
traffic impressions from web ads grew by an average of 50 percent, while
site traffic from display ads increased by 20 percent.

The Smart Money: Sixty-eight percent of brands engage in
competitive keyword bidding, with 69 percent of those brands incurring
conquest on those branded search terms. Brands that aggressively deploy
budget on category search terms receive higher ROI on paid search
traffic than brands focusing on conquering against competitive branded

Fear of Commitment: While not universally utilized, the brands
that commit to email, social and mobile efforts see significant returns
with website traffic, cross linking and performance. Afterall, 83
percent of total site traffic occurs on brands’ consumer mobile sites
and 80 percent on their HCP mobile sites.

Additional details on the digital performance of pharmaceuticals brands
in the U.S. will be presented in an upcoming webinar
on April 17, 2019 at 1:00PM Eastern Time. The full list of rankings is
available to Gartner for Marketers clients in the report Gartner
L2 Digital IQ Index: Pharmaceutical Rx U.S. 2019

*For Editors:

Companies were classified as either “Genius,” their digital competence
is a point of competitive differentiation for these brands; “Gifted,”
the brands are experimenting and innovating across site, mobile and
social platforms; “Average,” digital presence is functional yet
predictable; “Challenged,” limited or inconsistent adoption of mobile
and social media platforms; and “Feeble,” investment does not match

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Kelly Blum
[email protected]

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