When measuring success there are always two primary questions… is this worth my investment? and how am I doing compared to my competitors. The ROI equation is difficult enough, but knowing what competitors are achieving is even harder. In a time of budget reductions and general corporate austerity you also have to ensure that the costs of measuring don’t drive down your ability to produce results. In essence, what is the ROI of your ROI calculations?
In this environment free research is always welcome. Free research informs our decisions every day. You can get some reasonable data on market share, you can know pricing, you can get some sense of their share of voice using your own gut, random website checks, etc.but once in a while you can also find something really valuable.
Recently, comScore was kind enough to release the “Sixth Annual Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry”. If you’re a fan of Digital Rx I’m sure you’ll agree this is free research nirvana. You can get the full report from the comScore website.
So, what are the results? Get the full report to see everything, but the quick takeaways are below.
Health topic popularity
Visits to health category websites has reached over 70% of US consumers. This correlates well with the PEW Internet project’s numbers that show 88% of internet users searched for health information. Their numbers only show 59% of US adults searching for health information because they measure only 78% of the population using the Internet. Interesting discrepancy, but the end result is the same: by far most people search for health information online. One interesting difference between the comScore and PEW data; comScore measures what people do, PEW surveys people and measures what they say they do. As a long time researcher, I can vouch for the fact that these two things are not the same.
Not only are people visiting health websites, either via searches or organically, but exposure to health information is making a difference.
The comScore study found that there was some nominal lift to simply being exposed to ads, but if consumers or patients visited brand websites there was an uplift in awareness and favorability:
- +15.3% increase in consumers’ aided awareness
- +10.0% increase in consumers’ unaided awareness
- +10.6% increase in consumers’ favorability
- +15.2% increase in patients’ favorability
Not only were the precursors to action affected (knowledge of, and favorability toward) but the sites produced significant lift in new prospects and patient adherence.
- +8.9% new patient starts
- +14.7% patient adherence
These numbers can be used as a general industry benchmark for your own measures on your digital activities.
There is no question that the best benchmarking is being involved with anonymized data from your direct competitors, as provided by TGaS Advisors, but if budgets are limited and you need to spend more on marketing and less on measuring, the comScore report is another great source of information.