comScore Study Finds the Internet a Key Component in Consumer Research on Prescriptions and Health Conditions

Ad Operations OnlineOnline Advertising Aids Brand Favorability and Awareness Among Consumers; Pharmaceutical Sites Highly Effective at Generating New Patient Starts and Refills
RESTON, VA – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, 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. 

Branded Websites Play a Critical Role in Pharmaceutical Marketing
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.
Incremental Effect on New Patient Starts and Adherence/Next Fill vs. Control
Source: Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry (2009 Release)
                                     Prospects              Patients
                                     New Patient Starts     Adherence/Next Fill
Exposed & Interacted (Rich Media*)   Not Reportable         +14.0 % points
Visited                    +11.9 % points         +24.7 % points
* defined as interactive digital media
“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.”
Online Advertising Causes Increases in Brand Awareness and Favorability
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.
Incremental Effect on Brand Awareness and Favorability Over Control Among Prospects and Patients
Source: Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry (2009 Release)
Marketing Activity                                                                    Prospects                                      Patients
                                                      Aided Brand Awareness    Unaided Brand Awareness    Brand Favorability     Brand Favorability
Exposure-Only to Online Ads                                    4.1                        4.2                    13.2               Not Reportable
Exposure to and Interaction with Online Ads (Rich Media*)      2.2                        5.4                     1.9                    5.5
Visited                                             11.8                       17.1                    18.0                   17.2
* defined as interactive digital media
To request a copy of the study Online Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks for the Pharmaceutical Industry (2009 Release) or for more information on comScore Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Solutions, please click here.
About comScore Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Solutions
comScore Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Solutions delivers in-depth information needed to understand the impact that brand, condition-specific, and health websites have on consumers’ brand awareness, conversion, and patient compliance. comScore’s products deliver actionable insight to help refine consumer profiles, identify key alliances, optimize interactive marketing initiatives, benchmark against the competition and accurately measure the ROI of Web site and online marketing programs.
About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit
About Evolution Road
Evolution Road is a marketing innovation consultancy focused on helping brands leverage digital channels to drive their business. Evolution Road believes that the Internet will dramatically improve how pharmaceutical brands are marketed for the benefit of consumers, physicians and pharmaceutical brands. For more information, please contact Paul Ivans at [email protected], or visit