Friday, March 24, 2006

Web, Health, and Marketing Stories from This Week

Internet users visit search engines as often as other sites


  According to an eMarketer report, Internet users visit search engine Web sites as often as they visit other types of sites, reports Advertising Age. By the fourth quarter of 2005, search sites accounted for 24% of consumer visits, which is about equal to the percentage of visits to each of the other three types of Web sites--content, communications, and e-commerce. Also, about 11.8% of the Web sites they visited were search sites. Despite the high number of site visits, the actual amount of time users spent on search sites was small--just 4.7% of their time online. According to the report's author, the small amount of time actually spent on search sites is a testament to their success because it shows that users are quickly finding what they're searching for. Consumer searches are also becoming more complex, says the report. As consumers get better at search, their search terms move beyond one or two keywords and they look at more results than just what's on the first page, reports Ad Age.


E-mails sent on Friday get best open rates, says another study

Another study is showing that e-mails sent on Friday get better open rates. Friday had the highest average open rate for fourteen months straight, according to the ExactTarget study of 2.7 billion e-mail messages. These findings match those of another study from online marketing firm eROI (ePharm5, 2/2/06) that showed the success of Friday e-mailing. The ExactTarget study also showed that the click-through rates were 25% higher on weekends than during the week. However, only 14.3% of e-mails are sent on Fridays, 4.9% are sent on Saturdays, and 3% are sent on Sundays, compared to 24.5% that are sent on Tuesdays. According to ExactTarget, because fewer marketers send e-mails on Fridays and the weekend, the odds of getting a consumer's attention on those days are greater.

Survey reveals baby boomer attitudes about Rx, health

A new survey from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), which counts Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson as clients, attempts to dig into baby boomers' attitudes and behaviors surrounding health. NMI shared data from its new Healthy Aging/Boomer Database with ePharm5. It shows that only 23% of boomers strongly or somewhat agree that they have asked their doctor to prescribe a specific prescription drug brand after seeing an advertisement for it. Although only 35% of boomers strongly or somewhat agree that taking prescription drugs is a primary way to promote healthy aging, 80% strongly or somewhat agree that they would rather use vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements than prescription drugs to stay healthy. And although retirement may be looming for some boomers, only 58% say they are aware of Part D.

Pharmas among highest ad spenders, Internet spending soars

With $4.2 billion in spending, prescription drugs and pharmaceuticals were the third-highest product category for ad spending in 2005, a 2.4% increase over the year before, according to Nielsen Media Research. Procter & Gamble was the highest overall ad spender, despite a 1.3% decrease in spending from the year before. Johnson & Johnson was also ranked among the top ten ad spenders, ranking sixth overall and spending just 0.2% more than last year. The Nielsen data also shows that the Internet experienced 23.3% growth in 2005 over 2004, the largest jump of any media. Spanish language TV ranked next, growing 16.9%, followed by cable TV, which grew 11% since the year before.

Pharma group adds upgrades, ad campaign for clinical trial site

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) has upgraded its clinical trials Web site and launched a two-month advertising campaign on Google and Yahoo!, IFPMA reports. With the new site additions, users can search for clinical trial data in English, German, French, Japanese, and Spanish, and more languages may be added. The Web site has also expanded its search capability, allowing users to perform searches with multiple criteria and by geographical area, says IFPMA. The ad campaign on Google and Yahoo! will provide a link to the new Web site to users who type clinical trial-related search terms into these engines.

Pharma sites below average in interactivity, above in content

Pharma Web sites are below average in their technology and interactivity and above average in design, content, copywriting, and ease-of-use. That's according to a 10-year benchmarking study of Web development trends based on nearly 10,000 site evaluations across 80 industries from the Web Marketing Association. Based on scores out of a possible 10 points, pharma sites from 2003-2005 scored 7.7 in copywriting, 7.6 in content, 7.3 in design, 7.5 in ease-of-use, and 6.3 in innovation, all of which were above average or average compared to other industries. However, pharma sites scored 6.6 in interactivity, below the average of 6.8, and 6.3 in technology, below the average of 6.5. According to the survey, design and ease-of-use have the biggest effect on a Web site's overall rating. Learn more on the Web Marketing Association's Web site.

Cold medicine branding spins caring message from tricycles

In Chile, Andromaco Pharma spins branding for its cold and flu medication by plastering the medication's name, Cotibin, on adult-sized trikes that pedal around in the rain to hand out rain gear. According to, communications agency Mediaedge:cia created the campaign to help consumers stranded by rain and flooding during the rainy season. To make sure that the heavily branded bikes got in the press, the agency identified where media would most likely set up to broadcast the news of the floods and rain, and placed the trikes there. The branded bikes have appeared on national TV stations and in print media. Mediaedge:cia also designed a point-of-purchase campaign for Cotibin that increased sales by 500% against an average of 40% during the cold and flu season, the agency reports.






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