Boom time for nonmeasured media?
Figures from TNS Media Intelligence show Johnson & Johnson decreased measured media spend last year by nearly 20%, potentially leaving significant monies for nontraditional media like paid search. Will other drug marketers follow suit?
VP, acct dir.
Initiative Media North America
First, it is important not to bucket media as traditional or nontraditional but instead to choose the best vehicles for the tasks at hand. Covering cost-efficient bases like paid search is almost a “no-brainer” for most brands these days. Beyond that, look at the products, brands and target audiences, plus the specific campaign objectives, to build optimum media mixes. Second, there are more opportunities for healthcare marketers to place advertising messages closer to the “point-of-purchase,” whether at the doctor’s office or in the pharmacy. These channels are receiving a rapidly growing portion of the “traditional” media budgets and may be where a chunk of the decreased reported spend is going. Finally, recognize that decreases in measured media spend do not necessarily mean that those funds will be allocated to non-measured media.
TBWA WorldHealth, LLNS
This is the “big bang” in healthcare marketing. Consumers’ hunger for knowledge and information about their health is colliding with media and regulatory pressure to reduce or limit broad-based advertising and marketing. The result is a boom in online and paid search vehicles that are transforming our industry and will be good for everyone. Good because consumers and patients can get the information they want. Good because the depth of information can be as detailed or as broad as the consumer wants. Good because marketers can find (and invest in) patients who are truly involved in their own health and will likely be more compliant in the long run. Good because we can learn how individual patients want to receive information and then customize our messages to meet their needs. Good because it is measurable. It’s all good.
The book What Sticks, written by myself and Greg Stuart, features Johnson & Johnson as a hero brand that systematically innovates marketing activities. In regard to the TNS data, my advice: Don’t follow. Lead. R&D is the life blood of most drug makers. And yet it’s been my experience leading many marketing ROI measurement studies that most drug marketers don’t do marketing R&D very well. When it comes to marketing R&D, some drug marketers are decent at “D”—developing new media elements. But most marketers aren’t very good at the “R.” They do scant research or (sub-par) ROI measurement, and therefore few get progressively better with each marketing campaign. It has been our experience that when marketers get the ROI research right, and use it to learn (not just to justify budgets), they see their profits improve dramatically. Are you going to lead or follow?
If you dig deeper into where J&J cut the most, it was in their national TV budget. Consumers are no longer fixated on TV as their primary media “channel.” They manage TV, print, radio and a growing category of digital information. As the allocation to media sources evolves, budgets must follow. It is not that J&J is being innovative as much as it is moving budget to where the market will be spending its time over the next year. With regard to other companies following suit into the realm of nontraditional media, it has been happening at a measured pace for years. It is not unusual for a team to spend millions on paid search today—a category that didn’t exist 10 years ago. A savvy brand marketer plans for where the market will be next, not just where it is today.