DTC spending is slowing, and consumer drug marketers project a shift in spending toward events, rebates/coupons and product placement this year, according to a survey by CRM and sales support firm Cegedim Dendrite.
While 44% of respondents to Cegedim Dendrite's DTC Check-Up Survey expected their budgets to grow in 2008, 30% said their budgets for DTC will decrease in 2008 – almost double the 16% who said their budgets were declining last year – and 12% said their budgets would decrease by double digits. Top reasons cited for declining budgets include: overall budget cuts (23%); poor cost-effectiveness and measurability of DTC (15%); and a shift in spending to CRM (13%).
On spending priorities, the survey found a definite shift toward more targeted media. “DTC marketers widely agree that not enough will be spent on consumer programs in 2008 and would like to see television, radio and direct mail budgets decline to make up the difference,” the survey summary said. “Marketers no longer believe strongly in the effectiveness of television and radio, as it is difficult to measure the ROI of these efforts. Instead, they see direct-to-consumer programs and online interaction as more efficient and measurably effective ways to communicate with customers.”
The online survey of 144 executives from pharma firms, medical agencies and other vendors was conducted in December and January.