Oncology drug marketers 'missing out' online: study

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Oncology drug e-marketers are missing out on major opportunities to grow their brands by failing to consider the divergent information requests of doctors, patients and key opinion leaders visiting cancer treatment Web sites, according to healthcare information and consulting firm Best Practices.

“We have found there are significant gaps between the information requested by physicians, key opinion leaders (KOLs) and patients, versus what was being presented on oncology Web sites,” said Jon Easter, Best Practices' executive director of pharmaceutical research. “With those gaps, there are greater opportunities for companies [with which to take advantage].”

A recent study from Easter's firm, titled “Using Oncology Websites to Build Brand Equity and Loyalty,” shows just how different the priorities of doctors and patients in the oncology category are.
For example, 80% of patients surveyed said it was not important to have discussion space on an oncology brand Web sites, while 80% of physicians and KOLs said it was.

Easter's advice for the problem? “Oncology drug marketers must align their Web site strategies with their products and corporate branding,” he says, explaining that e-marketers early to adopt are already seeing greater brand growth within the category.

Easter says centralized oncology Web sites are “a trend that is moving slower than everybody would hope, since the regulatory environment puts up obstacles. Some companies are better at navigating those obstacles than others.”

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