Pharmas are lagging in online multicultural efforts

Share this article:

Out of 240 branded pharma websites, only about a fifth have any African American imagery on their pages, and bilingual sections of pharma sites are often missing important elements like the “Questions to ask your doctor” section, symptom trackers and other tools, a study of the drug industry's online multicultural outreach efforts found.

The study, by Global Advertising Strategies found that many pharma brands come up short when it comes to communicating with African American, Hispanic and Asian audiences. Instead of dynamic culturally-targeted microsites, many brand teams use PDFs for multicultural materials—while Merck, Pfizer and Roche present their materials in microsite form, 86% of Abbott materials are PDFs, including those for almost all of the firm's hyperlipidemia franchise. High cholesterol, the shop noted, is prevalent in Hispanic and African American communities.

And while Crestor and Lipitor sites featured dynamic microsites tailored to ethnic audiences, the Spanish-language Lipitor site was missing the “Tolls and Resources” tab, while Coumadin offered downloadable tools for patients in English and Spanish.

Where pharmas stick to the core search engines—Google, Bing and Yahoo—ethnic audiences search differently, with YouTube and other social channels following Google among non-Caucasian users.

“The differences among major pharmaceutical companies and their means of reaching a multicultural consumer was a startling discovery considering the lucrative opportunity that the US cross-cultural community represents,” said David J. Cortes Reynel, multicultural healthcare marketing practice leader at Global Advertising Strategies. “Given the remarkable growth of the multicultural community as evidenced by the 2010 Census figures, the pharmaceutical industry as a whole has yet to realize the full potential of the Internet and mobile technologies in their outreach to those communities.”
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

More in News

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, September 2

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, ...

Sanofi and Regeneron unveil Phase-III results of their PCSK9; Merck will present data on its anti-PD-1 at the end of this month; WSJ op/ed suggests US should lead fight against ...

Five things for Pharma Marketers to know: Friday, August 29

Five things for Pharma Marketers to know: Friday, ...

Takeda closes out a good-news, bad-news kind of week, AstraZeneca adds a new clinical trial for its experimental PD-1, and researchers link a funeral to the Ebola outbreak.

Amgen sends PCSK9 to FDA

Amgen sends PCSK9 to FDA

Evolocumab holds the FDA's first filed biologics license application for the class.