Will journals take online dollars?

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Revenge of the dead trees? If journals begin 2011 like they started off 2010, with an infusion of pharma ad dollars, will their revival draw advertising spend away from professional online promotion?

Keith Yocum
Director online advertising,
New England Journal of Medicine


Research suggests that physicians are increasing the amount of time spent consuming quality medical content. While modern delivery options and reading devices are varied, the content from medical journals remains the same and the hunger to access that content is as strong as ever. And of course good marketers follow their audience wherever it goes. Print, online, social and mobile have solid physician audiences and will continue to garner strong interest from marketers. The resurgence of print is a sign of returning stability to marketing budgets and shows an increasingly sophisticated approach to multi-channel messaging; no channel should be forgotten or minimized. As marketers refine their strategy we'll see reallocation and adjustment based on time-tested concepts of share of voice and ROI.


Amy Turnquist
Corporate sales director,
ADVANCE for NPs & PAs/Merion Matters


I expect that in 2011 we will continue to see increased investment in both print and online promotion through integrated strategies designed to capitalize on the unique benefits of each medium. Print media offers unparalleled branding opportunities and proven value. Online promotion offers frequency of exposure that can't be achieved through print and enhanced targeting opportunities and options for tracking ROI. Now that our industry has received some clarification from the FDA about online promotion guidelines, clients are finding they have a measure of creative freedom online that can work effectively to support print campaigns. We will continue to see pharma make strategic alignments to adjust to this new reality.


Rebecca Frederick
President,
Ogilvy CommonHealth Medical Media

 
I would hardly say that Q1, 2010 journal activity truly reflected an “infusion” of pharma ad dollars. Look at the numbers: Q1, 2010 activity was up 11.3% vs. a prior year first quarter that was down 27.2% vs. 2008 (Source: Kantar Media). Journal advertising continues to remain on life support, sustained by a few dynamics: brands are prioritizing non-personal media channels due to a decreased investment in the personal-selling model; the media strategy of launch brands still needs the kind of audience reach-driver that is not delivered by the fragmented nature of online channels; and oncology/biotechnology brands support the belief that their specialty physicians rely on print as the source of medical information. Online promotion will likely be unaffected by a surge in print promotion.


Lischele Knight
Senior media planner,
Razorfish Health


While pharmas will continue to invest in print, they will also increase their online promotion as sales force support and convention presence decrease. However, pharma advertisers will start using print differently, including more prominent call-outs to the brand website, unique URLs for tracking and promotion for online education programs. For example, the MDNG Mapped! print ads have become popular for announcing the launch of new or refreshed product sites and highlighting key digital assets. Journals are realizing the importance of integrated marketing. They can now bundle print buys with digital offerings, thus increasing the opportunity for professional online promotion.
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