Marketers anticipate substantial cuts in DTC spend in 2009, according to a Cegedim Dendrite survey in which 58% of respondents said they’d cut consumer ad spend this year. Last year 28% said they’d cut back on consumer advertising.

Of those paring back on consumer spending, almost half anticipated cuts of 10% or more, and 46% said they’d cut as a result of funds being redirected to other programs, not across-the-board marketing budget cuts, the bulk being reallocated to targeted direct-to-patient programs (16%) or healthcare professional programs (14%) and another 9% going to patient persistence and adherence programs.
The survey found no indication that the marketing mix would change much, though the percentage of those saying they planned to use loyalty cards rose 23% to 41%, while celebrity endorsements and patient education events were down again.

Asked what areas they thought deserved greater investment, 69% cited relationship marketing, though only half expected to see increased funding for CRM programs, and 66% said they’d like to see more resources allocated to loyalty cards. Web-based marketing channels are widely seen as being underfunded, with 68% saying they’d like to see more spending on websites, 59% citing email marketing, 50% search engine optimization, 36% third-party website sponsorships and 33% banner ads.

“We are seeing a shift from more traditional types of media, like TV, spot, direct mail and print, to use of much more targeted types of programs, such as loyalty or co-pay cards as well as more web-based media,” said Lynn Day, director of strategic insights at Cegedim Dendrite.

For its seventh annual Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Survey, Cegedim Dendrite conducted an email survey of 234 industry respondents, including biopharma and medical agency executives as well as consultants and other vendors, between January and February. Cegedim Dendrite’s marketing services unit is a major player in CRM, loyalty cards and persistence programming. The company also offers sales support, data management and analytics, among other services.