Digital is a Great Avenue for Market Experimentation!

Brands in the life sciences industry are not utilizing digital marketing to its full potential. For many, it seems easy enough to collaborate with the digital agency and legal teams to prepare the assets for distribution through digital media and channels. But this may not yield the results you need. Digital is more about a test-and-learn methodology. The beauty of digital is its real-time nature, allowing immediate measurement and enabling changes on the fly. You can learn the true potential of a digital strategy by testing variations of:

- Content and messages
- Placement of the content and message on web
- Offers, cadence etc.
- Budget allocations across different media and channels

It seems expensive and time-consuming to develop multiple creative schemes and difficult for your legal team to approve a number of creative options. But you can start small, with simple tests that prove results:

  1. Placement of content on your brand/patient website

If your website or mobile set allows you to display patient testimonials, download vouchers or a PDF document into a cart, do you know what the optimal placement of the cart is? A major internet retailer tested the placement of shopping cart, and found it added 1 % incremental sales! The retailer did not just ‘guess’ it, they tested the location of their content on their website! Has your brand tested the optimal location of key content on your internet or mobile website? Get the content approved by legal with the placement of patient testimonials in multiple locations, and you are ready for a test.

  1. Keyword selection for driving traffic to the digital assets

Similarly, one can test keywords being used to drive the traffic to one’s digital assets:

- Choose different words to test across different geographies / times of day etc. 
- Determine which ones drive the highest Site Activity Impact scores (and not just clicks) which are a stronger predictor of an increase in Rx. (For more information on Site Activity Scores, link to my previous post.

As marketers in life sciences industry, we want to communicate specific content to specific customers while understanding the legal limitations.  We suggest leveraging simple tests that can deliver quick results and help build credibility with the management for more sophisticated A/B testing.

We all want to get to the end-point where we serve customized content for true customer centric marketing. Testing our marketing campaigns is an essential step for that. Compared to other channels (e.g., sales reps, TV and print advertising, etc.), digital is a relatively inexpensive and quick way to experiment. In the digital marketing space, we need to “learn by failing quickly!”

In just a couple of months, you can run and learn form a series of tests and build nuggets of knowledge that not only will make you look super smart, but also enable a measurable gain on your bran. Many of these simple tests have enabled other brand managers improve KPIs for their campaigns e.g. conversion rates, social sharing rates and trial rates by 50%+

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