4 tips for improved digital analytics in pharma marketing

September 29, 2016

Author: Ben Katz, Principal Digital Strategist

 

With the evolution of digital measurement, marketers can track and measure any online campaign at a granular level. Given shrinking marketing budgets, there is increased pressure for brand teams to prove the value of their online marketing efforts and improve performance over time. This influx of digital data can provide a rich understanding of your online program performance, but it can also lead to several problems often experienced by brand teams:

  • Data paralysis – Brand managers may become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of data they receive, and find themselves unable to process the data or put it to use. Without a prioritization of the metrics that matter, it’s easy to gather more information than a brand team can digest and glean actionable insights from.

 

  • Holistic view deficiency – Marketing data is often stored in many different locations, including Excel reports, dashboards, databases, and third-party tools. This separation makes it difficult to gather a holistic view of performance across the various tactics, websites, and channels used. In addition, receiving multiple reports from different partners at varying cadences can make it challenging to put all the pieces together and prevents development of deeper insights and cross-channel learnings.

 

  • Unclear or contradictory results – Once the data is processed, some metrics may show improvement while others show decline. These contradictions make it difficult to interpret the results and take action based on the findings.

 

  • Lack of an independent view – Analysts working with the data may sometimes be involved with campaign creation, and therefore look for a specific outcome within the results. This can foster unintended bias and may skew interpretations of data.

 

The good news is that there are ways to address these challenges. Not all brands are set up to immediately achieve a full understanding of their digital ROI within and across channels, but all can benefit from the following digital measurement tips:

 

1. Align success metrics with brand goals

Analytics and reporting should always stem from the brand’s digital strategies and objectives. It’s important to create key success metrics that measure the performance of these objectives to ensure your efforts align with strategy.

Brands should only use a handful of key success metrics to measure their objectives, thereby allowing for easy data sharing and clearer data interpretation. Since the ultimate goal of prescribing often cannot be directly attributed back to online campaigns, marketers should use proxy metrics that reflect the closest online action related to their goal.  For example, if your goal is to drive patients to a doctor’s office, you can track the percent of website visitors who download the doctor discussion guide as your key success metric. Be sure your analytics partner is also tagging your campaigns and websites properly, so that these key success metrics are tracked and can be attributed to specific campaigns and channels.

 

2. Use efficiency metrics

Engagement volumes will vary greatly across different campaigns and marketing channels depending on the tactic, spend levels, and ad creative. Therefore, it is important to use efficiency metrics rather than volume metrics to enable apples-to-apples comparison of results across channels and tactics.

By using percentages instead of raw numbers, marketers can impartially view performance between campaigns across their ecosystem. For example, if a marketers’ goal is to increase registrations, it may be more meaningful to measure registration rate (the percent of total visitors who register) when comparing across multiple campaigns or channels.

 

3. Segmentation enables deep insights

Once you have your key efficiency metrics selected, these measures must be segmented in order to glean insights and learnings from the data. Whether by marketing channel, campaign, creative, message, audience, or trending across time, segmentation reveals to marketers what is working and what’s underperforming.
 

 

4. Tie online action to offline success

It can be difficult for pharma marketers to link prescriptions written back to the online campaigns that influenced that prescription. However, many advances have been made in aiding this connection in the past few years.

One common way to help draw this connection between is through a co-pay card program, thereby matching registration to redemption through a patient-specific, de-identified card ID.

A more thorough way to understand online impact for prescribing is by tying the campaign data to insurance claims data. At DRG we work with clients to match their online campaign exposure data to our real world claims database to create a fuller understanding of the campaign’s impact.

 

Learn more about how DRG can help you solve your digital analytics and measurement challenges. 

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