Study: Web Drug Ads Remain Cheapest, But Efficiency Decreases

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The Internet is the cheapest medium that pharmaceutical companies can use to generate prescription drug requests, according to a study by Cyber Dialogue of New York.

The study looked at the amount of money pharmaceutical companies spent on marketing in the first half of 2000. Companies spent an average of $318 per lead using print media to drive consumers to request drug prescriptions. Using television ads cost an average of $152 per lead.

Internet advertising cost an average of $54 per lead, Cyber Dialogue said. However, this represented a decrease in the overall efficiency of Internet drug advertising from 1999, when it cost an average of $14 per lead to generate drug requests through Internet ads.

In contrast, the efficiency of TV improved from $197 per lead in 1999. Print media's efficiency decreased from $220 per lead in 1999.

Acknowledging the decrease in Internet drug ad efficiency, Cyber Dialogue said it would not suggest companies should divert money from TV or print campaigns to their Internet promotional efforts. However, Internet ads remain a crucial component of any integrated marketing program, Cyber Dialogue said.

Pharmaceutical companies spent a total of $833 million on TV consumer drug ads and $460 million on print ads in the first half of 2000. Spending on Internet drug ads in the same period totaled $47 million.

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