This is the first blog post in what I hope will be a series of ongoing posts for the remainder of the year that attempts to introduce potential new metrics in the pharmaceutical industry. My goal is to serve as a catalyst for the development of new pharmaceutical marketing metrics, all the while recognizing that I, by myself, won’t nail it completely. As always, I invite you to comment and ladder up the thinking.
For the first post in this series, let me tackle the potential communicative value of DTC print advertising for an individual brand. “Real estate,” meaning the space on the page, is a precious but limited resource in print advertising due to exorbitant costs. In committing to a single-page ad unit, you’re always committing to at least one additional page (if you’re lucky) for the prescribing information. Therefore, the one page of promotional copy really needs to work hard for you in order to justify the investment in print. I’d like to introduce the Benefit/Risk Copy Ratio (BRCR) metric. It’s the ratio of the surface area of positive promotional copy to the surface area dedicated to fair balance + ISI. A score of 1 translates into having as much surface area on the page dedicated to positive brand promotion as to safety and fair balance. Looking at this month’s Prevention magazine I would say that the BRCR is hovering around .4. A brand with an unduly lengthy ISI will be penalized—but that might not be such a bad thing. Maybe it forces the question that isn’t asked often enough, “If three-quarters of our one-page DTC ad is covered by the ISI, will our ad generate enough impact to achieve a positive ROI?”
I don’t know, but I’d be happy if we just started asking the question!