It’s got little more proof than an urban legend, but most of us have heard the statistic that 80%+ of patients have requested a prescription for a specific brand following exposure to a DTC advertisement.
I’m not looking to assail the percentage—I’ll save that for another post. But, I do want to challenge the action. The research that we’ve conducted at Return on Focus has uncovered a nuanced, but important distinction in describing the actions taken by patients as a result of being exposed to a DTC advertisement.
Across more than dozen disease states ranging from primary care to specialty care, our patient research shows that almost 80% of patients characterize their actions as an inquiry, not a request.
How can I be so sure? The answer most often selected in our research is “Ask MD about Product X, but listen if he/she did not think it was right for me.” Currently, most campaigns might generate an inquiry about a given brand, but it’s far from the empowered, branded request we all want to believe is happening.
At ROF we have gone so far to create an entire service offering – Action & Articulation – as part of our Communication Platform Development work to ensure the resulting patient articulation results in a prescription for the Client’s brand.