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NEW YORK — Contrary to the pharmaceutical industry’s commonly-held belief that active Rx and OTC brand consumers are harder to find online than offline, a new study released Tuesday reveals that the online audience is just as active — and for select categories, more active — than the general population. Crossix Solutions, a consumer healthcare marketing analytics firm, evaluated sample Rx and OTC transactional data from the Crossix proprietary data network of more than 100 million consumer records and the Crossix Digital Impact panel of 7 million opted-in online consumers, to compare the Rx and OTC purchase behavior of the two populations during the 12-month period prior to the study.
“For years, the perception throughout the pharma industry has been that the online channel represents a less targeted audience, relative to more traditional, offline channels,” stated Dan Stein, Crossix SVP, product strategy and analytics services. “Our study dismisses this myth, and should give brand marketers and digital media agencies alike greater confidence in their ability to reach their desired audiences within the online space, across all types of publishers and sites.”
While the overall Rx and OTC purchase behavior of the two populations suggests parity, Crossix discovered more pronounced variances in specific treatment categories, particularly for Rx treatments. For example, the online audience indexed higher within categories related to lifestyle, such as contraception, and such psychological conditions as depression and ADHD. Conversely, the online audience indexed lower for chronic and life-threatening conditions most commonly associated with an aging population, such as stroke, heart disease and high cholesterol.
These variances do not take into account the incremental impact of audience targeting for online media campaigns, which would yield considerably more active audiences across all categories.
See Table 1, below, for the indices by treatment category. The full list of category data can be viewed at www.crossix.com/digital-impact.