Analysts on Wednesday expressed concern over whether WebMD’s preliminary numbers signal trouble for other online health destinations. “The biggest question is whether the slower trends are WebMD-specific or industry-wide,” Goldman Sachs analyst Jennifer Watson wrote in a client note Wednesday.
One take on this announcement is that phama marketers are saying one thing but not following through. Pharma Marketing Blog said:
“Although eMarketer predicts that pharmaceutical companies anticipate spending more in 2008 on Internet advertising (Web sites, search and e-mail marketing) and less on traditional media, the prognosis from WebMD suggests that pharma ad money is NOT where their mouths are. WebMD, after all, relies “heavily” on pharmaceutical advertisers for revenue.”
Or could it be that we are seeing the beginnings of a new trend? Pharma marketers are getting more sophisticated and instead of sending their money to WebMD they are coordinating their own online marketing campaigns using contextual search and direct SEM tied into their overall online strategy. Why use an intermediary? We know from Manhatten Reasearch that search begins with search engines. Algorithms have changed, the internet keeps growing, and niche marketing is everywhere.
Maybe we are seeing the beginnings of a trend.
“Pharma” photo by Steven Brown