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The analysis determined that the pharmaceutical giant, which allocates just 4% of its total media budget to digital marketing and media, could deepen consumers' association with brand attributes and increase queries to doctors about Nexium, its Purple Pill, if it made online media between 10% and 15% of the media mix.
Latest in series of studies
The research, conducted for the IAB by Marketing Evolution, is the latest in a series of cross-media optimization studies that have attempted to demonstrate how increasing the amount of online media can effectively meet campaign goals including brand awareness, lead generation and trial. Previous cross-media study participants include Unilever, McDonald's Corp. and Colgate-Palmolive Cos. Ford Motor Co. last week announced it will participate in the research series for its F-150 truck.
One key finding of past IAB marketer studies was that increasing Internet advertising to 10% of the budget at the point where the efficiency of TV and print ads begins to wane significantly boosted a campaigns effectiveness but not its cost. But for the more complicated message needed for Nexium, the analysis found AstraZenaca's campaign would have benefited from a stronger ongoing Web presence.
73% of ad spending on TV
The Nexium research focused on a multimedia campaign that sought to drive adults who suffer from heartburn two or more times a week to ask their doctor about Nexium. For the three-month campaign, led by Aquantive's Avenue A, Seattle, AstraZeneca put 73% of its budget toward TV, 17% in magazines, 6% radio and 4% online. AstraZeneca spent $192 million in measured offline media in the U.S. to market Nexium, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, compared to $4 million committed to digital media.
"No single media was capable of conveying all product benefits," said Rex Briggs, principal, Marketing Evolution. The complex list of product attributes included messages about specific benefits, dosing and a free seven-day trial. "Each media made a contribution to the overall success and the online media adds to the overall objectives in a more cost-effective way," he said. A mix of broadcast, magazine and online media was recommended as the most efficient and cost-effective means of reaching Nexium's target.
Magazine and Web combo
In fact, the study found that a mix of magazine ads and online media were a powerful combination in driving key brand attributes of Nexium and were the most cost efficient. Although TV conveyed all of Nexium's key messages, it impacted awareness of only a few of the main brand attributes, such as the symptoms the drug eases. It also found that people exposed to Nexium online ads were more likely to ask about Nexium specifically. They also were able to read in-depth about the condition that causes acid reflux and chronic heartburn.
That led to the conclusion that by increasing the amount of online media, AstraZeneca can reach the part of its target that isn't being exposed to its message in other media.
"The message is about targeting and that the best way for an advertiser like this [in a high-involvement category] is to go after their cohort on the Web," said Mark Naples, managing partner, WIT Strategy, a Philadelphia-based media consultant.