Instead, Schneider and other practitioners increasingly use other techniques to measure value. "We are implementing intercept
studies," says Harrell. In an Intercept study, a random selection of Web visitors is asked to fill out a brief online survey.
"We capture self-reported data on 'intent to act' and then re-contact a sample of the survey takers to see if they actually
took the action, such as visiting the doctor."
Lilly has employed similar techniques on
http://Cialis.com/—and seen the return. "Of course we can't reveal exact results," says Caldwell, "but we've learned that a well-designed and
integrated online campaign can definitely have a positive impact on the brand."
Several experts point out that it's important not to look at just the quantity of site visits. "I would like each patient
or potential patient to find the necessary information that will help them have the best dialogue with their healthcare professional,"
says McGovern. "What do I have to do to maximize the relationship for the benefit of the doctor and the patient?"
Rounding back to the first four principles (immediate segmentation, integration, immersion and impact), investment measurement
really comes down to how well you can determine whether the right people are taking the right path leading to the right action.
"In the end," says Harrell, "there are just a few key actions we're trying to drive. So we need to focus on measures of success
that capture how effectively we are driving those people to those actions."
As these marketers have learned, a cleverly executed Internet strategy can be extremely effective by the measures that matter.
"The online channel," says Schneider from Forest, "provides a marketer with the ability to target detailed information to
the patients and caregivers who really want the knowledge, as opposed to a TV spot, where you may get 30 seconds with a far
broader audience. Online is extremely efficient."
And how does that efficient, well-measured online strategy fit into overall brand strategy?
"You have people," says McGovern, "who run in different directions: 'This is my strategy in this channel. This is my strategy
in that channel.' We don't do that. We say, there is one brand strategy, and we need to accomplish that strategy in the Web
Bill Drummy is chairman and CEO of Heartbeat Digital. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org