Novo Nordisk Marketing Manager comments on the success of the Ozempic® social media advertising campaign

A few months ago, I spotted a Canadian pharmaceutical ad on Linked for the prescription product Ozempic®.  You can see my blog post about it here.  This was intriguing to me because it’s not every day that you see a prescription product promoted on LinkedIn, especially considering our Canadian regulations about direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising where you can only mention product name, quantity, and price.  But although this is technically considered a DTC ad since consumers are not blocked from seeing it and as such must follow Canadian DTC regulations, it is actually an ad targeting healthcare professionals.  Similar ads are currently ongoing on the Novo Nordisk Facebook page.  Note that Novo Nordisk does not post on their Facebook page, therefore it is probably just used as an anchor for their Facebook ads.

 

 

I asked Jeff Aikman, the Ozempic® Marketing Manager, for some feedback on the success of the Ozempic® social media advertising campaign. Here is his response:

 

Despite advancements in the diabetes treatment landscape, many people with type 2 diabetes still struggle to reach their hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) or blood glucose targets. Generally, clinical guidelines recommend an A1C goal of 7 per cent for most people.1

Healthcare professionals play a major role in helping patients and their caregivers understand their diagnosis and available treatment options. Helping patients understand the importance of the care plan for diabetes, and engaging them in the decision-making process strengthens the partnership between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes. It can also promote a person’s understanding of, and adherence to, the treatment plan.2

Like all new products introduced into a market, it is important to build top of mind awareness, name recognition, and intrigue. When advertising online, the ads need to have a destination to click through if the viewer is interested in learning more.  In pharmaceutical advertising, the ads can only reference name, price, and quantity. Since these ads were targeted at HCPs using HCP language, the destination microsite must be gate protected and for HCPs only. We partnered with Media Platforms, an innovative healthcare advertising agency that specializes in reaching Healthcare Professionals and patients digitally, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. At the launch of Ozempic® in Canada, we provided all HCPS with an opportunity to learn more about our newest Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonist, Ozempic®, through an innovative online program. The program was designed to reach HCPs treating patients living with diabetes who were also looking to help their patients achieve their A1C goals. The digital advertising space provides us with a great platform to share compliant advertisements with HCPs quickly and effectively giving them the option to click through and receive more information.

The overall success of this program is still to be determined as it is ongoing, but we have seen some significant engagement with the content and direct follow up from physicians looking for more information. We are monitoring overall impressions, click through rates from the ads, and entrances through the gated site. Inside, HCPs can learn more about the medication and ask a question directly to our Medical Information team. Advertising through digital channels is an excellent cost effective way to get your name out there, providing HCPs the option to click through and learn more about the Canadian indication.

 

Note: Novo Nordisk is not a client.  I have not received any incentive to write this blog post.

 

References:

  1. Diabetes Canada. Clinical Practice Guidelines. Accessed on August 15, 2018 at http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/reduce-complications/a1ctarget
  2. Lau, David C.W.  MD, PhD, FRCPC. Snapshots of Diabetes Care in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. Accessed on August 15, 2018 https://www.canadianjournalofdiabetes.com/article/S1499-2671(13)01464-0/pdf

Prescription Drug Promoted on LinkedIn

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prescription product promoted on LinkedIn.  Now I’m sure there have been some and I’ve just missed them, but since this was my first time seeing one, I thought that perhaps there might be others who haven’t seen this and would be interested in seeing an example.

This month, I have seen ads for Ozempic(R) by Novo Nordisk on LinkedIn on several occasions. Ozempic is an injectable prescription product which is indicated for the once weekly treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycemic control.  Here is the Canadian Ozempic product monograph by Novo Nordisk for those who would like more information about this product.

I have seen 2 versions of the Ozempic ad on LinkedIn. The wording and image (brand logo) are identical, except the layout is different.  You can see them below.  The ads are simple, but the mechanism used to communicate directly to healthcare professionals is creative:

Ozempic ad on LinkedIn v2

Ozempic ad on LinkedIn

Since LinkedIn is a public, non-gated site, any ads on this site would be considered direct-to-consumer advertising.  In Canada, when promoting a prescription product to the public in general, only the product name, price and quantity can be mentioned.  The Ozempic LinkedIn ads follow those regulations.

However, based on the verbiage of the ad, it is obvious that Novo Nordisk is not targeting consumers.  They are solely targeting Canadian physicians with this ad, but they still need to treat the ad as a direct-to-consumer ad since it could be viewed by consumers who could then click on the link.

The Ozempic website that one gets directed to when clicking on the ad is gated and can only be accessed by either a physician, nurse or pharmacist who can provide their licence number.  This is considered appropriate gating of a website by Health Canada.

Ozempic ad on LinkedIn - link to website ozempic.ca

I don’t have access to the views and clicks that Novo Nordisk is getting for these ads, but in general, most of us know that LinkedIn is a network for business people, and that includes healthcare professionals.  As such, I think it makes sense for Novo Nordisk to at least give LinkedIn a try for its advertising.  It is clearly an innovative means to get their message out to target healthcare professionals and the ad is implemented within the regulatory confines of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.  Novo Nordisk may also be advertising on physician-specific sites such as Sermo and targeting Canadian physicians, but perhaps they are focusing on LinkedIn as a start since the advertising fees on Sermo are quite steep, however they can offer repetitive visibility to your specific target.

If you are managing a product that is targeted to healthcare professionals, don’t discard social media sites just because of regulatory restrictions.  You may have to test a few variations and different sites, but there is a way to communicate your message to your target audience.  Congratulations to Novo Nordisk for trying out a newer way of communicating directly with healthcare professionals.