Pfizer’s Viagra and AstraZeneca’s (AZ) Nexium took the top two slots on a new Digital IQ Index measuring the digital competence of 51 pharma brands across eight therapeutic categories. The ranking, created by think tank L2 in partnership with media agency PHD Network, evaluated brands’ digital presence across four criteria: platform (including site effectiveness and brand translation); off-platform messaging (covering digital marketing efforts such as online and mobile advertising); search engine optimization; and social media. Each brand was scored against more than one hundred qualitative and quantitative data points, and assigned a Digital IQ ranking of Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged or Feeble.
Although Pfizer claimed the first and third spots on the league table, AZ emerged as the industry’s digital powerhouse with three brands in the top ten—Nexium, Crestor, and Symbicort—and four in the top 20.
While AZ maybe innovating online, L2 founder and NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway said that the industry as a whole disappoints. “Most brands offer obsolete technology, anemic content and scant social media programs.” Summing up the challenge facing pharma, PHD Network CEO Scott Hagedorn said, “Right now, there are millions of unregulated conversations taking place online regarding prescription drugs, from which the voice of pharmaceutical companies is mostly absent.