Merck’s Keytruda claims digital marketing crown, holding off challenges from AstraZeneca, BMS

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Merck’s Keytruda claims digital marketing crown, holding off challenges from AstraZeneca, BMS
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Source: FiercePharma
The report covers the digital footprints of treatment for NSCLC.
Merck’s dominance of the PD-1/L1 checkpoint inhibitorPD-1/L1 checkpoint inhibitor space extends to the digital realm. That is the topline finding of a study of digital marketing trends, which found Merck has the highest traffic to patient and unbranded U.S. sites about non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The ResearchAndMarkets.com report found “Merck's Keytruda.com achieved the highest total traffic across NSCLC patient sites in the U.S., with over 2.4 million visitors from October 2022 to September 2023.” Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo.com and AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi.com trailed the frontrunner, racking up 1.7 million and 350,000 visits, respectively.
The finding mirrors the products’ sales figures for 2023. Keytruda is the top dog in the checkpoint inhibitor world, generating $25 billion for Merck last year. Opdivo and Imfinzi lag well behind with, respectively, $9 billion and a little over $4 billion in sales.
Merck’s dominance of the digital space is supported by a paid search campaign. Keytruda.com benefits from paid search engine optimization for more than 7,600 keywords, compared to 5,840 keywords for BMS’ Opdivo site, according to the report. The analysts found direct and organic sources accounted for the highest proportion of traffic to top branded patient NSCLC websites.
The report covers the digital footprints of other types of treatment for NSCLC. AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s website for Enhertu, a HER2-directed antibody-drug conjugate, is second on the list of paid search terms with 6,640 keywords.
Merck also leads the way in the unbranded space. The drugmaker’s Understandcancertogether.com was by far the busiest NSCLC unbranded site in the U.S. from October 2022 to September 2023, attracting 94,000 visitors compared to 7,500 views for Pfizer's Thisislivingwithcancer.com. Merck spent more than its rivals on digital display advertising for the unbranded site, reportedly running up a bill of $94,000.
Healthcare professional websites were the only area of the U.S. digital NSCLC landscape where Merck failed to claim the top spot. Visits to AstraZeneca's Imfinzihcp.com hit 300,000 over the analyzed period, beating Keytrudahcp.com into second place. The win was supported by 7,167 keywords, putting Imfinzihcp.com just ahead of Amgen’s Lumakrashcp.com and AstraZeneca’s own Enhertuhcp.com.
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