Pharmaceutical companies marketing new drugs often face a unique problem—product names that have more consonants than an episode of Sesame Street. Many of these drug names are hard to pronounce and even harder to spell. For many companies this isn’t a problem until it comes to setting up a website to direct customers to for more information. If the average customer can’t say or spell your product, then finding it on the web could be impossible.
That’s why some innovative marketers have found a different approach—identifying and establishing a common, general website domain that focuses on what the consumer is looking for.
A recent example of this is ShinglesInfo.com. Instead of sending customers to Merck’s massive corporate site, or asking them to try and remember the name of their shingles vaccine, Zostavax, the marketers behind the drug found the perfect domain name. Broadcast and print ads can now point people to the simple and easy-to-remember domain ShinglesInfo.com, a site that shares information on the disease without explicitly stating that it is a website sponsored by Merck. Drug information is not pushed on the consumer; it’s more of a resource for people to learn more about the disease. Eventually, when a consumer decides to “take the next step,” it leads to zostavax.com for specific drug information.
As well as being easy to remember, the domain is easy to find. In fact, domain names such as ShinglesInfo.com have the added benefit of not needing a great deal of search engine optimization (SEO) to be successful. Even if a consumer hasn’t seen the commercial and was simply looking for “Shingles information,” Googling that term brings Merck’s site as the second search result. Pairing a relevant domain like this with quality site content guarantees that it will be found by its intended audience.
Another separate, but no less important advantage of using a dedicated domain like this is that it minimizes the need to rely on a “social” approach to providing information about a topic or product. Too many companies drive traffic to Facebook or other social networking sites and in doing so they make it too easy to lose control of the audience and the message. Facebook and other social media methods are, of course, very important elements of any campaign, launch or marketing strategy. That said, being able to control the information in a centralized location that can serve as a definitive resource for consumers is important, especially in the highly-regulated pharmaceutical industry, where follower opinions cannot be intermingled with official information.
The ShinglesInfo.com strategy is a good reminder of just how important a strong, recognizable domain name is—especially when a brand is hard to spell or remember. Regardless of whether your strategy calls for the site to be neutral or specific to what’s being sold, the importance of a memorable, simple domain name as the key part of your marketing campaign can’t be understated.