Taking the Cholesterol Message to America's "Heart" Land - Ron Salmon-TVB

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Cover image for  article: Taking the Cholesterol Message to America's "Heart" Land - Ron Salmon-TVB

Healthcare concerns impact all of us. We're all vulnerable, we're all human. However, factors such as lifestyle, environment, and physical conditions vary across the country, each of which with an influence upon the incidence of many types of dangerous diseases.

Cardiovascular disease (which includes heart attacks, stroke, angina pectoris, atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis, and high blood pressure) remains the number one killer in North America, and high cholesterol levels bring on an increased risk to these diseases.

According to Kantar Media, in 2011, the top advertising spender in the Prescription Medication category was Pfizer's Lipitor, a cholesterol drug. Also in the top 20 was another medication targeting high cholesterol, AstraZeneca's Crestor. While these are national brands with coast to coast sales, our mission at TVB is to explore whether there are geographic sales anomalies that might present the pharmaceutical marketers with an opportunity to optimize their ad spending beyond a national campaign. Our analysis revealed that there were two key factors indicating a very definitive geographic story. Not only were there differences in states' insurance formularies that control drug reimbursement, but the actual incidence of the medical condition and patients acting to address it varies by geography.

We used 2011 GfK MRI Market-by-Market data to look at the high cholesterol incidence and the various treatment options for it customers most often choose. Overall, 37% of adults who reported having or had high cholesterol said they used a branded prescription remedy to treat it, while 38% said they used a generic prescription remedy. 8% used a non-prescription or a home/herbal remedy, and another 10% have not sought out treatment.

With those variables, we began to look at the markets where the respondents indexed higher using a branded prescription remedy. Looking at the top 75 markets, we learned that by concentrating on the 20 highest indexing markets, we will reach 18% of the households in the U.S.,20% of the high cholesterol sufferers, and 22% of the high cholesterol sufferers who use a branded medication.

Top High Cholesterol Rx Markets

Index to U.S.

Ft. Myers-Naples, FL


West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL


Buffalo, NY


Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA


Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA


Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA


Pittsburgh, PA


Hartford & New Haven, CT


Providence-New Bedford, RI-MA


Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY


Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota), FL


Richmond-Petersburg, VA


Philadelphia, PA


Toledo, OH


Greensboro-H Point-Winston Salem, NC


Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH


Jacksonville, FL


Boston (Manchester), MA-NH


Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-And, SC-NC


Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL


These are by far your best prospects. Consider this: Set aside 15% of your national plan budget and allocate it to Spot TV in your high ROI markets. A dollar spent here will automatically yield more targeted consumers than your national spend and will result in a better media buy and more brand sales…cross our heart.

Ron Salmon is a Director of Marketing Research at TVB. Ron can be reached at Ron@tvb.org.

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