More so than ever before, over-the-counter brands must demonstrate an elevated digital savviness and nimble adaptiveness in order to stay ahead of the pack in a quickly changing landscape. Brands are now feeling enormous pressure to innovate and excel due to an increasing number of private label competitors (with the entrance of Amazon’s Basic Care line), and retailers’ demonstrated favoritism to their own labels. Through a combination of paid, owned and social channels, the top ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Pharma OTC have skillfully shown that they won’t back down without a fight.
1. Flonase (GSK) Digital IQ: 149
Flonase tops the inaugural OTC DIQ ranking by expertly executing on paid channels, serving geotargeted display ads that drive directly to retailer product pages, and topping the Index for the highest visibility on unbranded text ads. Once they land on the site, the ecommerce options allow users to pick from online retailers, as well as in-store options close by, complete with price comparisons and directions to store.
2. NyQuil/DayQuil (Procter & Gamble) Digital IQ: 144
With a wide range of products, Vicks’ website welcomes users with a user-friendly symptom management tool that recommends a product based on the person’s age and symptoms, showing links to not only the specific product pages, but also to other products that are frequently purchased together. This comprehensive symptom management content enables the brand to gain higher nonbranded organic visibility that even surpasses some endemic DTC sites.
3. Mucinex (Reckitt Benckiser) Digital IQ: 141
Mucinex’s website boasts a best-in-class guided selling tool that allows users to choose a symptom, see results on the same page, and add-to-cart with one click—essentially bypassing the usual steps that would otherwise hold up the conversion. The brand also proactively responds to users’ Tweets, resulting in the brand garnering the second-highest amount of interactions in the Index.
4. Nicorette (GSK) Digital IQ: 139
Nicorette’s robust smoking cessation support hub is a contributing factor to the brand earning the highest desktop site traffic score in the Index, but also for receiving the second highest unbranded organic search visibility. To top it off, it was just one of the two brands in the Index to beat out Walmart’s Equate on shopping ad visibility, surfacing on 75% of category-specific keywords.
5. Tylenol (Johnson & Johnson) Digital IQ: 137
Tylenol scored the highest branded shopping ad score in the Index, which also helped contribute to the brand achieving the highest growth in mobile site traffic. On the website, Tyelnol features a rarely adopted autocomplete feature on site search which allows for a stellar user experience.
6. Excedrin (GSK) Digital IQ: 135
Excedrin’s social and email prowess are where the brand shines. The brand’s Twitter, for example, features many different types of content, including images, videos, polls, contests, and coupons to help it garner high engagement. The 5-week Headache Bootcamp email program expertly delivers valuable and relevant content, yet never loses sight of the end goal: conversion.
7. Theraflu (GSK) Digital IQ: 132
Theraflu’s YouTube channel had the highest year-over-year growth in subscriber count, with videos that address commonly asked questions ranging from broad symptom information like how to treat a cough, to specific product details like drinking alcohol while using Theraflu. The brand also scored second highest in the Index for branded shopping ads.
8.Zyrtec (Johnson & Johnson) Digital IQ: 129
To help allergy sufferers make sense of the myriad options available to them, Zyrtec’s website offers a user-friendly product comparison tool that lets them compare it to five competitors to see how they stack up against each other for many product benefits.
9. Biofreeze (Performance Health) Digital IQ: 128
In addition to its stellar branded organic search performance, Biofreeze demonstrated social media expertise across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The brand’s partnership with celebrity athletes and sponsorship of major sports organizations like the NBA, MLB and Marathons, help grow its social communities and garner the highest interactions per post in the Index.
10.Natrol (Aurobindo) Digital IQ: 126
Natrol was one of just two brands in the Index to beat out Walmart’s private label Equate in shopping ads for nonbranded keywords in its category. Additionally, the combination of a well optimized website and a robust library of content helps it achieve one of the highest scores in the Index for both branded and unbranded organic search.