ThermaCare launches D2C scheme in the healthcare pain management segment

The Situation

Entering the direct-to-consumer segment

Brand websites are at the heart of digital communications - they play a key role in shaping a consumer’s customer journey.

Our client ThermaCare’s existing digital presence suffered from outdated contents, little brand visibility and thus inefficient ad targeting. Our task: to create a functional point-of-call for consumers without competing with offline trade by offering direct sales.

Right now, the medical goods market is in flux and undergoing (digital) change. The times when pharmaceutical firms could dictate the terms of shopping (via the pharmacy monopoly) are over. Now, manufacturers need to meet consumers where they are – and where it makes the most sense. In this new retail landscape, targeted sampling to evaluate new target group potential and gathering direct feedback prove just as vital as tried-and-tested offline campaign extensions on the brand website.

The Context

Manufactured by the Italian pharmaceutical group Angelini, ThermaCare dominates the market of heat wraps, an over-the-counter product designed to ease muscle pain and tension. Where exercise alone no longer helps – and prior to consulting a doctor – heat pads or wraps are the way to go.

To meet the brand’s stated goals, we have implemented a website marketing automation approach based on Hubspot CRM, integrating the local pharmacy network through an online shopping feature.

Since the brand’s new campaign was about to launch to capitalise on the traditionally high end-of-year demand, our clock was ticking from day one – we had just three months to get the entire site ready for launch.

The Content Strategy

Content for consumers

Based on focus group findings and online surveys, we established buying personas and then, together with the client, developed the website’s customer experience and advisory contents. A modern image and illustration concept helps to highlight valuable advice and information on back and muscle pain, compiled by pack pain specialists Liebscher & Bracht. Especially for the site, these well-known YouTube publishers supplied helpful, targeted exercises designed to be used together with the product.

All of the resulting contents are 100% customer-oriented and SEO-optimised. We analysed search behaviour and customer requirements, evaluated and categorised the outcome, and then based the website’s information architecture on these insights. The resulting structure is entirely rooted in customer needs.

For the first time, the above-mentioned personas were also used for targeted media advertising. In addition, users are tracked along their entire journey (in line with data privacy requirements, of course). We continue to constantly monitor the entire funnel beyond the website and to test existing measures for validation. Any resulting insights flow straight back into further website optimisation, other touchpoints, and media planning.

The Result

Excellent search engine visibility

Adjusting for seasonal trends, the new website attracts more traffic than ever, with steadily increasing metrics. The SEO-optimised contents are working well, while a consistent uptick in organic visibility goes hand in hand with top rankings on the SERPs (Google results pages). UX on-page optimisation – via technical SEO and contents – ensures less online marketing losses through inefficient targeting, creating a channel with lasting potential for especially economic marketing.

Image Sistrix index shows highest visibility since launch

More marketing efficiency through better allocation of media budgets across traditional and digital media

Now, the client can quantify the measures’ success across the entire funnel, enabling more efficient allocation of the brand’s media budget. Ads target individual needs and take users straight to a corresponding landing page, thus achieving higher conversion rates. Addressing relatively narrow target groups like athletes, for example, allows us to specifically address their pain points, test responses, and welcome them with matching contents (test & learn), leading to higher success rates thanks to more precise targeting.

“When it comes to the digitization of self-medication, we don’t just want to keep up, we want to provide impetus. That's why we rely on Moccu's expertise. Moccu thinks along with us, is proactive and questions us where it makes sense. We really appreciate the trusting and extremely reliable cooperation.”

Julia Balyazina, Marketing Lead Angelini Pharma

Long-term brand building for ThermaCare and sales support

The numbers are certainly impressive: Since its launch, the website’s search engine visibility has increased by more than 1,000 % (Sistrix visibility index, comparing October 2020 and August 2021). For strategically relevant keywords, ThermaCare has overtaken its competition, ending up in the top search results and even clocking up some No. 1 rankings.

Now, measures before and after ad clicks are more closely aligned with the website to achieve higher conversion rates. Among others, such measures include more narrowly targeted ads to help specific audiences find just the right, relevant information.

As part of the brand’s customer journey and brand building efforts, the site explains how to use the product while also supporting local pharmacy sales. This makes sense because many users continue to search online, but shop offline (the so-called ROPO – research online, purchase offline – effect).

Selected KPI in segment Organic Search, compared to previous year period
The Outlook

Thanks to its success, the website will serve as a blueprint and master for a gradual global roll-out.

By creating a stronger link between online and offline / POS, ThermaCare offers consumers a modern solution that integrates the existing pharmacy network with a familiar customers service that even platforms like amazon cannot replicate.

“Since more than 70 % of Germany’s 18,000 pharmacies offer courier service, fast, reliable deliveries are already an option. We just have to learn how to exploit this better. Making it all the more important to explain the product’s benefits and make these more tangible to beat online retailers at their (currently) only advantage – price”, adds Niedzielski of ThermaCare.


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