Many a brand manager working in pharma marketing will admit that promoting a product to HCPs of certain specialties is quite different from working with the GP audience. Each area has its own peculiarities, and they deserve being analyzed. Some talented marketers who have previously worked with GPs may even experience a sort of “culture shock” when encountering a different therapeutic area. Attitudes and preferences can be unexpected.
Here, we will look at one of the specialties where pharma-to-doctor relationships have been noticeably digitalized: gastroenterology. It is a moderately difficult specialty in terms of the marketing effort needed, but requires an insider understanding. For example, according to statistics, about 49% gastroenterologists restrict access to pharma reps. This is less than some other areas but still considerable – and definitely the picture is not as optimistic. Let’s look at what needs to be done to push that number down – and how this is solved with eDetailing.
We will first analyze why and how gastroenterologists form a special group – and what value they are more likely to appreciate.
This is followed by a list of seven observations about GI eDetailing presentations themselves. These recommendations are based on real projects throughout a period of roughly 9 years. Our professionals took time to analyze which findings were accidental and which recurring, so you can use these 7 points as a good orienting sign in the therapeutic area.
3 important things to realize about gastroenterologists
1. They are quite open to digital
It is a common practice in pharmas that undergo digital transformation to run pilot projects (like remote eDetailing or apps) exactly in the context of GI campaigns. Why? Gastro specialists are generally younger than many other groups of HCPs (this, of course, varies by region) and are frequent users of digital devices and resources. For example, about 75% in the age group 31-40 are social media users (the proportion is 50% in the 61+ group). Similar trends can be detected when it comes to the level of confidence in online resources and gadgets.
This means that eDetailing is going to meet warm reception – but also high expectations to UX and overall quality.
2. They are overloaded and typically stressed.
In a survey of 700+ GI specialists on their working routine, HCPs reported that they direct patient care was already 8 hours of their day. Paperwork (3 hours) and more work at home (2 hours on average) added, this is considered one of the causes for much-discussed “epidemic” of burnout. When asked to grade their stress levels from 1 to 5 (in another survey), about 20% evaluated them at 4 or 5. Lack of time is a common concern here.
So convenience and immediate illustration of any key point are important, as well.
This becomes self-evident when you finally think about it: gastroenterology is the field with the largest amount of things that can (and should) be represented visually. GI specialists are dealing with relatively large organs and formations of recognizable shape; things like absorption and peristalsis are inherently material for images and animations, not speeches. Unsurprisingly, professional video influences decision making for 61% of gastroenterologists.
Good to know that these things can be easily incorporated into eDetailing these days.
Practical tips on perfect GI presentations
1 Use video / 3D animations
This is the immediate conclusion from what was discussed above – and is confirmed by many digital content professionals within our team and partners. Gastro presentations perform best when they incorporate video. This is most appropriately used to demonstrate the product’s mechanism of action – but also to illustrate pathological processes dynamically.
2 Make patient profiles realistic
Although patient profiles in gastroenterology presentations are rarely too varied in terms of age, they can vary greatly even when you look at the photo of the profile (think complexion, etc.). As a result, visualized, interactive patient profiles that illustrate relevant clinical cases add to informational value of the presentation.
3 Use creative comparisons
Due to some reason or another, it works well when “technical” and “scientific” notions and processes are explained using the language of comparison. The key point here is “creative” – of course, just comparing the duodenum to a boomerang won’t work, but once you have found a reasonable comparison, you can pretty much have the whole presentation storyboard built around it.
4 No text overload (it’s not a journal)
It is a common mistake when designing an eDetailing presentation – looking at the slides on the large desktop screen, one cannot resist the temptation to add more text, another key message, or more numbers – after all there’s so much space! However, in reality, the presentation will most likely be viewed on a portable tablet, so too much text in one place is a putoff. If you want more text, consider popup windows or accordions.
5 Practical info straight away: dosage, formulations and such
As gastroenterologists are among the typically overworked HCP groups, they prefer to see practical information easily available at the fingertips. Okay, the product is great, so what does the package look like? What is the dosage?
As a bonus: additional related patient-oriented materials will be a plus.
6 Incorporate KOL
Whenever possible, try to incorporate citations of key opinion leaders in the field. GI specialists respect their medical communities.
7 Link to website or follow up with email
We are living in an environment infused with multichannel communications. Thinking that a CLM presentation might have a lasting impact on prescriptions all on its own is no longer realistic. As we have seen, gastroenterologists are quite okay with the Internet – so why not make the presentation contain a link to the product website or landing page (which, of course, contains social media widgets)? Another option would be to follow up on presentation with a specially designed email (template-based) – either way, the presentation cannot stay isolated in an informational bubble.
Interested in creating pharma content that works? Contact our team for a combination of experience, innovation and carefully analyzed insights.