Getting HCPs engaged with a brand is now more challenging than ever, for pharmaceutical companies of all levels of ambitiousness. Wait a minute, “keeping engaged”? This sounds a bit pushy, involuntary and, what’s at the core of it all – inauthentic – doesn’t it. Yes, we are all well aware of current decline of rep’s access to physicians, growing time pressures for a visit, distinction in availability across physicians’ fields and importance of the area, patient coverage and even the time of the day when pharma content is presented! Pressed in such a jam of factors, the need to maximize every interaction, digital or not, for all its worth becomes the name of the game at every weekly pharma marketing meeting.

However, this whole “maximizing every interaction” and “keeping engaged” journey is not going to kick off, unless the relevant HCP audience segment will want it to. Because all aforementioned impeding factors stop to matter, if the customer is truly interested in investing their time and attention to what they are going to hear (or read). So, in order to get (and hold) physician’s attention, pharma needs to meet HCPs at some crosspoint of marketing strategy, where it’s not only proactive part that matters but listening: getting to know them, analyzing their feedback and getting back to them with what they want. How do you figure this all out? Let’s find out by following a set of steps.

Step one: Assembling a 360° view of your audience is a team effort

Even if we start from ground zero over here, it quickly becomes clear that no one wants to come across outdated or repetitive information. When in every second interaction with a rep, physicians hear things they already know from previous meetings or simply by doing their own internet research, this part comes as the first and foremost issue in line to be resolved.

Now, it’s clear that new reliable study results and, logically, any content produced, which is based on those results, do not come out every day like some tabloid news. But there surely are ways to always present different information to HCP audience.

digital tools for coherent marketing strategy

It’s only wise to start at what’s currently at disposal: your teams and their knowledge. Less than a third of all marketers strongly agree that their content strategy is inclusive of both marketing and non-marketing content (i.e., sales, KAMs’, brand managers’, product managers’, content for training etc.) This statistics exemplifies a common complaint from participants of digital content creation and management – there’s little to no cross-team collaboration and teams feel partly isolated in the workflow loop. For the purposes of improving workflow, a single management platform has to be in place, accessible to all stakeholders within their responsibility scope. The shared view on content and KPIs it has collected will encourage collaboration between sales and marketing teams when reviewing the HCP interaction journey and making sure only relevant and truly waited upon messages are passed on. Apart from personalization and segmentation perks, this also assures better territory coverage and less annoyance from looped info. For that matter, the efforts fro mindful key message repetition could be tactically channeled through other means of communication – like email, apps, webinars, web-libraries – and we will elaborate about them in our next step.

In other words, rephrasing an insight from Shire voiced at eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2018: it’s important to bring pharma marketing and pharma sales together to create new sales assets and double down on your customer engagement knowledge and capabilities. So, perhaps marketing strategies should be defined by the age demographics? Or long-term/short-term strategy orientation? You’ll never know, unless your tactical sales teams tell you what’s going on at this point, and your strategizing marketing teams – decide what’s the next step at this point. Digital tools just work best for integrating your teams’ insights, bolstering their decision-making flows and ultimately, speaking in a more coherent marketing language to your HCP audience.

Step two. Dispersing the message

“Engage authentically”, says Jim Robinson, President & COO of Alkermes at the opening address of eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2018. With 70% of all interactions between pharma and HCPs being “self-directed” – this includes mobile apps, remote detailing, self-detailling, browsing through web portals and visiting pharma websites – it’s the content and the way it’s delivered that is responsible for speaking authenticity to the audience.

So, that average 1 min/per visit spent on a pharma website by a physician means either old confusing UI (which is an often occurrence) or uselessness of content (too much selling or no specialized info). There’s a huge gap of content experience that’s not covered yet, since only 13% of physicians think the information provided on pharma websites is educational or info-rich.  And, as DMD Marketing representative stated when emphasizing a need for specialized digital content for physicians on pharma websites: 63% of physician activity on brand website is limited to its consumer side. So, by “voting with their mice”, physicians say they are hardly seeing any trace of authenticity here.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s thoughtful multichannel marketing. Mixing content bits is what matters most now – not every independent channel per se, however good it might be, since less than a third of physicians can name a single preferred channel. And lazy marketing – using one-size-fits-all approach – can jeopardize the success of strategy – so, taking interest in doctors’ channel preferences and the following segmentation should be at the epicenter. Moreover, channel and content should correlate with the product’s stage in its lifecycle. By creating memorable interactions through multiple touchpoints, the marketers can stay resourceful about customer’s preferences and available marketing channels. So, divide the audience and mix the channels!

Step three. Remote communication is anticipated communication

Following a recent case study from IQVIA, provided insights on the complements (or maybe even alternatives) to face-to-face communication with physicians, it’s impossible to avoid speaking of anticipation and authenticity that remote communication brings back. Long story short – apart from providing overall longer duration of communication, remote detailing also increases product info retention levels, and is rated higher than face-to-face calls. And, more importantly: more than 90% of the doctors declared that they would prescribe the product more frequently (higher than F2F calls). As we knowingly conclude, remote communication is offering a full spectrum of opportunities to engage: webinars, training, learning, remote detailing… So, if pharma dares to seize this chance, engaging authentically with various HCP audiences will stop being a mission impossible for pharmamarketers.

So, while remote detailing with physician differs a great deal from videocalling someone, this channel serves its purposes well. Convenience – check, high frequency of visits – check, longer duration, high info retention levels, higher prescription rates – check, check, check! So what we have in the end is – convenient form and time of contact multiplied by a user-friendly technology equals higher customer satisfaction and higher message recall and higher prescription rate. Drop us a line to get an expert commentary on remote detailing in particular, or authentic multichannel communication in general.