Even those pharma marketers lucky enough to look at fancy, convenient CRM dashboards of new generations, generously afforded by the global office, will admit one thing can’t be measured directly. This thing is called audience engagement; as important as it is, we can only deduce what the doctor really thought by peering into other metrics.
Pharmas have been trying to engage physicians for a time now, and we’ve all seen the outcomes, in turn, derided and praised. What’s surprising, however, is that while there are tactics (like tablets in reps’ hands) that are universally acknowledged, they end up providing very different results in different individual cases, from department to department. What makes HCPs truly engaged remains the subject of learned guess at times.
The problem is, general marketing community tends to associate engagement with the more “easy-going” direct-to-customer setting – the one where social media strategies have recently taken over. In life sciences, at the other hand, the decision-making is not supposed to be impulsive; the whole informational landscape is way more professional and serious. Really serious. Besides, even in B2C we have seen how poorly vanity metrics correlate with actual engagement.
Is there a way to create a pharma marketing strategy that will ensure genuine interest –not just polite nods? There must be one. Doctors have appreciated the possibilities that digital tech provides, and are really waiting for value. Yet, according to statistics, 43% still can’t name even one pharma that provides sufficient digital support in their work. Ninety per cent would make up a depressing fact; but as it is now, this means, of all things, opportunity.