Healthcare Professionals became digital natives… Now what?
Digital interactions between Healthcare Professionals (HCP) and pharma reps were, in some ways, already taking place. But with Covid-19 a total disruption occurred and physicians transformed into digital natives.
Not only did the pandemic oblige to distance and end face-to-face meetings, but also HCP’s expectations have shifted. Especially on what, how, and when the business interactions with pharma reps should happen.
The way information is consumed and the preferences on how it is distributed represent a new challenge to pharmaceutical companies. These have to rethink their model of communication and marketing strategy. And put it in line with what physicians and today’s well-informed patients expect and need from them.
Nowadays, engagement has to be thought about for remote settings and digital materials creation to reach pharma’s target audiences. Channels of communication, customers’ journey stages, and preferences of consumption all need alignment. Leaving the old way of “all in one approach” behind. So, how can pharmaceutical companies engage with success today?
The HCP of Today
HCP are now “digital omnivores” with a multichannel consumption of information on several devices. They wish to consume up-to-date content more frequently than ever, in an easy-to-digest format that runs on all kinds of devices.
Pharma companies need to become customer-centric and understand the needs and expectations of HCP in the new hyper-connected healthcare environment. This can only happen if they adjust and tailor the content to be more valuable, delivered at the right time through the right channel.
With the non-personal promotion (NPP) comes more personalized content that is spot on with the customer journey stage, segment, and consumption preferences. And the digital resources must be created bearing in mind a multitude of channels and devices at disposal.
The patients also have something to say…
First of all, pharma companies must be more knowledgeable of their target audiences and aware of patients’ roles in the decision-making process. HCP are no longer the first and last step of the chain to end-users. As they do their research before even thinking of consulting with a physician.
This is a game-changer in the relationships of both HCP with patients and pharma with end-users. From which they now need share-of-voice to become noticed and chosen. The marketing strategy doesn’t have the product at its core, now the customer occupies that central place.
HCP and consumers use online channels to research and buy pharmaceutical products. So, pharma companies need to adjust and evolve from a B2B to a B2C model, also connecting with the end-user.
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Digital Reps Empowerment
Pharma field reps and sales reps are now digital reps. And digital engagement with HCP is as important to them as to marketing teams. When observing the numbers, companies find that this type of interaction can be more impactful with less cost associated.
It’s also important to consider that 87% of HCP, according to 2020 Accenture Research, want either virtual or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings with pharma reps long after the pandemic ends. All in a more customer-centric approach.
With remote and digital engagement, the access to HCP is even greater than before. However, the content quality and relevance are what will determine their choice to consume it and engage.
The marketing strategy is to be agile and reactive with produced and delivered content without request. With so much information circulating, you have to provide resources that are relevant for the stage of the journey, to that segment through the channel of their preference.
To be successful, companies must consider that HCP are time-constrained within a hyper-connected healthcare environment. This means that every digital interaction must be accountable for and meaningful.
So, what will guarantee HCP attention and pharma reps’ time in their schedule? Have approved and valuable content stored for each step of the journey and product life-cycle shared at the right time.
Increasing sales with Email Video Marketing
When looking at all the possibilities, pharma companies need to think about less time-consuming alternatives and HCP’s preferred channels and format. The best way to develop relationships and nurture customers without being invasive is through email marketing.
With approved email content, it’s more likely that HCP decide to engage. Especially if it’s in a bite-sized, easy-to-digest format like video. Video is accessible to HCP whenever and wherever they want to. Numbers don’t lie:
- Emails with videos improve the click-through-rate by 300% (1);
- Sales teams that use videos in emails have a 16% higher open rate (2);
- Sales reps that add videos to emails get a 26% increase in replies (2).
HCP are more likely to take action by receiving personalized emails from a pharma rep. Almost 35% of emails directly sent by reps are opened by physicians against 3% sent from corporate:
It is important to have the HCP’s preferences as a top priority aligned with content management. This allows it to be shared according to the journey stage, strategically and consistently. Resulting, then, in a productive email program.
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HCP are now “digital omnivores” that wish to consume up-to-date content more frequently than ever. In a format easy to digest and that runs on all kinds of devices.
Pharma companies need to understand the needs and expectations of HCP in the new hyper-connected healthcare environment. So that they can deliver tailored and valuable content at the right time through the right channel.
The best way to develop relationships and nurture customers is through email marketing. Emails with videos improve the click-through rate by 300%. And physicians open almost 35% of emails sent by reps.
The key takeaway for pharma companies is a cost-effective and successful engagement. Which is the result of a well-oiled machine of personalized content, stored and shareable consistently according to the HCP journey. Where video is more likely to guarantee its consumption and availability in the physicians’ schedule.