The shifts in healthcare are driving the increasing importance of healthcare professionals engagement to reach patients. Access to information can be overwhelming for consumers, but necessary for to manage their own care. When patients understand more about their own conditions and options, the more fluid the exchange with health professionals. This means the role of the HCP is key in developing the trust that impacts overall market performance for pharma brands.
Digital is often viewed in isolation from the rest of the marketing mix but the key to good multichannel engagement is to integrate digital channels with offline channels such as symposiums, meetings, print and sales force.
The number of healthcare consumers turning the the internet to communicate with providers is also growing. Google states 77% of patients use search engines prior to booking appointments. Content and ads can be optimized and targeted to match what patients are searching for and increasing your chances of being found.Curating content for healthcare professionals engagement
- Channels for delivery: An omni-channel approach responds to the demands of the variety of users. HCPs are seek better access to educational resources via multiple devices. Give physicians different ways to receive information and that are relevant to individual practice needs. Mobile applications such as the Novartis Med Info and Pfizer HemMobile app have been created to target both patients and HCPs, providing useful and practical digital information that is easily accessible. Mobile will continue to rise as consumers use mobile devices to monitor their weight, fitness, heart rate, and other vital signs for chronic disease management or just for fun. Pharma or clinics can sponsor patient apps for increased visibility. Engaged patients that partner in their own healthcare are the ones you want since their outcomes are usually better.
- Content resources: HCPs like any consumer who needs to stay informed accesses turn to a variety of resources to confirm and contrast data.
- Webcasts / videos from medical conferences
- Patient education tools / downloads
- Online Continuing Medical Education (eCME)
- Diagnostic tools
- Medical Association websites
- Journal websites and publications
- Treatment guidelines
- Medical blogs
- Type of medical content: Shift from a brand story to a focus on HCP and patient. Tell a story that patients can understand and connect to. Curate content from reliable and credible sources only. This is the most important first step in curating trustworthy content. Use expert commentaries from physicians or other qualified healthcare commentators. Pharma is generally expected to provide funding for online resources, yet many HCPs feel that the supply of online promotional material exceeds demand, whereas the supply of educational resources falls short.
- Content format: For the HCP keep the tone factual and academic with long-term benefits. Healthcare experts want the data and science that back up claims to support their role as an authority. At the same time providing curated content for patient consumption will support HCP engagement with consumers. Transform existing data and records into comprehensible language for anyone from 18 to 99 to be able to digest and act upon. Visual graphs and highlighting key information support written text for quick access. Checklists are useful to patients and facilitate communication with healthcare professionals.
Measuring market performance
The ability to measure online performance helps hold people accountable. You’ll know exactly where digital initiatives succeed or fail. With clear goals, you can calculate the ROI on marketing efforts.
Digital solutions enhance traditional marketing efforts with extended reach, automated frequency, and cadence across multiple channels. Aligning these elements along with the right messaging to healthcare professionals will increase market performance. The challenge is disseminating content to educate physicians in the most engaging way, without bombarding them with messaging.
Content curation is key to producing, distributing and reaching the right audience. The more relevant the information the greater the interaction will be with content you provide. HCPs have multiple tasks, brands and need to make highly informed decisions and recommendations. They are the firstline of patient contact for pharma companies. This is where pharma brands need to step in a provide quality information in long and short form to adapt to the HCP needs. Well defined content marketing strategies will get you greater reach and ROI.