The pharmaceutical industry is currently navigating through a challenging yet fascinating period. COVID-19 has swiftly changed the healthcare landscape around the world, influencing abrupt changes across the various functional domains within the industry.
2020, which could very well be the year of the coronavirus, has been witnessing drastic disruptions with enforced lockdowns, social distancing, new patient demands and healthcare systems put under extraordinary pressures. The pandemic has worsened the pharma market in India and is expected to lead the country towards a major slowdown.
Challenges that have arised
- Doctors not ready to meet MRs
- No physical events possible
- Virtual events doesn't give FaceTime with doctors
In this situation the only way to reach a doctor is digitally, the calls appointments etc everything has to be done virtually.
Question is without FaceTime how do I measure doctor engagement.
We can apply the same principles which have been the core of ABM with a growth marketing tools and analytics framework to successfully engage doctors.
Secondly think about innovative ways of aggregating doctors with digital portals assets etc where they can prove their thought leadership and interact with patients and do biz.
A unique takeaway rate like 'doctor engagement score' is created and measured by different interactions that a doctor does with digital assets, and people. E.g. if you are running a launch campaign, has a doctor opened your email, clicked on sms, viewed content, accepted an invite for virtual edetailing, picked up a call by medical representative, time spent on call, etc can be mapped as a unique journey for doctor and setup experiments to understand which create better doctor engagement score.
At a time like this, pharma companies are being forced to adopt innovative strategies to combat the slowdown and accelerate progress. We are seeing an increase in remote engagement with healthcare professionals (HCPs), driven by the pandemic.
- Shifting Trends
- Doctors on Digital
- New Rules Of HCP Engagement
- Virtual Detailing Platform
- Holistic Telemedicine Platform
- Content Marketing Portal
- Hyper-personalized Omnichannel Mix
- Hybrid Sales Model
The pandemic is rapidly changing our attitude toward online channels. This global health crisis has undoubtedly increased interest in – and acceptance of – being digital-first and adopting remote interactions. HCPs are increasingly unwilling to meet sales representatives in person. Given this declining trend, pharma companies need to innovate and develop virtual engagement models.
Digital platforms have immense potential to alter various aspects of doctor engagement. It gives pharma companies new opportunities that can be used in transformative ways to create a community of engaged doctors. Scaling up the use of remote technology will ensure continued engagement with HCPs, even in the post-COVID market.
Doctors on Digital
What are they searching for?
A high number of doctors prefer online media for knowledge acquisition. Digital platforms are the go-to place to read about the latest drug molecules and related information. A significant number of doctors rely on online sources to stay up-to-date with industry best practices and policy guidelines.
When are they online?
While it’s not surprising but the majority of doctors spend a maximum of 5 minutes online with a smaller percentage dedicating 10 minutes or more. The peak surf times include office check-in time in the morning (10 AM), after the morning rush of patients (2 PM), in the evening (6 PM) and before signing off at night (9 PM to 10 PM).
How do they consume content?
Mobiles and laptops, because of the convenience they offer, are rightly the preferred devices for HCP to access online media. Desktops also continue to be popular for some but the percentage of users are much lesser as compared to the mobiles & laptops.
New Rules Of HCP Engagement
The pre-COVID era saw pharma companies investing heavily in sales representatives and face-to-face interactions with HCPs. More recently, they have begun their shift towards digital marketing for doctors but campaigns are too often isolated from sales and other teams, creating a disjointed, siloed approach.
In our view, for companies to thrive in a world shaped by the global pandemic they should be able to bring together the disparate elements of their business – leadership, sales, marketing, IT and more – to create an effective, holistic omnichannel approach to doctor marketing.
The keys to engagement are changing and it’s time to adopt innovative tactics and strategies around HCP engagement.
Virtual Detailing Platform
Pharmaceutical companies have already started resorting to virtual detailing platforms which offer an interactive and real-time online meeting between sales reps and healthcare professionals. It helps in delivering brief and effective F2F e-detailing for busy doctors, reaching target groups quickly and effectively for reps, and overall is extremely cost-effective. It also offers remote meeting & webinar, approved emails and content-on-demand features.
Holistic Telemedicine Platform
An end-to-end telemedicine platform for doctors is where patients can search for them, book an appointment and schedule an e-meeting or consultation with them. Technologies that come integrated with telemedicine software like electronic medical records, AI diagnosis and medical streaming devices, can better assist providers in diagnosis and treatment. HCPs can also benefit from increased revenue through more patients, minimized health-related risks and convenient practice.
Content Marketing Portal
Content marketing is a natural fit for doctors because of their technical expertise and medical knowledge. Creating a portal, exclusively for doctors, with information about relevant medical news, clinical reference, education, the current market scenario, etc. would help create a community of engaged doctors. By sharing therapy-specific content, doctors would be able to share this information with peers or customers.
Hyper-personalized Omnichannel Mix
HCPs are already subjected to a lot of medical information, sometimes irrelevant ones, throughout the day. So pharma companies need to differentiate themselves by delivering personalized, evolving experiences consistent across channels. Omnichannel medical marketing for doctors centres around HCPs delivering the messages in the format they need, in the way that’s most convenient to them. By leveraging CRM data on HCPs, personalized videos can be created, thus increasing their engagement and the possibility of conversion.
Hybrid Sales Model
With the increased utilization of technology, sales reps can take on a more evolved role. Instead of being the single face of the company, reps can be just one of the many ways a pharma company communicates with a doctor. For the representatives of the future, this mix of new and enhanced capabilities will mean that the sales role becomes more valued. In this new model, a representative’s success will need to be measured by the positive impact on HCP perception.
Reimagining HCP Engagement
The pandemic-induced shift to digital engagement channels is likely to stay even post-COVID. The changes we make now will have lasting value-chain behaviours. HCPs, as well as patients, will get used to the convenience that digital channels offer.
Pharma companies need the right technology and personalized content to fit these new channels. A cultural shift will be required, embracing integration between functions, as well as new metrics and agile ways of working that are constantly evolving to meet changing customer needs.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time for a change - during this pandemic and also for the future of your business. We are India’s pioneering growth marketing agency that has helped numerous pharma brands achieve sustainable growth over the last ten years. Get in touch with us to experience the new normal of consumer & doctor marketing. Schedule a demo call now.
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