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According to this comprehensive report, the spend on medical marketing expanded substantially between 1997 through 2016, to reach $29.9 billion from $17.7 billion, with direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and health services accounting for the most rapid growth, and pharmaceutical marketing to health professionals accounting for most promotional spending. A recent CMI/Compas study of promotional accessibility among various physician specialties found that accessibility increased for more than 70% of physicians when marketers used three or more channels; suggesting that a media plan which utilizes more than one channel can significantly improve engagement with your key physician audiences.
Marketing to Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) is an essential component of a marketing strategy for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, given the HCPs’ influence over a purchase. But, the increasing workloads on HCPs make it difficult for healthcare marketers to reach out to them and influence their purchase decisions. This presents some unique challenges to HCP marketers around the preferred communication methods and strategies needed to engage these busy HCPs.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges faced by HCP marketers today.
- Reducing access to Physicians:
HCPs have no time to spare for sitting at a desk, take meeting a medical rep or work on a computer, as most of them are work at capacity or get over-extended almost all the time. Moreover, compliance laws and policies govern such access to an HCP, requiring the HCP to report any payment received which exceeds $10 in value for activities like consulting, research, speaking engagements, travel, and even signature meals. Such control curtails the opportunities for marketing to healthcare professionals.
- Omnichannel marketing:
Pharma marketers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy which is basically about offering the HCPs a fully integrated shopping experience that uses many channels, starting with a brick and mortar user experience and extending all the way to online shopping, even including mobile browsing. Such an approach would need a marketer to identify the preferences of the healthcare professional and synchronize their activities suitably to deliver personalized marketing messages to the right customer touchpoint. For marketing to healthcare professionals via multiple channels, the marketers will need to know how to pick them up on another channel, when they leave one without any decisive action and this task is not as easy as it sounds.
- Difficulties in targeting the right audiences:
Very limited opportunities for targeting are available, and the few capabilities offered by some publishing platforms are only on the basis of geography and specialization. But marketers need targeting capabilities to be based on their prescription behavior and formulary access. The healthcare market is complicated and involves many stakeholders, like care providers, insurers and consumers. Everyone has a say in deciding which product or service to adopt. This complexity offers a challenge to HCP marketers as they create an effective marketing strategy for healthcare professionals but struggle to make it work.
- Inability to reach a critical mass of physician and achieve business goals:
The changing market dynamics are making it hard for marketers to formulate the right strategy for marketing to healthcare professionals and to forge connections with them. At the best of times, a marketer’s reach to HCPs is fragmented and lacks engagement. While a company’s webpages may be considered promotional and disbelieved as a policy by HCPs, scientific journals may not always be open to carrying their message. Moreover, not all HCPs believe in continuing education and read medical journals consistently. Medical conferences may provide an opportunity but not all the HCPs from the target group may be present.
- Lack of hard business metrics:
Healthcare marketing has long been limited by its traditional approach to marketing. Most marketers tracked the number and frequency of calls made to an HCP as visits were the only channel they leveraged. Tracking metrics like growth in business, brand image, stakeholder engagement or marketing communications were not even considered a possibility. Without the right content, it is not possible to gain an insight into the interest evinced by the HCPs in their message and craft a strategy for following up on the qualified leads alone.
How can Doceree help?
While digital marketing for consumer brands commands 35-50% of their overall marketing budgets, pharmaceutical brands invest only 2-5% of their marketing budgets on digital. With the effectiveness of sales forces declining globally, the industry desperately needs an effective solution. Espyian is a self-service marketing platform, which is effective and dependable for brands, using which Doceree is attempting to solve these problems in marketing to healthcare professionals across the globe.
- Reach out to the Physicians: Espyian uses AI, data segmentation & analytics to identify the right healthcare professionals out of many similar looking and similar sounding profiles, whether on a physician networking site, a medical journal, telemedicine platform or even social networking sites. It integrates with a live database of validated HCPs to ensure that there’s no repetition of an HCP’s profile and no doubling of efforts to facilitate precision targeting.
- Ensure your Omnichannel Presence: Espyian is the first-in-the-industry to offer you the power to deliver sequential content, to promote the behavior change needed to take your HCP down the conversion funnel, quicker than you had anticipated. This is not re-targeting which is limited only to 28 days, because you now have the power to control the time that will take the HCP to start converting.
- Target the Right Physician: Doctors are very busy people with very little time to spare for any marketing approach. Reaching them is expensive and the results are not always positive. Espyian understands doctors’ behavior, so you can connect with them with precision. Its AI-based algorithm and live HCP Profiles ensure that no HCP is ever missed or ever repeated (more than required) when you run a marketing campaign for healthcare professionals.
- Reach a Critical Mass and achieve Business Goals: Many times, your marketing dollars are poured into a bottomless well, without offering any real returns. With Doceree, enjoy the best value for every dollar spent by you. Be completely aware of the healthcare professionals you are targeting, on which channels, how often and what has been the result of all the marketing efforts in real-time. Optimize both your content and investments using this self-serve platform.
- Access Reliable Business Metrics: Most of your marketing efforts are wasted on the targeted HCPs, who generally distrust pharma companies. Espyian creates Live HCP profiles with unique identity graphs by integrating data with the live database of validated HCPs. It identifies the HCP to create a unique profile of each HCP by understanding the demographics, attitudes, and behaviors from over 1000 data points from our owned and shared privacy-safe databases.
Innovative technology like Espyian can cut through the clutter to totally revolutionize marketing to healthcare professionals. What’s more, this can be achieved with a high level of precision and personalization. To learn more, talk to us today