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The new rules of HCP (healthcare professional) engagement – targeted content and digital channels

Getting the attention of healthcare professionals (HCPs) is becoming increasingly challenging. Between attending to patients, keeping up-to-date with their areas of expertise, as well as running the business side of their practice – there is little time to spare.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, access to HCPs has been limited for field teams from pharma, and possibly for reps from other healthcare industries as well.

Now, as we slowly come out from lockdown, the question ahead lies: how can we successfully facilitate HCP engagement in the future?

According to an expert panel at the “What HCPs want: Catering for changing customer experience needs” webinar – it comes down to picking the right content and channels.

The session, which was part of the recent Pharma Australia 2020 event, was focused on identifying what HCPs want from medical, commercial and marketing engagement.

Driving HCP engagement with important and relevant content

For pharmaceutical companies, the trick is to stand out from the information avalanche. To do this, aim to provide content that is relevant and readily identifiable. As well as packaged and presented in a way that makes it easy to access.

This means focusing on content that is helpful, rather than promotional to your customers at any particular point in time,” says David Tran, Customer Experience Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim. Tran advises to steer clear of cookie-cutter approaches and explore a diversification of content formats. This includes mixing up different content formats, such as long and short-form content.

Meanwhile, Mahesh Malalage, Marketing Lead at IBD, Takeda emphasizes the importance of building connections, and networking “on the ground”. This helps you gather insights on what HCPs want from a content perspective. More importantly, it allows you to offer a custom-tailored version for each customer, he says.

Amanda Fuller, Managing Partner at DDB Remedy points out that she has observed an increased need to “personalize and individualize content”. She notes that segmentation can help you define and better understand your target audiences. Segmentation should be a key element to your overall marketing strategy, Fuller adds.

To truly add value, pharma companies must become partners of HCPs to help them manage and extract information. This, rather than add on to the load of commercially-focused information.

Also read: Closing the communications gap in digital healthcare

Reference: The Science of Healthcare Professional Meetings whitepaper by Ashfield

Adopting an omnichannel approach

Based on customer channel preferences, available technologies and internal resources, relook and tailor your content and channel mix. The goal would be to offer HCPs access to information where, when and how they want it.

Equally critical is identifying the right type of content to deliver through each channel. For example, materials designed for in-person delivery may not be as effective on a digital platform. This is especially true for self-service ones.

Careful consideration and running A/B tests with these materials will help ensure that the content you share is optimized for the intended channels.

As new strategies are implemented, use a consistent set of metrics for evaluating different content types and channels to determine what performs best.

The transition to a customer-centric, omnichannel model is not a straightforward journey for sure. It is one that can only work if you invest the time and effort into understanding what your customer needs. As well as their interpretation of what value looks like.

For that, companies will need to be able to respond with speed and agility to continuously deliver content that is important and relevant, the panel concludes.

The session was moderated by Sherlynn Tan, Healthcare Digital Success Director (APAC) at the Cloud Communications Division of NTT Ltd.

Watch webinar: What HCPs want: Catering for changing customer experience needs

In order to set themselves apart, pharma companies must become partners of HCPs to help them manage and extract information

Harnessing the power of digital channels is fundamental for improving the customer experience.  In the case of HCPs, this means regular delivery of valuable content and providing access to key opinion leaders. As well as tracking their areas of interest and gaining insight into their channel preferences.

How can companies achieve differentiated multi-channel engagement strategies? Contact us to learn more.

About the author

As Content Marketing and Campaigns Manager, Fiona oversees all marketing-related content initiatives within the APAC region. She has over a decade of collective experience in journalism, public relations and marketing communications across tech, finance and real estate industries.

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