Across the globe, both patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) are embracing a digital-first attitude towards health-related resources. Studies show the demonstration of online users looking for healthcare content is significant.
With this in mind, it is more important than ever that pharma companies digitally empower HCPs by providing them access to the content and data they seek, including patient support information.
To improve HCP engagement, you need to make sure your digital strategies are effective and consider today’s online trends and channel preferences. It’s time to look at—and act on—the digital habits and behaviors of physicians. A few key considerations regarding digital marketing can improve the way you access and engage with HCPs. These include improving brand visibility, crafting a message that focuses on value and experience, optimizing content for mobile, and offering better digital resources such as e-learning platforms.
Users seeking health information increasingly turn to online resources
Manhattan Research, an industry expert in multichannel research, compiled the digital behaviors of patients and doctors around the world, and determined that healthcare information is being largely consumed online. 56% of European patients with a chronic condition refer to medical videos for information, 75% of HCPs in China use mobile channels for professional purposes, 87% of Brazilian doctors want digital resources instead of print materials to support clinical decision making, and over 16 million Americans are involved in health-related conversations just in the social media sphere.
These statistics are just a glimpse of all the digital trends out there that support a growing number of users who seek health information online, and should be considered in developing digital marketing strategies for pharma. HCPs frequently refer to digital sources in support of clinical decision making. Data further reveals that because of their need to access meaningful content quickly, medical videos from Medscape, YouTube, and pharma companies are most frequently consumed by HCPs in their quest to gain valuable medical knowledge. A strong digital campaign supported by video content is the first step you need to digitally empower HCPs, and a robust online presence that caters to these behaviors will help you reach caregivers on a global scale.
A strong digital presence is needed to inform and empower HCPs
To meet the demands of HCPs, pharma companies must understand caregivers’ digital preferences for finding and consuming information. Using a medical communications agency, the digital behaviors of HCPs can be analyzed, specifically their participation with social media channels. This activity provides marketers insight into how to target and develop marketing communications that offer support to caregivers. Applying your understanding of channel and content preferences can, in turn, support a robust online presence, allowing pharma companies to not only engage but digitally empower HCPs.
To make sure your online presence meets the demands of HCPs, who desire patient support materials among others, may require looking beyond their online habits to that of the relevant patient population. This exercise can reveal additional areas in which pharma companies can improve the content they offer to HCPs.
Both groups look to online sources for health information in support of their decision-making practices, while social media channels and community networks show a growth in discussions surrounding health-related topics. In fact, caregivers are commonly engaged through these communities, which allow them to share useful information about a condition, offer support to peers, and even use the platform to opine about their experience regarding a health topic.
Additional digital strategies to strengthen HCP engagement
The capacity for pharma to digitally empower HCPs depends on their ability to keep both patients and caregivers informed. This requires the provision of reliable content, facilitation of appropriate channels, and a dominating online presence. But in order to execute a high quality, targeted campaign, some other strategies need to come into play. Here are some strategic considerations to improve your digital game, and thereby better engage HCPs.
- Improve brand visibility online—a difficult task for pharma due to increasingly tight regulations and limitations in pharma advertising. That said, brand visibility can still be achieved by engaging the right audience with the right content and through the right channels. This is best facilitated by a medical communications agency with access to high quality content, knowledge of the HCP experience, and analytical support for cross-channel integration.
- Create a message that speaks to value and experience to help your product or service stand out. A medical communications agency may use data driven, personalized interactions to inform an effective marketing message and to understand the needs of both caregivers and the patient population.
- Make sure the digital brand experience is optimized for mobile. Considering the substantial statistical evidence that physicians are increasingly looking to mobile channels for information, this is a no-brainer.
- Offer e-learning platforms that come with high-quality video content, which can transform the way HCPs access medical and disease education. Physicians throughout history have voiced a desire for continuing education material; providing digital learning platforms that are accessible and offer an immersive experience is an attractive feature for today’s HCPs.
While this post discusses the path to empowering HCPs is in providing dynamic online resources for health information, these digital sources should, in turn, be used to capture relevant analytics and track HCPs’ activity to further inform future marketing campaigns.