Create a Roadmap to HCP Engagement

Adhering to a simple and effective roadmap to better address the unique educational needs of HCPs allows pharmaceutical marketers to strengthen and sustain their relationships across the lifecycle of a brand.

Here’s how to do it.

Establish a Baseline of HCP Awareness

In developing educational materials for HCPs, marketers need to not only properly identify their target physician populations along with their current behaviors, but also to establish a baseline—how well these target physician populations know the attributes of a disease, its prevalence and symptoms, and how well they understand the treatment landscape. This initial step is crucial, particularly when marketers do not have a large field force to rely on for direct feedback, or conversely, to determine what type of training or information would be essential to the field in conjunction with an upcoming product launch or new promotional campaign.

In addition to revealing familiarity with or preference for competitive brands, this step unveils physician knowledge gaps, enabling marketers to develop content to fill those gaps.

Gauging awareness from the beginning and routinely with each new initiative allows marketers to accurately capture the effectiveness of promotional activities both individually and in aggregate over time.

Create a Targeted Content Development and Segmentation Plan

Identifying knowledge gaps makes it easier to develop targeted content to close those gaps—a messaging framework to guide the development of complementary messaging aimed at enhancing HCPs’ understanding of a disease, appropriately identify patients and highlight important treatment differentiators. A deeper look is then needed to uncover specific HCP needs and preferences by specialty, practice type, patient population, geography and interest. The content presented should align with differing HCP needs and optimized across multiple channels. Marketers should consider three points during content planning and execution.

1. Real Engagement

A marketer’s biggest challenge is engaging physicians longer and more meaningfully with information that informs practice decisions. Enable these behaviors by providing content that offers real value to the physician—promoting deep activity that ultimately helps patients. Targeting audiences during periods of heightened attention, such as conferences, increases physician engagement. But learning only occurs if it is clearly explained what value the drug will bring to patients based on clinical evidence.

2. The Physician Journey

Segmentation and content delivery efforts that include personal insight on key topics of interest, favored KOLs and preferred formats, coupled with information that adds value to a physician’s practice, results in an optimal “physician journey map” that aligns content creation efforts, physician preferences and prescription behavior. Synchronizing these elements helps to sequence messaging with the right cadence, drive peak physician engagement and heighten learning.

3. KOL Integration

Leverage KOLs to boost credibility and summarize complex information into important takeaways. Whether aligned editorially as KOLs address pressing topics, or within brand messaging, physicians look to KOLs to distill deeply clinical information effectively. Strengthen this by leveraging national and regional KOLs in key geographic areas to address localized issues.

Powerful Analytics for Campaign Optimization and Measurement

Data collection and analysis are essential to a successful campaign. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed with too much information. That’s why marketers must collect the right type of data to track campaign KPIs and to continue to optimize them after launch. Qualitative and quantitative measurements should answer key questions a campaign needs to accomplish its goals:

  • Which specific target HCPs are consuming the information?
  • Which pieces of content are preferred across the target list and by separate physician segments?
  • What educational gaps still remain?
  • Has engagement with the information led to more desirable behaviors such as change in practice behavior or prescription writing?

The answers provide ongoing information to adjust messaging along the way and also reveal insights over time, such as treatment trends that can inform future marketing efforts.

Today’s marketing landscape demands rapid response to both threats and emerging opportunities, making data gathering as important as analyzing the data. Establishing steps to then distribute data insights at the physician level allows marketers to effectively optimize and ensure personalized physician outreach across multiple digital channels and the field.

Nurture Relationships Through Touch Points

Creating enduring relationships with HCPs is an ongoing effort that doesn’t conclude at the end of one initiative or with the launch of a product. Content, even evergreen, must be refreshed and re-imagined and served to HCPs in a way that offers a fresh perspective. Marketers should not bombard HCPs with the same content repeatedly. This can numb physicians and healthcare professionals to a brand’s message. Develop an editorial calendar to update HCPs periodically with new information and refreshed content. It’s a smart, sustainable way to stay in front of HCPs and add value for their practice and patients. The content creation and refresh cycle should be closely aligned with physician response and preference.

Case Study: Personalization And Optimization

Not too long ago, a pharma marketer approached Healthcasts to support a new product introduction from pre-launch through launch.

The challenges: First, to connect the dots between messaging for both launch and pre-launch stages; second, increase product awareness across high-decile and white space physicians; and third, facilitate sample distribution initiatives as the drug became available. Throughout the exercise, the marketer successfully enhanced the target HCP’s awareness and understanding of the disease and diagnostic criteria. Here’s how the roadmap was executed:

Step 1: Gauge Awareness, Heighten Understanding

Prior to launch, we helped the marketer engage 10,000 target HCPs in a 15-minute, deeply clinical video featuring a renowned KOL discussing the science of the condition, effect on patient lives and information about a new branded drug.

Step 2: Evaluate Response

We then identified physicians who engaged with the video. Evaluation determined that nearly all physicians who watched the video would potentially prescribe the new treatment and would highly value access to samples.

Step 3: Identify Target Physicians And Provide Value

In a matter of weeks, we were able to further segment the target list to the HCPs who engaged with the initial video and pre-qualified for samples, and create and distribute branded “samples available” information, linking top-tier physicians with the brand call center.

Step 4: Multiple Touch Points Create Action

As a follow up months later, specialists were directed to an MOA video with direct links to the brand’s newly created sampling website. Rolling email and in-app alerts continuously drove awareness of sample opportunity. Opportunities for sales rep follow-up were provided with highly positive results.

  • Erik Dalton

    Erik Dalton is Executive Vice President at Healthcasts. Erik has helped spearhead the evolution of Healthcasts since 2005, from a video engagement company to a multichannel, on-demand educational experience for physicians. His leadership drives market growth and product innovation for the company.


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