Three Pillars of Creating Clinically Relevant Content

With the demands of today’s busy HCPs, it’s important to meet the needs of doctors by simplifying how, where, and when they find clinical information. In our experience—validated by research—mass emails and lack of personalization are main communication pain points for physicians. A gap also exists between the perceived value of content created by pharmaceutical companies and what HCPs receive.1

Because HCPs seek valuable information, especially content from peers, social media use for clinical information has seen a significant rise. So, we gathered insights from 150 HCPs across specialties who engaged weekly with social media platforms for professional, clinically relevant purposes.

Need #1: Personalized Content

It’s no surprise HCPs reported conflicting primary topics of interest they find valuable based on specialty:2

  • Dermatology: Upcoming professional events
  • Gastroenterology: New scientific research
  • Neurology: New drug discovery
  • Oncology: Disease management
  • Plastic surgery: Patient management techniques
  • Psychiatry: Information presented at professional conferences

Adding to the complexity of different topics of interest, HCPs also experience significant time constraints and have widely different personal preferences for social content channels and formats. Creating a personalized experience starts with evaluating data to understand the HCP’s interests, educational needs, and time constraints, which helps determine the right content and channel to leverage.

Key Insight: Whether sharing branded or unbranded content, it’s imperative to orchestrate the experience that someone has with the information about the medicine, device, or intervention.

Need #2: Valuable Information

While preferred social content varied among HCPs, new scientific research was perceived as the single most valuable topic, regardless of therapeutic area.2 Other top valuable topics included information from conferences, disease management, patient management techniques, and upcoming professional events.2

Key Insight: HCPs are searching for valuable content from perceived reliable sources. They are looking to peers for specific real-world experience and to life sciences companies and academic institutions for new research.

Need #3: Trustworthy Sources

Significant barriers to building trust with clinically relevant social content include bias, conflicts of interest, compensation, and one-sided data. While it’s difficult to overcome the stigma of being affiliated with a pharma company, we uncovered an opportunity: 62% of HCPs are more likely to give clinical credibility to social content from physician employees (e.g., corporate medical, research, or medical affairs).2 HCPs also want to see more content from pharma companies about disease state education and patients (including patient resources, education, and outreach).2

Key Insight: HCPs confirm the legitimacy of a source before applying information to their practice. Whether a source is perceived as trustworthy or not depends on the affiliated institution or how well-known the expert is in their field.

By applying behavior data to understand an HCP’s preferred format, channel preference, and educational topics—while ensuring content is delivered by a reliable, trustworthy source—marketers can deliver clinically relevant content designed to save time and be consumed at the HCP’s own convenience.

References: 

1. Physician COVID-19 Response BioPharma Survey, May/June 2021; BCG analysis.

2. Avant Healthcare DOL Insights Study, March 2022.

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