Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Nearly two-thirds of doctors in Turkey own or use a smartphone for professional purposes, and just over one third use a tablet at work, according to a new study.
Manhattan Research questioned 200 physicians in the country for its Taking the Pulse Turkey 2012 report and concluded Turkish physicians are using multiple screens for professional purposes.
Tip of the week
Commenting on the findings, Manhattan Research's vice president of research Monique Levy said: “Digital media and devices are increasingly integral to physicians' clinical workflow across high-growth markets like Turkey.
“Each market has its idiosyncrasies, creating opportunities for pharma to refine and localise their marketing strategies.”
Pharmaceutical companies have been aggressively investing in high-growth markets, such as Turkey, and are looking to digital channels to augment their sales and marketing efforts, Manhattan said.
Key findings from the company's new Turkey physician research include:
• Sixty four per cent of online physicians own or use a smartphone for professional purposes and 35 per cent own or use a tablet for professional purposes
• Online physicians in Turkey access the Internet throughout the workday - 60 per cent go online between patient consultations, most often to use drug reference databases and government resources
• Twenty three per cent of physicians surveyed said they participate in pharma online promotional programmes and 59 per cent said they would be interested in doing so
The top paid-for medical app in the Turkish iTunes Store is currently İlaçlar (iPad version pictured above), a drug resource for physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
Costing $4.99, it provides information on drugs, their active ingredients, retail and public prices, packaging information and a barcode scanner.
Doctors' ownership of iPads and other tablets
The iPad figures for Turkey are broadly consistent with other European countries, according to earlier research by Manhattan, and speaking at a webcast earlier this week Levy noted that global device use was rapidly increasing.
“We know that devices have pretty strong penetrations across the markets and that device ownership, including tablets, is ramping up pretty quickly,” she said.
Prior research had found a ceiling to what physicians were willing to do on a smartphone, essentially using it as a research tool, but that will change, Levy said, with tablets.
Almost half of iPad owners plan to purchase another device within the next six months, but it's less important to them whether reps arrive with the latest iPad, Levy said.
Asked whether tablets were replacing other devices, Levy said: “We see a little bit of the desktop time moving to the iPad, but genrally what we see is that more screens means more access.”
But the research also showed that it's not all about the latest device. “Email is alive and well,” Levy noted, adding: “It's the most basic tactic, physicians are reading newsletters from pharma and they're communicating with reps.”