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30 Jan 2013
The widespread and very measurable way in which GPs and specialists engage in promotional programmes run via independent physician networks is borne out by statistics which show, for example, that on average more than 6,770 GPs visit the Doctors.net.uk e-detail area each month and oncologists view three e-details on average per month.
But how can pharma marketers ensure they generate maximum ROI from this kind of approach and link it with other activities?
Our experience shows that being clear about the objectives, tailoring promotional resources and marketing messages to different segments of doctors and integrating them with other multi-channel activities, such as sales rep calls and tele-reach programmes, not only ensures consistency and measured message penetration, but can also optimise sales force effectiveness.
The insight gathering capability offered by independent professional networks enables brands to gain valuable understanding of doctors’ knowledge of different disease and therapy areas by testing perceptions of specific brands prior to the creation of an e-detail or other self-directed promotional campaign. This can then be used to plan and create relevant, promotional programmes tailored to the needs/stages of different types of doctors.
Promotional programmes can be used to support a number of objectives including: increasing contact frequency; increasing the breadth of contacts; reaching inaccessible customers, or as a substitute for one-to-one e-detailing. These objectives can be realised in numerous ways by blending promotional programmes into the multichannel mix. For example, an e-detail or other self-directed promotional campaign can be used as a substitute for face-to-face pharma sales rep activity alongside services calls and telereach; or to broaden reach to target ‘low see, no see doctors’ in combination with services calls and telereach.
Promotion can be used purely to support a new product launch or extend sales and marketing activity for a mature brand with measurable outcomes; or dovetailed with educational resources as part of a longer term engagement programme that can really help to position pharma companies as thought leaders in particular disease or therapy areas.
As the programme progresses, sophisticated measurement and evaluation techniques can measure changes in prescribing intention, perceptions and clinical behaviour, via ongoing research and impact assessment, enabling pharma to continually optimise engagement with customers to ensure it meets doctors’ evolving needs.