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Engaging doctors throughout product lifecycle maximises ROI

Pharma companies really can work smarter and make best use of the limited time they have with doctors

Experience shows that engaging physicians at all stages of the product lifecycle, and supporting this activity with ongoing measurement and evaluation, helps pharma marketers improve sales for mature brands as well as launch new products to market.

The insight gathering, measurement and evaluation capability afforded by independent professional online networks can help pharma companies maintain high levels of engagement among target groups of doctors throughout the product lifecycle.

At the pre-launch stage, independent online professional networks offer valuable insights into doctors' knowledge of different disease and therapy areas, and can test their perceptions of specific brands prior to a product launch. 

These insights can then be used to plan and create relevant, promotional programmes that are tailored to the needs/stages of different types of doctors and can be optimised in line with ongoing measurement and evaluation. They can also inform, integrate with and support other multi-channel marketing activities.

One example of a new product launch supported by Doctors.net.uk involves an antipsychotic drug, which had reduced sales-force activity. Post-campaign research showed that the three-month online promotional campaign run by Doctors.net.uk, which engaged 2,432 psychiatrists in just two and a half months, prompted 80 per cent of them to consider prescribing this new third generation antipsychotic product in a mature class. 

The granular measurement and evaluation offered by independent online networks can be used highly effectively to drive sales for mature brands to help extend the sometimes long tail of sales in the mature stages before patent expiry. Another recent promotional campaign involved an established pain relief product for which the manufacturer wanted to raise awareness and increase coverage of GPs. This digital campaign was newly integrated into the channel mix to complement sales force activity. 

Post-campaign analysis found that following the three-month campaign, which was based on insights gathered from research, objectives and KPIs were far exceeded with a substantial increase in the coverage of GPs. The brand manager commented that the campaign demonstrated that not all mature brands are insensitive to promotion. 

Such evidence supports the view that by investing in all stages of the product lifecycle, and measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of their sales and marketing activities, pharma companies really can work smarter and make best use of the limited amount of time they have with doctors. 

For more information on Doctors.net.uk, please call Simon Grime on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email Simon.Grime@mess.doctors.org.uk. You can also follow Doctors.net.uk on Twitter: @doctors_net_uk

24th April 2013

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