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How to access and engage with HCPs effectively

HCP engagement requires the right mix of voice and content, plus knowledge of the channels to access, to reach the target audience

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are not just a group of individuals who happen to have chosen the same vocation in life. They share a wide range of interests, beliefs, hobbies and lifestyle choices, and as such form a group with its own unique dynamic. In order to master HCP engagement, therefore, pharma must understand this dynamic – the ‘what makes me tick’ of the HCP community. Before you can begin to promote your products to this community, you must first understand who they are. In knowing who they are, you’ll have a much firmer knowledge of what they want, need and aspire to be and will be able to appeal to them more effectively. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll know:

  • What their problems are
  • How you can provide solutions for them

The Voice

The group dynamic of HCPs, directly influence how they communicate with each other and the wider world. They have a voice, which you must understand – and then use yourself – if you want to join their conversation. So what exactly is this ‘voice’? Well, if we consider the wider world HCPs live in, we can safely assume that a majority will be regular Internet users. There are multiple channels involved, ranging from social media sites to medical industry forums, and to engage with HCPs fully means to immerse yourself in all these platforms. The ‘voice’ is the dialogue which is consistent throughout. In order to use this voice across platforms, then, pharma brands must find where HCPs ‘hang out’ online, and engage in these places. You can then build your brand awareness, share content, and promote products in settings HCPs have chosen wilfully. 

Is pharma behind the times?

In a recent EPG Health Media survey, nearly 90% of HCPs claimed they used diagnostic tools from online sources (at least once a month), yet as much as one third of pharma companies said they didn’t provide these tools. And besides diagnostic tools, HCPs are seeking other materials which many pharma brands are failing to supply online. These include: 

  • Medical images (40% of pharma doesn’t provide)
  • Medical education (30%)
  • Patient materials/tools (20%)
  • Branded promotional materials (20%)

With HCPs having less time to study in the traditional ways, much of their education comes increasingly in leisure or ‘free’ time, when they are browsing the net. In this way, there has been a shift from the more traditional methods of face-to-face meetings and the salesman knocking on the door, and the EPG survey suggests that pharma brands haven’t fully embraced this shift.

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29th September 2016



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