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Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools

The future of healthcare professional engagement

By Ilana Scholl

Ilana Scholl

The pandemic created a new playing field for healthcare professional (HCP) engagement, and pharma needs to jump at the opportunity to reach HCPs in more significant ways if it wants to engage in meaningful relationships with HCPs as we navigate in the ‘new normal’.

An opportunity exists to meet HCPs where they want to spend their time and to create meaningful and impactful experiences to interact with your brand. There are five key considerations to keep top of mind when building a strategy and thinking about what the new normal should be. These considerations include being accessible, relevant, purposeful, consumable and connective.

The time that HCPs have for learning, exploring and connecting is smaller than ever and, through the pervasiveness of technology, they are also being bombarded with more digital tools and options for navigating content than ever before. Most pharma organisations have good, insightful understanding of their customers, and many desire and are willing to fulfill their customers’ needs through multiple digital engagement options. But this has often led to a fragmented approach and a divide between content and channels HCPs value versus those prioritised by pharma.

Pharma needs to embrace solutions and technology from other industries that provide high-value, high customer service focus and that is hyper personalised to meet the needs of its customers. We have been saying this for years: one size no longer fits all.

Pharma must learn from retail, consumer and technology leaders and embrace a focused and reciprocal approach to digital experiences. Most predictions show that in three to five years’ time, a hybrid model of engagement will still exist and be thriving, and innovative technologies supporting a wider Metaverse environment of experiences will become the norm.

To succeed, pharma companies must embrace this change.

A recent McKinsey study states that “more than 90% of consumers are likely to return to brands that recognise, remember and provide relevant offers or content”. Personalisation can be customised with the help of artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and data analytics that generate predictive insights. Customers are looking for a personalised customer-centric approach with messaging that connects to their sense of individualism. Technology helps us reimagine engagement and create a deeply meaningful and memorable virtual and/or hybrid experience.

There are companies that have championed this effort and committed themselves to providing the most connected and impactful customer experiences. There are many companies who have achieved this but a few who have set the bar high, including Amazon and Netflix.

Amazon is an online retailer and more. Its focus is to be the world’s most customer-centric brand, driven by four principles: customer obsession, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence and long-term thinking. It serves their customers through online stores with a focus on selection, price and convenience, as well as entertainment. Amazon has used AI and technology to know what its customers want before they do. It makes shopping and engaging with entertainment of all kinds exceptionally simple.

Netflix is a powerhouse in the streaming media landscape. Netflix’s secret is that the service adapts to individuals’ viewing preferences and tastes. It focuses on six key elements when thinking of its customers, including requirements, price, availability, convenience, quality and branding. It was an innovator in creating a disruptive marketing shift in how people consume media by providing instant gratification.

While pharma may not be able to follow the models of either Amazon or Netflix, it can learn from both successful companies. Each company uses deep insights about its customers to improve their experience and this is something the company does every day in all its product enhancements.

While other verticals are manifesting a connected future and how best to manage content for an individualised customer experiences, pharma and related healthcare companies are still playing catch up. Pharma has a wealth of data on its customers. Personalisation and understanding its customers (HCPs) are key to building sustainable long-term relationships and repeat customers. By focusing on telling their stories through accessible, relevant, purposeful, consumable and connective experiences, pharma will be more aligned with how HCPs digest content.

An opportunity still exists to lead the way in pharma and to connect with HCPs in the ways that they want to engage with your brand, while still meeting the goals and objectives of the company.

Ilana Scholl is EVP, Head of Digital Strategy at Caudex

Ilana Scholl is EVP, Head of Digital Strategy at Caudex

14th June 2022

From: Marketing


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