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How can pharma create resources that will resonate with doctors?

Tone down the 'push marketing', suggests new survey

How can pharma create resources that will resonate with doctors?A recent survey of doctors in the top five European countries found they want pharma to 'provide more education', 'do less of a hard sell' and 'be more human'. However, evidence suggests that many pharma companies focus too heavily on 'push marketing' the value of their products.

By simply delivering promotional messages that tick strategic marketing boxes, pharma often fails to provide doctors with the resources they actually need. Consequently, only three per cent of doctors think online pharma company resources are credible and 42 per cent say they never visit their websites.

So how can pharma overcome these challenges and create resources that will resonate with doctors? Firstly, it is helpful to think about what motivates individuals to use the internet. As consumers we love a sense of community, the opportunity to express ourselves and the ability to share knowledge - exactly the things that digital technology is enabling us to do better and faster.  

We need to translate those basic needs into sales and marketing activities by looking at what customers are doing in their own world and how they interact. We need to meet them in their own environment; find out what they want and define how we can build the content they need. Obviously, there's got to be a 'win-win' for pharma, and the information it provides must meet its commercial objectives. But it must add value to health care professionals and patients, or it will fail. 

A recent survey of doctors across the EU asking them why they use online professional networks found that “finding information about diseases and treatments” was the most frequent answer (79 per cent). This means that pharma has a receptive audience to information about products provided these are communicated in the right way.

As Deni Baschiera, of the eBusiness team of Bristol-Myers Squibb, recently explained at the eyeforpharma conference in Barcelona: “Doctors want knowledge and they want to have their questions answered. However, you need to do it in an environment where there is a level of trust. Pharma websites are not the first place doctors look for information on diseases, or even about the drugs that pharma manufactures.”

He added: “It's not about the quantity of information. It's about the quality of information and presenting it in a way that is easy for doctors to digest and consume. Doctors don't have time for pages and pages of detail. Before you decide on the right tactics, you need to listen. You need to do an online digital landscape analysis in specific markets and match that against specific customers.”

Article by
Dr Tim Ringrose

CEO of M3 Europe
For more information on M3, the global provider of technology services in healthcare, and its new European Division which includes,, and, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email

23rd May 2014

From: Marketing



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