In 2021, 70% of HCP in the US were digital natives. This digitization has shifted physicians’ expectations toward business interactions. Thus, making it evident to pharma marketers that there is a need for change in HCP engagement initiatives. It is here, where the “blended” approach proves to be both valuable and beneficial.
HCP engagement: 3 benefits of a blended approach
What is a blended HCP approach?
Before 2020, most meetings with pharma reps were in person (64%). With the pandemic, this trend shifted. In 2021, 65% of HCP meetings with sales reps were virtual. This transition originated with the blended approach.
A blended approach is a combination of traditional and digital practices. Interactions focus on continuous engagement within a digital multichannel program in action, where face-to-face still plays a complementary role.
So, by implementing an inclusive communication strategy, sales reps can better target HCP. Therefore, being able to provide them with the necessary information and educational value they need.
These are the 3 main benefits of a blended approach:
1 – Personalization
In a blended approach, sales reps have the benefit of following up on information provided in face-to-face interactions. This can be done, for instance, through scheduled virtual meetings where personalization is key to providing value.
In a blended approach, sales can follow up on information provided in person. Virtual meetings are a good tool. Here, reps can personalize service.
With less time restraint, virtual meetings increase HCP engagement. In-person interactions last about 6 minutes on average. Yet, a Veeva study shows that when virtual, these can be as long as 14 minutes.
By spending more time with medical professionals, sales reps can better study the physician’s needs. Maximizing, in that way, engagement and education on the value of your products. For instance, some pharma companies have started to do it through video. In only three minutes, they share insight into a product and its MOA (mechanism of action) while targeting HCPs’ specific needs and questions.
2 – Cost-effective
Supported by a multichannel digital program, the blended approach is cost-effective. Medical professionals are not only approached in person. As a result, sales representatives can continue to communicate. These can, for instance, broaden your reach through email, your website, or even online networking platforms like LinkedIn.
Sending material as a follow-up potentiates the physician’s receptivity to your content. If you display a strong, personalized presence, your company can experience growth. Sales, in particular, can increase by as much as 15%, thus decreasing the cost of interaction.
3 – Seamless customer experience
By providing personalized service and continuing engagement, you can meet customers’ needs. In that way, you offer a seamless customer experience that can be meaningful and valuable.
Medical professionals see more patients each day. And, each day they encounter new information and advancements in the field. So, it is important to consider, the digital platforms you desire to use. Companies should strive to choose platforms that support the sales reps’ needs. While they do not force the HCP to install new, arduous software.
Through a blended approach, you further have the opportunity to collect valuable data. Such will allow you to know what are the specific interests of your customers. And, in that way, personalize your meetings so you can provide a seamless experience.
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The blended approach mitigates the gap between the offer and the customer’s needs while creating the possibility to increase sales. At the same time, you can establish a meaningful and engaging relationship with HCPs. It is, then, crucial to find the right balance and not overload physicians with digital content. You must choose the right channels to promote your product and meet your customers’ needs.