One of the main focuses of pharma companies throughout their activity is the improvement of communications. Both with patients and stakeholders. Healthcare professionals are among the priority target audiences and HCP engagement is a must in this “new normal”.
During the last two years, it was evident that one-way communication between reps and HCP no longer works as it used to. So, how can omnichannel marketing help in obtaining a new model for HCP engagement?
How can we define “HCP engagement”?
First things first, we need to understand what HCP engagement is about in the new normal. These days it’s defined as either a two-way interaction or referring to the conditions or events that lead to an interaction.
What exactly leads to a successful engagement with HCP? It’s heavily related to their experience with the brand at stake. This is why the concept of “customer journey” is very valued among many marketers.
Nowadays HCP tend to value content that can either help them in their work or help their patients. In that sense, this poses a great challenge for pharma marketing.
This means sales teams need to adapt to the new reality. Personalized interactions come into great relevance in this matter.
It’s important to underline that former models of customer engagement no longer work in present-day’s online reality. In essence, the new panorama requires a wide mix of channels to create a unique experience for each target audience. This is where omnichannel marketing will come into play.
Omnichannel marketing and its influence on pharma
The concept of omnichannel is wider than that of multichannel. It’s a new model of online communication. One that encapsulates an integration and interconnection of all the channels of an organization.
By linking different channel-specific platforms and tools together, marketing automation enables a wonderful omnichannel experience. Thanks to technological advances, both online and offline channels are handled as a whole.
Many online communication channels can come into an omnichannel marketing journey such as:
- Mass emailing
- Chatbots / Messengers
- Landing pages
- Social media
- Paid advertising
- SMS Marketing
- Mobile apps
This new model of communication meets the growing needs that HCP have for personalized experiences. In fact, many of them value the time they have, which is why their partners can help them with valuable content. They don’t want to feel overwhelmed with the same messages on different channels. Now they want a meaningful and diverse experience in that sense.
Make no mistake in this sense: HCP are more educated on certain drugs and treatments. In a way, the role of a pharma rep (or a medical rep, for that matter) has a different light on them.
Nowadays, they are like advisors or supporters to healthcare professionals. In some cases, they’re seen as the face that builds trust with pharmaceutical companies.
For marketers and sales teams there are lots of catches of using an omnichannel strategy for engagement with audiences. Now they can tailor the experiences delivered to different audiences. Especially specific ones such as HCP.
How can this impact HCP engagement?
If marketers know exactly what a certain physician’s profile is like, they can provide them with a meaningful interactive experience. In essence, omnichannel communication is about delivering the right message at the right time. It needs to be delivered within a coherent context and through the right channel.
By knowing in which stage of the customer journey an HCP stands, then the marketer can provide them with the correct interaction. Understanding a physician’s needs, interests, and individual features, can have a positive impact on this 360-degree relationship.
Engaging HCP in meaningful dialogue is possible through the use of omnichannel. Here are three main points to consider when planning your interactions with physicians:
#1: Plan the touchpoints across channels
Personalized communication can provide a wonderful experience in online communication. Even so, you need to plan the touchpoints that will influence the interactions you have with HCP.
Overall, many of them won’t be in the mood to listen to a pharma rep trying to sell them the advantages of a certain drug or treatment. They want specific information that can be of use to them. Omnichannel can give you a hand with this.
You need to plan several touchpoints across channels. That way, you will be providing each HCP you interact with a chance to choose under their real needs. Not only will you be able to get your message across several channels, but you will also personalize the message to each HCP.
To make omnichannel touchpoints work, you need to take the whole picture into account. We’re referring to elements such as technology, mindset, workflows, and psychological aspects.
#2: Consider the perspective of the customer in each journey
When visualizing and then creating a customer journey, a marketing team needs to have two elements in mind. One is the campaign’s goals, and the other is the point of view of the customer.
Through an omnichannel method, a touchpoint may change the tone or cross to another channel. In another hypothesis, if the HCP doesn’t open an email, a new chain of “events” will unleash. If the HCP does open an e-mail but doesn’t click or respond to it, then there’s yet another chain of events launched.
In fact, the main focus of the touchpoints is pondering on the hypothesis and observing the type of interaction that an HCP has with a new message. That way, not only will you be able to analyze the behavior of the user, but also create new touchpoints according to your progress.
#3: Don’t forget F2F interactions in this spectrum
Lastly, even though it’s predicted that many HCP will prefer online or hybrid interactions with pharma reps, this doesn’t mean that F2F channels are dead. By F2F, we’re referring to traditional marketing channels, including in-person visits.
The good news is that digital channels can help in reinforcing these communications. You can follow up with an email or a message inviting the HCP to either meet with you in person or engage with your content. For this last option, you can use a blog post, a landing page, an ebook, a report, and more.
There are some cases in which it’s worth it to complement F2F visits with omnichannel. For example, in cases in which there may not be opportunities for further visits, or in cases in which you have a contact from a remote region, it makes sense to proceed with this strategy.
Now you can try this solution for your pharma company. Using PubVisual, you can provide a personalized 90-second video to explain your medical data to anyone.
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