Physicians today are overwhelmed by increasing demands on their time. An aging population and patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act are driving up the need for medical services, while new electronic health record (EHR) policies force physicians to spend more time monitoring metrics related to healthcare quality and value.
More than ever, physicians are looking to pharma companies for help that goes “beyond the pill.” The good news is that most pharma companies already offer the kind of content and value-added services physicians are looking for. They just need to do a better job promoting it.
Physicians Want Non-Branded Content
Recent research from Decision Resources Group (DRG) reports on physicians’ content preferences:
- At least 70% of physicians want to access patient resources, including disease information, patient education materials, and patient support programs on pharma websites.
- About 50% of physicians use patient financial support services, like coupons and copay cards, and are more likely to prescribe products that come with these materials.
- While most physicians visit brand websites to find dosing or clinical trial data, non-branded materials (e.g., medical journal reprints, articles authored by key opinion leaders, webinars, and slideshows) encourage them to stick around and engage more deeply.
This kind of content isn’t difficult to produce. In fact, our experience shows that many pharma companies already have these materials on hand. More often than not, though, they’re underutilized. Pharma marketers aren’t incorporating them in their email campaigns; sales reps aren’t highlighting them in their physician meetings.
Highlight Relevant Content through Email
To make physicians aware of the resources available to them, you can promote key content through email, ideally, as part of a carefully planned campaign that guides physicians through the sales funnel. For instance, a campaign promoting a new product might begin by providing scientific background on the treatment area in the form of a peer-reviewed article. Subsequent deployments might include an opinion leader’s recommendations regarding treatment, branded product information, patient support materials, and related third-party information.
This strategy could be implemented on a large scale as a series of highly targeted deployments to relevant doctors. Or, it could be used as part of a rep-triggered email program in which sales reps reach out personally to individual physicians.
Make the Most of Your Website
DRG also discovered that nearly 50% of physicians would visit pharma websites more frequently if they could count on finding non-product information there. Interestingly, physicians rely heavily on in-person meetings with pharma reps to learn what website resources are available. In other words, pharma marketers need to make sales reps aware of the variety of content available on their websites. Then reps need to make a point of sharing that content with physicians.
Another option is to track physician level data on your website so you know what individual physicians are interested in at any given time. You can use this data to refine email campaigns like those described above. Or, you can program a simple application to monitor the data and alert sales reps when the physicians they call on view particular materials on your site. Either way, you’ll have a better understanding of the types of information physicians are interested in and be ready to point them to the many resources you already have available.