The opportunities to communicate with physicians and other key decision-makers in person has dwindled over the last decade, according to ZS’s AffinityMonitor™ and AccessMonitor™ reports, which study doctors’ true behaviors and their affinities for different promotional channels. Drilling down into particular specialties, we see a similar picture—and even more drastic declines. In oncology, for example, 24% of oncologists are “accessible” today, compared with the more than 90% of oncologists who met with most pharma reps in 2009. As a result, pharma companies have largely increased their reliance on digital promotion, but are pharma companies paying attention to doctors’ cues?
By zeroing in on how—and how often—physicians engage with sales and marketing tactics, pharma companies can get a clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t. Here are two considerations for pharmaceutical companies striving for the digital marketing ideal:
- Prepare well-crafted, relevant content. Physicians have countless decisions to make in a day, and deciding whether your email is valuable shouldn’t be one of them. Physicians are most likely to engage with content that’s immediately applicable to their daily clinical practice, such as information related to clinical trial results, drug approvals, regulatory updates and new indications, but a personalized approach is best, especially since physicians behave differently across specialties: Our study shows that oncologists open 8.1% of the promotional emails that pharma organizations send, whereas primary care physicians open 5.1%.
- Pay close attention to the frequency of email campaigns. While the right content is key, the frequency and timing of email messages also should be carefully considered. By paying attention to physician engagement rates—as individuals and across specialties—pharma companies can develop a cadence that matches each physician’s preferences and behaviors to ensure that the right messages are being delivered at the right time.
By paying attention to this type of feedback, pharmaceutical companies can sharpen their digital promotion execution, engage with doctors the way they want to engage, and learn how to use physicians’ behaviors and preferences to elevate the customer experience.
For the full findings from ZS’s 2017 AffinityMonitor™ and AccessMonitor™ studies, along with expert analysis, check out “Doctors to Pharma: ‘Let’s Get Personalized.’ ”
WHITE PAPER: Doctors to Pharma: 'Let's Get Personalized'