Many Pharma companies are advised to prepare themselves for a scenario in which medical reps cannot visit their suppliers and patients cannot leave their houses to visit specialist doctor at his/her clinic. It has been recommended by life science organizations to use tele-medicine and patient portals as primary channels for engaging HCPs and patients. This means that marketing strategy shall be reinvented and re-designed leveraging technology that facilitates person to person interaction virtually. Although this kind of strategy will not be workable and practical for surgeons and oncologists but still Psychiatrists, physicians and dermatologists have started delivering medical care to patients through video calls, emails and text messages. The outbreak is affecting various HCPs differently, and it’s important to understand the different pressures and barriers that exist for each kind of specialty. Some, like immunologists, for example, are directly affected since they treat COVID-19.
Supply chains of health care professionals have been disrupted. Previously, sales rep visited personally while promoting new medicines of the company but now the focus has shifted towards digital marketing while promoting the product. This strategy may include webinars, virtual calls, video meetings and virtual consultations. It’s more appropriate to provide HCPs with the tools to facilitate them with using self service channels. Sales Rep should actively consider about launching call plans to websites like Veeva Engage to impart information about the product. Initiating a multiyear-omni channel strategy does not seem feasible as most life science organizations are looking for easy to implement and quick fix strategies during this pandemic. Transitional to a customer centric omni-channel is not an easy road and it is only achievable through genuine expertise and support. Many marketers have realized this fact that not all multi-channel programs are reaping the desired results so that they can used as substitute of one to one meetings in person. HCPs should consider about investing in other engagement platforms and tools that best fit their organization’s need and should over rely on traditional fax and email centered multi-channel.
For pharmaceutical companies, it is imperative to engage health care providers during all stages of product development. In fact, pharma marketing strategies are formulated in a way to maximize HCP engagement. Moreover, HCPs desire better access to different types of high quality content including diagnostic tools, continuing education, and medical images. So, pharma companies should pay particular attention to the type of content desired by the HCPs to maximize the usage of particular multimedia channel and should focus on eradicating, irrelevant and duplicated information. These days digital channels have incorporated features, ensuring the availability of reliable and accurate diagnostic applications to support HCPs in decision-making for their practice. For busy HCPs, instant access to diagnostic tools can improve their ability to not only provide care but also interact with pharma companies who implement these tools into their platforms. Pharma companies should consider and evaluate user experience of their digital platform, examine current features that support their content such as search tools, download capabilities, visual illustrations or animations, synopses of key content, ability to filter content by disease or specialty, and the possibility to save and organize content. Since, HCPs demand customization so it is not practical for pharma companies to overlook the features of their digital channels. Moreover, all information available through websites should be optimized for mobile devices in the form of apps to engage HCPs fully.
Reps have spent all their lives building skills in personal interaction so that the product can marketed in the best possible way to health care professionals. Now these companies have to turn their field force into vale added remote resource to gain maximum advantage. Now, these reps have to upgrade their skills and use them online while approaching their customers and building connections with them. Most pharma companies have partially or completely pulled their reps out of the field.
With regard to ongoing care of patients showing signs of acute and chronic illnesses, it is essential to provide them with medications on timely basis. Patients will be needing health care services and pharma marketers need to ensure that their services are available and using all safety and precaution measures to mitigate risks associated due to covid-19. To make this happen, it is necessary to develop messaging, partner with telemedicine services, and leverage pharmacy delivery networks to ensure your patients get the care they need. .
Hence, it is clear from the above, that for maximizing HCPs engagement, Pharma marketers have to articulate the educational content in the formats and through the channels highly desired by the health care provider. Traditional methods of communication shall be put aside for the time being and heavy investments shall be made to enhance digital presence to develop strong and reliable relationships with the stakeholders.
Make sure to register for our upcoming HCP partnership summit, taking place on November 18-20, 2020!