Pharmaceutical representatives have a tough job on their hands. They have to convince doctors that the products they’re selling are worth physicians’ time and patients’ money. This is no easy feat, especially when considering the busy schedules medical professionals keep and their limited time to speak with drug reps.
To be respectful of physicians’ packed calendars, while also ensuring these healthcare providers have the information and access to helpful pharmaceutical medications, representatives have to do more than show up at a doctor’s office to showcase their products.
Here are four of the best channels you can use to communicate effectively and efficiently with busy physicians:
According to HealthLink Dimensions’ 2017 Healthcare Provider Communication Survey, around 66 percent of physicians consider email to be their preferred means of interaction when it comes to information related to product updates or announcements. As a result, it’s critical for drug representatives to use this tactic to communicate with their audience. But simply sending an email isn’t enough. Pharmaceutical companies also need to make sure their efforts are optimized to be read on a variety of devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones and tablets. This ensures doctors will be able to look over the product materials on their smart instruments during any down time or breaks they have during the day.
2. Professional conferences
When physicians do get some quality time off from their practice, they may use it to further improve the services and products their office provides patients. Professional conferences enable doctors to gather a wealth of information while also attending helpful talks related to their craft. These conferences provide face-to-face time with doctors who are interested in learning more about what’s on the market for the benefit of their patients. Just be sure your presentation is short and sweet, keeping the most important data points at the top of the discussion to keep physicians’ interest. In addition to an exhibit hall area, conferences provide ample opportunities to network with healthcare professionals, such as continuing educational sessions and association sponsored social events. Sometimes some of the smaller, regional meetings provide a better chance to network with healthcare professionals in your area. To help you find some meetings you may have not attended before, here’s a source to search over 2500 medical meetings by destination and specialty.
3. Direct mail
Direct mail will never go out of practice and for good reason: It still works. Sending out brochures, catalogs, postcards and other promotional materials is a good way to market medications, especially if free samples are included for physicians to test out with their patients. According to the HealthLink survey, 8 percent of physicians prefer this advertising tactic. To ensure your direct mail campaign is successful, Target Marketing recommended:
- Focusing on the benefits of the pharmaceutical drugs.
- Integrating direct mail with other marketing methods.
- Repurposing content frequently.
- Regularly updating recipient lists.
- Creating personal outreach.
- Following up after the fact.
By following these tips, pharmaceutical companies and their representatives can yield strong results.
“Marketers should form quality relationships with their audience via social media.”
4. Social media
Today, around 37 percent of physicians use social media platforms to communicate with patients, other doctors and healthcare professionals, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies, according to HealthLink. On top of that, almost 57 percent of doctors see the value of this practice and plan to utilize it in the future.
Social media is an easy and inexpensive way to get the word out about new pharmaceutical medications and more. The platforms are free to sign up for, but do offer buy-in features for companies to enhance their marketing pull and audience. In order to make this tactic a success, it’s important for pharma representatives to build quality relationships with those individuals they interact with, according to Social Media Examiner. Those who see the benefit in their interactions with pharma companies on these platforms are more willing to share information and bring referrals to the site.
While representative visits to doctor’s offices can be productive, more and more physicians are instituting “No See” days where they don’t allow pharma companies into their facility. To ensure medical professionals still have access to important drug information and updates, these organizations need to utilize other forms of marketing, including email, conference exhibits, direct mail and social media.
Since the majority of these alternative methods require physician materials to be successful, it’s important for pharma businesses to ensure the data they have on hand is accurate and up to date. Without clean information, marketers can waste valuable time and money on their efforts.