Marketing and sales departments at life sciences organizations are currently facing a time of great change. With less in-person access to physicians and an increasing emphasis on value-based care, firms specializing pharmaceutical and medical devices have to rethink their strategies and find the best ways to make connections. To get in touch with key stakeholders at hospitals and physicians’ groups and consistently guide them down a purchase path, you should optimizing these aspects of your organization’s communications strategy:
Making emails more effective
“Email has become firmly solidified as the best way of contacting doctors.”
Email has become firmly solidified as the best way of informing doctors about new products and industry news. The Healthlink Dimensions Healthcare Professional Communication Report for 2018 found that 73 percent of medical professionals now prefer being contacted through this channel over alternatives such as direct mail, office visits by a sales representative or exhibits at conferences. That makes it more vital than ever for marketers to consider how to make physician email marketing campaigns appealing and engaging.
First and foremost, organizations need access to databases stocked with current, relevant information about the healthcare providers they are contacting. Doctors often change their professional emails when they move from working at one facility to another, and businesses may be left with outdated information. In the Healthlink Dimensions survey, over 33 percent of respondents said they’d found discrepancies in the information listed for their practices in online payer directories, but more than 40 percent of them simply had not checked.
Businesses can develop segmentation based on information such as doctors’ institutional affiliations, location and specialties, directing promotions and information to the individuals most likely to take an interest. By optimizing these messages for viewing on mobile devices, marketers make it as simple as possible for healthcare providers to take in key points in their limited free time during a busy work day. Attractive calls to action will direct recipients toward learning more, driving conversions.
Focusing on educational opportunities
Persuading medical professionals that a product is worth their attention is all about providing extensive information. Clearly presenting clinical data that demonstrates specifically how a new drug or device will help the people they serve is the most convincing marketing strategy. Since multiple stakeholders are often involved in these purchase decisions for medical facilities, it’s important to make an array of informative materials available, answering questions at every stage in the customer journey.
By the same token, doctors tend to be most appreciative of receiving messages that present opportunities for either themselves or their patients to learn more about methods for treatment and prevention. Firms that are striving to form better relationships with medical professionals can gain an advantage by emphasizing continuing medical education programs and industry-sponsored events. Providing print materials and websites geared toward patient support is also beneficial, particularly when offering disease state information or details about prescription drugs and medical devices.
Incorporating programmatic advertising
Today’s online marketing is largely driven by big data and analytics, with companies in a wide variety of industries gaining deep insights into consumers and strategically targeting their messaging. For life sciences companies, there are unique challenges that have slowed the movement toward embracing these techniques. That’s because pharmaceutical and medical device firms must work within strict regulations that govern the messages they present to patients and the use of private information for commercial purposes.
However, programmatic advertising to medical professionals represents a chance to harness data for a powerful marketing strategy. Marketers can specifically direct display ads toward these audiences by establishing automated processes to control the purchases of display ads. This technology takes into account individuals’ online behavior in order to bring messages to people who are most likely to be interested at the most opportune moment.
With continuing developments in treatment options, reimbursement from insurers and regulations, the world of life sciences moves fast. Firms maximize their chances of establishing long-term relationships with healthcare providers and growing over time by remaining agile. Shifting a communications and sales strategy to use the channels that doctors prefer and provide the information that’s most relevant to their practice and patients can make all the difference in effectively presenting the case for a product.