September 13, 2023

Promotional Medical Education: It’s Not What It Used to Be

Image of doctor pointing to iPad

As the world evolves at an increasing pace – technology, medical science, and more – life-sciences brands need to evolve their concept of promotional peer-to-peer medical education and what it’s capable of.

Promotional med-ed is essential for brands to establish trust, educate stakeholders, differentiate themselves, showcase expertise and build relationships. It plays a crucial role in shaping brand reputation, market position, and long-term success in the highly specialized and regulated healthcare landscape. It’s a mainstay of all robust life-sciences brands…

Or, at least, it should be.

Unfortunately, too many marketers have an outdated impression of what promotional med-ed is and why it matters. So let’s talk about it.

First: what’s different today? Well, you don’t consume media the same way you did five years ago, do you? So why would your healthcare professional (HCP)? Too often, promotional med-ed tactics are years out of date (but the best include modern approaches that reach HCPs where they are).

This rapid media evolution is just part of why complexity is on the rise: treatment algorithms are becoming more complicated, and the pace of discovery increases. This means HCPs need more help from their peers via modern avenues.

So what does modern promotional med-ed look like today? It still includes many traditional elements, like speaker programs, symposia, and congress engagements. However, it also comprises more advanced educational elements, including self-directed interactive online learning, HCP social media engagement or third-party educational experiences. Moreover, traditional components can leverage innovation to be delivered in a more engaging way.

Here are just a few examples of how we are partnering with our clients to deliver more impactful educational experiences:

  • 3D med-ed studios that leverage virtual-world technology, allowing participants and content to be streamed live from anywhere in the world as if they are in the same room
  • Immersive media speaker programs delivered in a case-based roundtable format with embedded interactivity
  • Virtual KOL videos leveraging AI synthetic content for lunch and learn sessions
  • Engaging “news format” platform for advisory boards, training sessions, and launch broadcasts

Smart brands understand that this is an efficient, often-unheralded way to give a new brand a solid foundation, get a leg up in a crowded field, or power an aging brand. The field has evolved significantly over time, driven by advancements in technology, changes in healthcare practices, and the need for effective communication in the rapidly evolving medical landscape. Pharma marketers can’t ignore the importance of promotional med-ed today.

For more on the hidden opportunities of PME, see our recent POV, Re-Imagining Promotional Medical Education, as well as another recent article, Modern MedComms: Translating Science Into Engagement (for Today’s HCP).