February 25, 2021

HCPs Need More From Digital Pharma: Research Shows Dissatisfaction, Offers Insights

person typing on laptop

New findings are demonstrating that the old ways just aren’t cutting it when it comes to engaging healthcare professionals (HCPs) online.

HCPs expressed increased dissatisfaction in their digital interactions with pharma, according to a recent survey discussed in FiercePharma that indicates the toll the pandemic has taken on digital engagement with HCPs. They expressed displeasure across channels, from social media to email to phone calls to webinars to websites. And even a less-restricted future didn’t offer hope: only about half said they would return to in-person medical conferences or rep visits after it’s safe to do so.

Similarly, a recent MM+M ebook, Engaging the HCP, outlined “the changing face and preferences of the American physician,” pointing to changing demographics, ever-lessening time, and a growing impatience with traditional pharma marketing. They quoted Dr. Brian Powers, internist and Humana’s deputy chief medical officer: “There’s certainly a playbook of very effective pharmaceutical and device marketing from decades ago, but the ecosystem has changed. The standard marketing playbook of ‘understanding the needs of your customers’ – I don’t know if that still exists. A lot of physicians are developing antibodies around certain strategies and buzzwords.”

These validate Intouch’s extensive, ongoing research and reporting on the changing world and the ways that pharma marketers can keep up.

“The modern evolution of healthcare marketing is the elimination of the silo between non-personal promotion and in-person relationships in a new world of personal digital engagement that seamlessly melds the two,” says Intouch EVP David Windhausen. “Success looks like showing up for the HCP at exactly the right time, in a way that puts them in control of their own brand experience, so as to not be disruptive to the care of their patients.”

HCPs need pharma brands that can help them continue doing their best for their patients. We might be biased, but we recommend our trifecta of recent whitepapers, full of insights and recommendations:

  • Our newest whitepaper, The Now & The Next in Pharma Marketing, explores practical solutions for the challenges that pharmaceutical organizations continue to face in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Less a follow-up to our original COVID-19 whitepaper, and more a detailed, deeper dive, this report leverages new research insights, practical solutions and proven tactics to implement now and help you evolve your commercial strategy.
  • Future State: The New Media Landscape discusses how media — especially television — is morphing faster than any other time in history. This report discusses disruptive trends like over-the-top media services, addressable TV, the dissolution of third-party tracking cookies, and the growing debate around privacy and personalization. We explore the impact of these trends on pharmaceutical marketing, and recommend actions that pharma can take to better prepare themselves for this brave new world.
  • COVID-19 changed nearly every aspect of healthcare. The Aftermath: COVID-19 Insights & Recommendations collected groundbreaking research, in concert with the Digital Health Coalition, into how pharmaceutical commercial organizations have been adapting. From changes in professional and consumer communications, to the evolution of point of care, to the future of the field force, brand launches, and beyond, this whitepaper is a comprehensive report on the broad trends that we’re seeing play out today.

The pharma industry’s accomplishments in the last year are legion. We were forced to pivot quickly, and have been able to do far more than was predicted or expected. It’s no secret that it wasn’t perfect. Plenty of the digital pivots across the industry have been a bit clunky. But with the right insights and the right partners, you, too, can perfect your pivot.