We live in a time of rapid change and that’s perhaps especially true when it comes to medicine and life sciences. Breakthroughs and new approaches can be revolutionary and life-changing, and are matched, it seems, by fundamental changes to the functions that underpin dissemination of information. After all, the best treatments in the world will do no good unless the right people are made aware of them.
These changes are arguably driven by the new ways in which healthcare professionals (HCPs) seek and prefer to receive information. This puts them in the driving seat – rather than reps taking information to HCPs, HCPs instead look for information at times, and in the ways that suit them best.
More HCPs than ever are digitally savvy, and are comfortable browsing for information and communicating digitally. As a consequence, pharmaceutical roles must also evolve and adapt to this new digital landscape. Busy HCPs might not want a face-to-face appointment, for example, and so new ways of communicating are required. This can be challenging as communication becomes customer-led. One way to get reps back into the driving seat is to better understand the needs of HCPs.
DSAs – digital sales aids – are forms of digital content produced to facilitate, support and enhance dialogue between pharmaceutical sales representatives and HCPs. While most have long been using electronic presentations via tablet PCs, the opportunities offered by digital are starting to be more widely leveraged.
For example, it’s possible to develop content beyond the static, flat PDF-style that was once commonplace in the industry. Functional content – more engaging presentation of information that enables data collection, personalisation and a more compelling and versatile narrative to be told by reps – is very much the future. This enhanced approach to development for platforms such as Veeva’s CLM, brings data to life and creates opportunity to embed more interactive media such as video and fields to input data in real-time, during the meeting.
These sorts of customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow information about different types of interaction – such as website usage, social media engagement, and communication via email or live chat – to be captured, which provides deeper insights into customer behaviour and engagement.
That knowledge can help develop an informed and effective multi-channel approach of marketing to HCPs. The blend of channels used will depend on the nature of the treatment approach and the behaviour of the target market. Prime channels can be leveraged while those that offer little engagement – in this situation at least – can be set aside.
A multi-channel marketing strategy must be both robust and adaptable, and digital lends itself to a nimble response. Different approaches can be tested on a small scale, assessed, and then the most effective rolled out.
In addition to there being benefits in using multi-channel approaches, it should be recognised that different HCPs access and process information in different ways, based on their psychological framework. Here we take a look at the key aspects of four main behaviour types to offer an insight into their motivations, and what that means for DSA design.
1. Competitive, direct and impatient
Scans rather than reads – emphasise headings, categories and benefits
Wants key points, fast – include a search function
Needs to be reminded and prompted – add value propositions to each page
2. Methodical, logical and detail driven
Makes informed choices – include facts and figures
Reads all available information – include links to additional material
Trusts others’ informed opinions – include reviews and expert opinions
Makes decisions based on emotion – appeal to their feelings
Prefers pictures to words – make sure text is broken up with appropriate imagery
Has a short attention span – offer snappy, memorable phrases and shortcuts
Influenced by a sense of inclusion – use a creative approach, including storytelling
Responds well to emotion – use images that illustrate feelings
Trusts the opinions of others – showcase quotes, especially where emotion is expressed
Using a mix of information and styles allows pharmaceutical companies to satisfy the needs of different types of HCP, which increases the chances of them accessing what they have to offer.
We can help
Understanding where and how HCPs look for and consume information can afford significant competitive advantage. Adopting a multi-channel approach underpinned by behavioural profiling can increase reach, frequency of interaction, and customer satisfaction. Multi-channel approaches backed up by a mix of DSAs allow for the wide-ranging and evolving needs of HCPs to be met. Get in touch today to discover how twentyeightb can help.