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CCO Ryan Mason shares five trends in engaging healthcare professionals

DHC Fall Summit 2015 – September 2015

What is it that healthcare professionals (HCPs) want? And how can pharma marketers better engage HCPs on their terms? These are the questions that led the Digital Health Coalition (DHC) to turn to Ryan Mason, closerlook, inc., Chief Creative Officer.

Mason was one of a select group of speakers in Philadelphia at the DHC Fall Summit 2015 for thought leaders and innovators. Peers across the healthcare space, from pharma and technology to marketing and consulting, gathered as Mason revealed 5 ways to get smarter about helping pharma engage HCPs.

HCPs want new and relevant content 

Interviews with HCPs, combined with a variety of data sources, show the power of novel, relevant content. And interest in the new goes beyond product information to a wide range of pharma topics. 

Though “new” is a regulated word in this industry, we see there is opportunity across all pharma topics to dial up the sense of novelty legitimately and soundly from a regulatory perspective. 

So if you make a big deal with novelty when it does exist, convey a sense of new when you can and play up a broader range of valuable information—you can make a big impact on engagement metrics like open rates. 

Fatigue is a symptom. Quality and relevance are both the cause and the cure. 

It’s tempting to blame “fatigue” when open rates and other metrics erode over time. But we’ve found this fatigue is an effect rather than a cause. It’s a symptom of a message losing relevance. Listening to HCP preferences for both the style and substance of pharma communication offers ways to avoid fatigue before it sets in. Improve relevance by adopting the scientific style and peer perspective of professional journals. Feel comfortable communicating with HCPs weekly. But keep a close eye on opt-out rates to know when it’s time to switch things up.  

Time of day impacts when and how HCPs interact digitally

We’ve all long known that HCP online behaviors change throughout the day. But our experience shows that this goes beyond simply when HCPs are online. It means the topics they engage with, and what sort of media they prefer changes with the hour as well. As a result, there is a great opportunity to improve engagement by breaking up pharma marketing messages and tactics across the day. Even the simple step of breaking down audiences by time zone can yield a measurable improvement.

Understanding customer engagement across channels is more meaningful than cataloging customer engagement by channel

The way marketers count customer engagement is backwards. Traditional reporting is done channel by channel. But customers engage across multiple channels. So to have understandable data, marketers must look at the whole pie. 

One way we can address this is to define, track and report quality interactions and then create tallies across channels. This forces a discussion of how channels interact with one another. And it reveals opportunities to eliminate dead ends, so when HCPs do engage anywhere there is better follow-up. 


The most challenging thing about generating customer insight is knowing what to do with it

Creating usable insight from an overflow of data is always a challenge. One key to unlocking insight is to reverse your approach. Look at the decisions you must make as marketers, including what topics to communicate, when to reach out and what action to call for. Then sort the data to inform these choices.   

Ultimately, with all the information coming at you in the fog of marketing, it can be easy to lose sight of one truth. HCPs don’t really change because of the channel they are in. But maybe their behaviors do. So if you pay attention, this can shape the way you create and deploy your content. 

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The drugs, Optistavin, Easovartis and Librylin, and names, results, case studies and specific information, referenced in this advertisement are fictional and were created solely for illustrating the digital marketing capabilities of closerlook, inc. Any resemblance to actual drugs, medications, treatments, persons, living or dead, or to actual events, is purely coincidental. closerlook, inc. does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage or disruption caused by such party’s reliance on the fictitious information contained in this illustration.

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