Omnichannel programs are at the forefront of today’s HCP engagement strategies – and for good reason. In a March 2023 survey, OptimizeRx found that physicians were actively engaging with life science brand content across 10+ digital and in-person channels. That means brands need to meet physicians where they are – it’s not enough to rely on just one or two mainstay channels to deliver critical information.
However, with so many options in play, content must be specific and contextual to where (and when) it is being delivered – otherwise, brands risk flooding physician with the generic marketing that turns them off. Solving this challenge requires a two-part solution: 1) understanding physician channel preferences and 2) integrated channel execution.
Understanding the Balance of Physician Channel Preferences
While digital strategies continue to be a focus due to the lingering effects of the pandemic and increasing cost efficiency, in-person tactics still provide value to physicians. In the survey cited about, the following percentages of respondents ranked these live channels among their top three preferred choices:
- Sales Rep Visits – 71%
- Medical Conferences – 63%
- MSL Visit – 58%
- Brand-Sponsored Speaker Events – 57%
When it comes to digital channels, here are the top preferred sources:
- Email – 74%
- Journal Articles – 73%
- EHR Systems – 68%
- Social Media – 53%
- Endemic / Third-Party Websites – 52%
What’s interesting about this finding is that the physicians surveyed show no clear preference for digital vs. “live.” Instead, they seem to prefer a more balanced mix – which means that brands need to find a way to replicate this balance when designing their engagement strategies.
Executing an Integrated (Omni)Channel Strategy
Omnichannel HCP engagement therefore revolves around providing a seamless and cohesive experience across all touchpoints where an HCP interacts with a pharma brand – whether digital or in-person. When these channels are not integrated and aligned, it can lead to fragmented communication, inconsistent messaging, and an overall disjointed or frustrating experience for the HCP.
But how can life science brands both integrate and balance their channel execution strategy? Here are three critical elements of success:
- Dynamic audience prioritization based on patient journey mapping: It’s not enough to know which physicians have the potential to be treating brand-eligible patients – you need to determine exactly which physicians are actively treating qualified patients in a given time frame.
- Real-time analysis of physician channel preferences: Capture physician-level engagement data from across all your active channels, then map those preferences to each physician in your dynamic audience list. As your program runs, continue to feed additional engagement data to refine and strengthen your approach.
- Aligning your channels – and messages – to care journey stages: Physicians engage with different channels based on where they are in patient care – from the EHR screen during patient visits, to journal articles while they are conducting research, to field rep calls when they need help with medication access. Make sure you’ve placed content on each channel that aligns with the activity HCPs are most likely engaged in at that moment.
Given the volumes of data in place and need for real-time implementation, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are also key to integrated omnichannel execution, and both the AI/ML capabilities and data resources of your selected platform and partner should be thoroughly vetted.
The Benefits to Physicians, Patients – and Brands
An integrated, well-balance omnichannel program ensures that HCPs receive the most relevant, valuable brand content for a given moment in time, whether they encounter it on social media, in their EHR, through a sales representative, in a journal article, etc. That means that their patients are more likely to benefit from the right therapy sooner and be able to maintain their treatment. Finally, brands are able to create a cohesive and impactful experience that increases share-of-voice, builds brand trust, and strengthens physician relationships.
Interested in exploring what an integrated omnichannel program would look like for your brand? Connect with our team today