It’s the holy grail of pharmaceutical marketing – getting the right message, to the right physician, at the right time. When it comes to the online world, you may be surprised to find that physicians aren’t always where you might expect them to be. Adapting your digital marketing strategy to be increasingly data-driven is crucial to reaching your target audience online, says eHealthcare Solutions (EHS). EHS along with their partner TrendMD helps healthcare and pharmaceutical brands engage with their target physicians online. They believe that by utilising smarter solutions, brands can better navigate the complexity of physician online behaviour with challenges such as the increasing use of mobile and the very real issue of information fatigue.
At eyeforpharma Philadelphia, Amy Turnquist, Executive Vice President of Sales at eHealthcare Solutions will be joined on stage by Paul Kudlow, CEO, Founder at TrendMD, to present ‘Digital Engagement: How Physicians Really Behave Online,’ harnessing insights both organisations have gathered from digital behaviour monitoring across over 10,000 medical and non-endemic websites, as well as the digital native advertising network where TrendMD aggregates traffic across 4,600 sites.
Ahead of eyeforpharma Philadelphia, Amy Turnquist, Executive Vice President of Sales at eHealthcare Solutions, spoke to eyeforpharma Chairman Paul Simms about some of the findings EHS and TrendMD found from their deep dive into physician digital engagement.
“At eHealthcare Solutions, we specialize in creating a surround-sound, targeted approach for finding physicians where they are and exploring new ways to engage with them, whether it is through display advertising with very sophisticated data overlays, native advertising or other custom media marketing campaigns that can be delivered across our digital platform,” says Turnquist. “The conversation of our presentation is about digital engagement and what the data shows about how physicians really behave online.
“Some of the assumptions we've had in the past about what physicians do online, both where they go and what they do when they get there, we are finding to be flawed based on the data we’ve collected.”
Digital disruption has long since shattered the old paradigm in which physicians relied on clinical journals alone to source information. Healthcare Providers (HCPs) have moved online to access the latest clinical information amongst an abundance of resources, both endemic, medical science research, such as online portals of the traditional journals, and non-endemic, covering the wide range of other digital content physicians may interact with.
Speciality medical content is often presumed to be the chief online engagement point, but the data shows otherwise, says Turnquist. “When looking for specialists, we can actually find 10 times more physician engagement opportunities on medical news sites than we can on some of the peer-reviewed content. It’s one of the big surprises when we’re looking at overall behaviour.”
In addition, further shifts in online behaviour have affected engagement. “What we’re seeing is that 52 percent of physician engagement, or impressions, that we can find across our networks are coming from mobile devices,” she says. “This has a significant impact, as it can be more difficult to engage with content if it’s not mobile optimised. We see that physicians spend 54 percent less time on site if they're reading clinical content from their mobile device.
“What we're advocating for is empowering digital marketers in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry to know where their dollars are going and what return they’re getting on those exposures. It is vital in this day and age to have a data-driven strategy that aligns with the physicians you're trying to reach and go to them. No more are the days of assuming where you think they are and waiting for them to show up.”
“As a data-driven marketer, you’re looking for information to determine how to make more efficient choices and drive deeper engagement,” she says. “Realistically, you need to know how your target list physicians are engaging with content. It’s important to really understand the behaviour patterns of the HCPs you are looking to reach and to hold your partners accountable for data insights such as back end reporting on who is being engaged on a physician-by-physician level.
“Once you know that information, you can then create more sophisticated and targeted strategies based on your understanding of the engagement journey and what you want physicians to do after the click.” For example, you may find a campaign driving an HCP to a brand’s homepage may not be the right strategy, and that getting them directly to the dosing and administration information is best.
“The more mature a drug is, the more likely it is that physicians are looking for more detailed information – potentially new clinical studies or new indications for use,” says Turnquist. “As a drug advances in its lifecycle, marketers need to adapt their messages and strategies beyond basic awareness. While marketers have dramatically improved the sophistication of using data for targeting, their content or engagement strategy hasn’t kept pace. We still see clients driving traffic to brand.com even for mature drugs. High bounce rates reflect the lack of content strategy.”
The importance of honing your messaging is only going to rise, says Turnquist, amidst an ever-more complex physician information continuum. “A big issue that gets a lot of press, but not so much about how it impacts marketing, is physician burnout. It’s a real challenge for us as digital marketers to try and understand where they are online when they’re not at work, and how we can help them.”
The digital landscape continues to become more crowded, with content growing exponentially. The amount of clinical information that physicians have access to is expected to double by the end of 2019 and then it’s expected to double every 73 days, according to Elsevier. Amidst this “total overwhelm of content choices,” says Turnquist, opportunities await for the marketers who traverse the complex landscape to find their audiences and get their route maps in order.
Amy Turnquist, Executive Vice President of Sales at eHealthcare Solutions and Paul Kudlow, CEO, Founder at TrendMD will be presenting, ‘Digital Engagement: How Physicians Really Behave Online,’ on Wednesday, April 17 from 3:05-3:25pm in the Blue Room at eyeforpharma Philadelphia, April 16-17, 2019, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Earlier that day, Turnquist will also be moderating an Interactive Roundtable on, ‘Creating your own competitive edge,’ from 12-1:05pm in the Red Room.