Pharma Must Use an Omnichannel Approach Across Multiple Platforms to Fully Engage HCPs
In the wake of the pandemic, the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and specialty care providers evolved beyond the in-person relationship before COVID. Healthcare providers (HCPs) expect more than the traditional clinical information exchange and prefer to reach out in-person and online — and on various platforms. With the unique needs from specialty to specialty and provider to provider, no one uniform engagement platform suffices. And to complicate matters, they expect a certain amount of flexibility.
As a result of these changes, pharma organizations are embracing an omnichannel strategy to meet and engage with specialty providers wherever they feel most comfortable. However, switching from in-person to omnichannel has been a struggle for organizations new to the approach. Here are some tips for creating an effective omnichannel strategy to help you meet your goals and engage with specialty providers in a post-COVID world.
Most leaders understand the importance of big data and analytics to improve engagement with specialty care providers. However, data management becomes a challenge with the vast amount of data available. Marketing and sales will lack the insights and meaningful direction they need if they cannot correctly interpret the data or take too long sorting through it.
It’s critical to structure and model data and consistently apply business rules across all data. Effective data management takes discipline, consistency, and organizational change, but it is one of the most effective steps organizations can take to support specialists and patients. It has grown even more critical to provide them with timely and valuable information post-COVID.
One survey of HCPs found that 41% of providers would be more willing to listen to messages and open emails from a company if they could replicate their best interaction. The insights from data could enable pharma sales reps to do just that.
Pharma companies no longer have months to strategize and additional time to execute these strategies. Specialty care providers are overwhelmed with patients and their needs. The same survey mentioned above found that 56% of providers have the impression that pharma companies fail to understand how COVID impact them, and 60% feel they don’t understand the pandemic’s impact on their patients. Agility and timely information could cut through this sentiment to give specialty care providers the information they need when they need it.
Agility is critical to an effective omnichannel strategy, and organized data is a vital aspect of that. Proper data management fuels insights and enables pharma companies to work faster and build deeper relationships with providers.
Pharma engages with customers with different needs, expertise, and pain points, including HCPs, payers, patients, and even certain government entities. Digital tactics are critical for reaching each of them, and organizations need to engage each customer type in a meaningful way.
However, each of these customer types is also interdependent. For example, while a specialty care provider may be an investigator, they are also a prescriber and even possibly a speaker. Pharma companies who behave as if they are entirely distinct risk creating ineffective commercial tactics.
Pharma organizations need to engage in holistic, instead of fragmented, processes. They can improve data collection and enhance their overall CX decisions by removing barriers that separate customer groups.
One method to overcome these barriers is using connected content across platforms. New digital capabilities offer organizations a variety of platforms and devices to provide a better experience for specialty care providers. It is critical to engage with HCPs: one survey showed that 63% of HCPs are considered “triple screen” users, where they access medical content across multiple channels. This is especially critical for providers who need more in-depth information about complex conditions and the newest treatments.
The increase in the number of platforms comes with new omnichannel content needs. Many pharma companies fall into the trap of reusing their content across multiple channels. Instead, it needs to be adapted for each platform to reflect the user experience (UX) and needs.
Each media channel has specific requirements that should impact the content organizations create for it. For example, a short and small piece of educational content is best suited for a platform like Twitter. However, digging deeper into a topic is best left to another channel, such as a blog or LinkedIn article, that you can link to on Twitter.
By understanding the characteristics of each channel, pharma companies can connect them seamlessly so that users can either go deeper into a topic or get a quick, overall view of the topic, depending on the platform they use.
The right omnichannel approach requires agility, responsiveness, and a deep understanding of the issues that specialty care providers face post-COVID. Data will fuel valuable, timely insights and strengthen engagement when appropriately used. Understanding when and how customer groups converge ensures that your content resonates with their challenges, understanding, and needs. Connecting content across platforms enables you to adapt it to fit the tone of each channel.
As part of an ongoing digital transformation, a more holistic, informed omnichannel strategy will ensure that all your specialty care providers get a superior CX that enhances sales engagement with them.
Exeevo’s Omnipresence platform supports life science organizations at each stage of the customer journey. It offers a single digital ecosystem with critical support for commercial and medical customer relationship management (CRM) empowered with Microsoft AI across devices and applications.
 Dix, L. 2021. The “new” rules of healthcare provider engagement. Accenture. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/life-sciences/new-rules-healthcare-provider-engagement
 Akella, R. & Gowda, A. 2021. HCP engagement model 2.0 in the post-COVID world. IQVIA. Retrieved from https://www.iqvia.com/-/media/iqvia/pdfs/mea/white-paper/hcp-engagement-model-2-in-post-covid-world.pdf