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How Life Sciences Can Get a Boost With Digital Channels

July 22nd, 2019 ON24

Healthcare and life sciences professionals (HCPs) are now more inclined to use digital channels to stay informed than ever before. According to a 2019 study by Indegene, the vast majority (80%) of physicians express a preference for digital, up from 73% in 2015.

Similarly, according to a Veeva / Across Health study, close to 70% of HCPs in Europe will be ‘digital natives’ by 2020. Digital channels are now being used alongside traditional channels, such as congresses, local events and face-to-face meetings with medical reps. These events help professionals to keep abreast of product or therapy-related information and the latest developments in their area of practice.

More Opportunities for Better Communications

In-person meetings are still one of the most preferred avenues for accessing medical information. But when it comes to digital, webinars are the second most popular channel, ranking, according to Indegene, slightly below websites — 55% compared to 56% for websites.

The figures above uncover a significant opportunity to transform the relationship with HCPs and expand reach. However, the life sciences industry has been slow to adopt digital channels, mostly due to inertia and the fear of moving away from a tried-and-trusted business model.

Only 10% of pharma companies conduct over half of their engagements remotely, using digital means, according to a separate Indegene study. For a significant proportion (52%), less than one in ten engagements are conducted remotely.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Pharma companies and life sciences organizations should use digital tools to connect, engage and understand what their audiences want. Here are three tips life sciences companies can use to boost their digital efforts:

Embrace digital transformation and make it a strategic priority

Don’t just explore individual technologies, look into how the convergence of technologies and trends can drive meaningful transformation and help you deliver impactful, patient-centric experiences. Stay ahead of the curve by adopting some of the most effective and innovative tactics for digital marketing in healthcare.

Offer bundles of products and services, and use educational content to enhance your offering

A successful approach that marries diagnostics, therapies and associated services needs to be supported by a solid content strategy. Adopt a more flexible, modular approach that allows content to be repurposed and disseminated through different channels, including webinars.

Use webinars to extend the impact of marketing activities to customers who are less receptive to promotional information delivered by reps

Focus on providing content that enhances the practitioners’ ability to deliver high-quality patient care. Read our HCP Engagement Report to explore how marketers are evolving their engagements with healthcare providers to keep pace with the industry’s digital transformation.

Face-time with healthcare professionals has reduced dramatically in the last few years and the cost of in-person engagements has reached an all-time high. Life sciences organizations are under increasing pressure to move away from a push model consisting of one-direction, company-initiated communication, to two-way meaningful, regular conversations with customers. They also need to start orchestrating experiences across multiple touchpoints, as a ‘double coverage’ strategy (a combination of webinars and in-person detailing) can have a multiplier effect.