July 11, 2022 Michael Mayday
Connecting with health care practitioners has never been an easy task. After all, HCPs are notoriously busy and hard to pencil in for face-to-face meetings.
The advent of digital marketing in the life sciences realm was supposed to help. But HCPs are easily annoyed by poorly programmed campaigns, irrelevant content and spam-like behavior. In fact, according to a 2021 Accenture report, 64% of HCPs said they’re getting too much digital content, and 65% say digital marketers spam them.
What is a digital marketer to do? Simple: connect with HCPs on their terms through digital experiences that empower them. Here are five ways marketers can connect with HCPs.
1) Use On-Demand Experiences to Connect with HCPs
Busy workdays and unpredictable schedules can make it difficult for anyone to attend a 60-minute live webinar. For HCPs, it’s almost impossible. That’s why on-demand webinars are so powerful: HCPs can attend the virtual event when they’re ready to from wherever they may be.
But the benefits of on-demand webinars don’t stop at simple playback. HCPs can interact with engagement tools, from polls and surveys to Q&As with key opinion leaders and more, and get the same experience on-demand as they would live.
In fact, on-demand experiences are a great way to connect HCPs with KOLs. Done right, an on-demand attendee can simply ask a question in the Q&A tool and have their query sent off to the event’s KOL, who can then respond to the attendee via email.
Speaking of learning…
2) Make It Easy for HCPs to Earn CMEs
HCPs are required to maintain continuing education credits throughout their career. Traditionally, these credits would be issued to HCPs attending an in-person conference, summit or symposium. COVID-19 and the consequent restrictions following the pandemic put a damper on CME-earning opportunities.
That is, until virtual events capable of issuing credits came along. Now, with live virtual conferences and on-demand webinars, HCPs can learn, understand and test their knowledge of the latest trends and techniques in their respective fields and stay compliant with education requirements.
For digital marketers, being able to issue CMEs is a powerful tool. CMEs are a great incentive for HCPs to attend an event, empower brands to build trust with key audiences and provides marketers with more information on what content target audiences actually want to consume.
3) Foster Trust Through Networking, Thought Leadership Events
Staying abreast of the latest trends, developments, technology, techniques and procedures is a necessary part of an HCP’s career. But finding the time and money to go to conferences to discuss these new innovations — not to mention navigating travel restrictions — isn’t always easy.
But digital events — complete with structured virtual networking, breakout rooms and virtual panels — can provide the busy HCP with all of the information they need without having to leave the home or office.
In fact, virtual networking tools, like ON24 Forums or ON24 Breakouts, provide HCPs with valuable face-to-face time with KOLs. A practitioner can simply jump into a virtual breakout room or panel and ask their question on the subject at hand. They can also use these tools to discuss new trends, studies and techniques with their fellow peers.
4) Create Content Hubs for Products, Processes and Information
According to Wakefield Research, 54% of US office professionals say they spend more time searching for documents and files than they do responding to emails and messages. For HCPs, that’s time they don’t have to spare.
Digital marketers have an opportunity to make finding the right information easy for HCPs with interactive content hubs. Content hubs, like ON24 Engagement Hub, can act as a central repository for all things related to a product, subject or technique.
Professionals marketing to HCPs can fill these resources with a variety of content from whitepapers and e-books to instructional videos, educational webinars and more. Additionally, interactive content hubs, like Engagement Hub, can use embedded CTAs to help physicians more expediently connect with representatives, make orders or request a meeting.
5) Drive Action With Unified Data
As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for digital marketers to engage with HCPs. But, short of asking directly, how can marketers ensure they’re engaging on the HCP’s terms?
That’s where data comes in. Each digital touchpoint — webinars, virtual symposiums, content hubs, etc. — provides marketers with the opportunity to collect engagement data and take action.
For example, say an HCP just attended a high-level demo for a complex product. With the right engagement data in hand, marketers can send that physician a link to a webinar applying that product to their specific practice, an instructional demo on how to use the product or a panel discussion what KOLs think of the product’s impact on the field.
Similarly, sales reps can use engagement data to answer HCP questions, identify pain points and continue conversations where suitable.
[Infographic] Reimagine HCP Engagement for a Digital World
There are a lot of opportunities for digital marketers to engage with HCPs. Click on the image below to read or download our infographic.