Online communications channels for biotech brands

Communicating through digital channels
Communicating through digital channels

Heeding research findings can help brand managers interact with and influence physicians—especially during launch.

Manhattan Research conducted an online survey of 1,713 US physicians in 2010 to determine the latest trends in how physicians interact with pharma and biotech companies through digital channels and tech-enabled sales reps.

Their findings in these 4 areas can help you explore more effective ways of interacting with and influencing physicians during your biotech launch.

1.   Physicians & iPads

An impressive share of physicians have either already bought an iPad or plan to buy one within the next 6 months. This trend creates a tremendous opportunity for you to develop an app for your biotech brand.

 2.   Content is Still King

More than 4 of 5 physicians use corporate and product sites, and about 50% of doctors use manufacturer portals.

The challenge for you is to figure out which communications channels to invest in, and which integrating and cross-promoting content will gain the most traction.

 3.   Communicating with Physicians in an On-Demand World

Your communications programs should use multiple channels, be seamlessly integrated, and be available on demand. These best practices are critical as physicians juggle multiple devices, channels, and media formats.

In 2010, nearly 75% of physicians used smartphones, and the majority of those who used them said these devices were essential to their practice. Impressive numbers of physicians also have digital media players, webcams, subscriptions to satellite radio, and iPads.

The data show that a substantial share of physicians is also very comfortable with various media formats—whether using apps or portable content on mobile phones; searching for videos on YouTube; or subscribing to an expert podcast on iTunes.

Today's physicians generally know where to find the content they want, in the format in which they want to consume it. Physicians are using the Internet at multiple points through the day—even during patient consultations—making the service cycle almost continuous.

4.   Online Promotion, Customer Service & Sampling

Physicians are using the Internet more and decreasing their face-to-face interactions with sales reps. These trends have made digital HCP-focused promotion and service options increasingly attractive. Online promotional programs are resonating with physicians as well—nearly 75% of surveyed physicians had positive comments regarding their use.

As a biotech manager, you need to consider these 4 online communications points when you launch your first product.

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