Pharmaceutical marketers have been late adopters of digital and social media. But overnight, the need to explore the best digital channels for reaching HCPs has become the new priority.

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As a pure-play digital and social agency named by MM&M as one of 2019’s “Ones to Watch,” we have a unique lens on helping healthcare brands navigate the demands of this unique time. Here are three thought-starters to help you re-imagine the role of digital in your marketing mix.

Re-Invent the Conference Experience with Conference in a Box.

Combine classic NPP with digital tools to be creative, targeted and physically present with HCPs, media and partners. In the absence of conferences, invite HCPs to curated experiences offline with a physical manifestation of your content or online using a private microsite, mirroring the experience they might have at your booth, while offering a deeper level of HCP and patient education and promotional. Consider bringing a flavor of the planned conference city — like Barcelona, Glasgow, Austin or Boston — to your creative materials.

Stay Relevant with Social Media

Even before orders to stay at home, almost half of HCPs were using social media for professional purposes, according to Healthlink Dimensions’ 2020 HCP Communications Survey — up significantly even from just one year before. More recently, Kantar found social media activity up 60 percent over normal usage rates. And CMI Compass reports significant spikes in traffic for Doximity, Sermo and Figure1, the leading private professional medical social networks, with fluctuations in engagement that break along specialty lines. The pandemic has changed patterns of HCP use of social media in ways that are unlikely to revert to pre-pandemic levels. Engaging with HCPs on social media means understanding the most effective ways to leverage each platform’s strengths, and to develop targeted content strategies that maximize HCP preferences for messages that are focused, short, factual, clinical, concise, mobile friendly, on-demand and relevant.

Turn Your Field Force Into a Value-Added Remote Resource

Reps have spent their careers honing their skills in personal interaction. Now is the time to migrate those successful personal approaches online, amplifying the power of the rep’s personality and ability to forge personal connections. Bringing value to HCPs is how brands position themselves for success when crises have passed. For instance, curating and sharing bite-size pieces of relevant scientific information from recent conferences; hosting or connecting HCPs to relevant CMEs; providing brief updates on clinical or epidemiological news; sharing patient experiences and education; sharing clinical trial information and facilitating patient participation can all provide a welcome service, enhancing the role your rep — and your company — play in the physician’s practice management and decisions. 

Navigating in times of change requires investments in both thought and action.  Your investment in powering up your digital presence can help you maintain a strong, relevant and engaging brand presence in a time of less in-person interaction, and continue to be a platform in the days and months ahead — well into what we hope will be a healthy future.