A blog powered by Aptus Health, offering points of view on the changing world of healthcare.

Brand Planning: Must-dos for physician engagement

Recent findings from DRG’s Taking the Pulse 2017 survey of U.S. physicians offer several clear recommendations for pharma companies looking to better engage healthcare professional audiences.

Many of the recommendations reflect how we have built and evolved our offerings – from deep engagement experiences featuring high-value, highly relevant content to data-driven campaigns that serve up clinical and branded content based on HCPs’ stated and inferred preferences.

Source: DRG Taking the Pulse US 2017 survey 

Let’s take a closer look at how we’re addressing some of these key industry findings for our clients.

 62% of U.S. physicians say that the information pharma provides on HCP websites are just product ads.

We can help change that perception. In fact, HCPs rank our digital communities as a “high value” source of information alongside NEJM and NIH. And what they say is validated by what they actually do: on average, our members spend 20 minutes per session, about 5 times per quarter engaging in content.

Offering HCPs relevant content while they’re in a learning mindset has the power to dramatically improve engagement, while simultaneously increasing their understanding of a brand and how it fits into their treatment regimens for appropriate patients. For example, we worked with a pharma client to increase awareness of a branded diabetes therapy’s new indication.

Our stepwise campaign combined clinical alerts with multimedia content within our digital HCP community—leading to a 12-fold increase in engagement with our client’s branded educational component compared to single-threaded, email based campaign. Plus, over half of those surveyed saying they plan to increase their use of the featured branded therapy, saying the content helped identify more appropriate patients.

That’s deep learning that goes beyond a simple headline.

70% agree that it’s crucial that pharma companies provide education resources rooted in science to gain trust.

We couldn’t agree more. Our members are drawn to our destination sites in part by the thousands of multimedia presentations led by national experts representing organizations such as the CDC, Mayo Clinic, and more. Even better, these experts engage in interactive question and answer sessions from our community.

Many of these presentations include our unique “Test and Teach” methodology—in which we activate the participant’s existing knowledge by asking a question before presenting the educational content—to help clinicians sharpen their expertise when it comes to making decisions that impact patient care. In a recent presentation focused on treating acute pulmonary embolism, this unique engagement approach drove a 27% improvement in HCPs’ ability to correctly identify the appropriate therapy option for a critical clinical scenario—over the course of about 10 minutes.

Our pharma clients gain access to these credible trusted environments through which to tell their story in a way that matches the spirit of these trusted, high value destinations.

Analyst recommendation: Ensure content format and distribution matches physician behavior and preferences.

Based on the millions of interactions healthcare professionals have had across different digital channels, we’ve developed statistical models that predicts how an audience – or even an individual – will respond to educational and promotional content when delivered as part of an integrated program. We call this the physician’s propensity to engage.

The outputs of this model can inform the right mix of communication tools – from the light engagement of a clinical alert or hyper-targeted mobile message to the deeper engagement of an interactive, expert-led piece of content. In short, we use it to determine the right mix of channels that will increase the likelihood that messaging will be seen, assimilated, and acted upon.

To learn how our integrated campaigns and insights-driven cadence yields greater awareness and NRx lift, download our case study.

Join our session on Tuesday June 13 at 9:45am at Digital Pharma West for more examples of our approach in action.

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The 9 million patient statin gap: How are HCPs addressing it?

Differences in leading guidelines on statin therapy to prevent stroke and heart attack leave practitioners uncertain of how to treat about nine million patients. This gap includes many patients younger than 60 years old and those who have diabetes. Should these patients be prescribed statins or not?

We asked U.S.-based members of our digital HCP platform what they thought about the lack of alignment between the guidelines, and how they were addressing the uncertainty.

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Whatever your position, geo-targeted formulary status messaging is a win

A lot can change over the span of just a couple months – changes that can have either a positive or negative impact on a brand.

Today, many brands are feeling the impact of a recent change in formulary status. Whether you’re basking in the win of an improved position or trying to defend against competitive products that may have recently won a higher status, you can’t afford not to get your message out there.

Geo-targeted mobile messaging—whether in the physician’s office, the pharmacy, or even in a patient’s living room—is a proven way to promote your message in ways that drive awareness and growth.

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Test & Teach: A Measurable Approach to Engagement

Steve Smith, PA, Vice President of Univadis Strategy at Aptus Health

Every advancement in medical research brings a greater number of informed decisions that healthcare professionals (HCPs) must be equipped to make. It’s a real challenge. And one where Aptus Health can make a real difference. A recent segment featured on our digital HCP communities illustrates the power of our crafted Test & Teach™ interactive, expert-led approach to helping clinicians sharpen their expertise when it comes to making decisions that impact patient care.

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Live and Kicking: Our RxStart Solution

The most recent addition to our family of solutions is now up and running, and showing early signs of success. Thanks to our strategic partnerships with three Electronic Health Record (EHR) and ePrescribing partners—NextGen Healthcare, Office Ally, and NewCrop—this free sample medication and patient support program is available to over 75,000 U.S. providers, and is now enrolling patients.

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HCPs on the Current and Future State of the Affordable Care Act

Lately, the U.S. media seems to report on a new or imminent change in policy almost daily. Not surprisingly, healthcare providers (HCPs) are thinking about how this new administration will impact their practice. One political conversation in particular, the fate of the Affordable Care Act, has real consequences for how care is provided in our country.

HCPs engage in our digital communities for a wide range of reasons, including to share their experiences and learn from peers and experts in their field. They’re also not shy about sharing their own attitudes about the current and future state of the ACA, and what it might mean for their patients.

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When turning off a piece of the digital ecosystem risks turning away your audience

It’s easy to say that the sum is greater than the parts. Yet without an integrated campaign strategy that addresses audiences at key points in their decision making journey, it can be hard to quantify how much greater that sum actually is. That can make it tempting for brand marketers to stick to one-off or disconnected “best of breed” tactics.

Yet our experience shows that life sciences companies that don’t have an integrated multi-tactic and multichannel digital plan in place may not only be missing out on compounded impact –they may also be unintentionally preventing target audiences from fully engaging with their brand. Yikes.

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The Time for Digital Architecture in Pharma is Now

Brad Davidson, PhD. Medical Anthropologist and Senior Strategy Consultant, Aptus Health

Research proves what most of us already suspected.

While the world, from healthcare providers and patients to Maasai warriors in Africa, has moved to digital as a preferred means of communication, a recent report by McKinsey titled “Closing the digital gap in pharma” finds that pharma sits well behind the curve.

As an industry, pharma is slow to adapt digital across every metric, from the absence of digitally-focused corporate structures that drive execution to persistence of brand planning and performance evaluation processes that make digital an afterthought.

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