Marketers are faced with greater challenges than ever before in effectively communicating brand messages to target HCPs. Traditional promotional tactics, such as personal selling and dinner meetings, are in decline as sales rep access has decreased significantly and pharma guidelines have impacted the number of live speaker events. As a result, many marketers have greatly increased their use of non-personal promotion (NPP) to deliver key brand messages to target HCPs.
At the same time, due to major changes in clinical practice, many HCPs are feeling very overwhelmed, working increasingly longer hours at full capacity, and in some cases are feeling burned out. This has created a new set of challenges for marketers, as HCPs are beginning to resist the increased volume of inbound NPP materials they are receiving. The 2017 Manhattan Research “Taking the Pulse” survey indicated that nearly half of HCPs have opted out from receiving a promotional email source in the past 6 months, and 88% have used or are interested in using the ad blocking feature on their smart phones. While this same survey showed that over 2/3 of HCPs feel it is crucial for pharma to provide educational resources rooted in science, a similar percentage indicated that pharma websites are overly promotional. The challenge then is for marketers to provide brand messaging to target HCPs that is credible and clinically valuable.
In clinical practice, HCPs look to opinion leader experts to provide unbiased, clinically relevant information that guides their treatment decisions. Data from an HCP Digital Education Survey in 2017 indicated that 83% of HCPs are likely to prescribe a new drug if it’s endorsed by an opinion leader. This finding was further reinforced at a Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions summit meeting where 156 community oncologists stated that national opinion leaders have significant impact on their treatment behaviors. Data also show that HCPs are much more likely to engage with content that is opinion leader-derived. A ZS study conducted in 2017 found that emails containing opinion leader clinical insights were the most likely category of emails to be opened by HCPs, by a significant margin.
BioPharm Communications recognized the important need to provide HCPs with highly credible, clinically relevant information from trusted opinion leader experts, and developed a suite of proprietary communication vehicles, beginning with Clinical ImpressionstM in 2006. Since that time BioPharm has met the needs of HCPs by expanding this portfolio to include ClinCases®, ClinTopics®, RxPeer InsightsTM, and Patient Care InsightsTM. These communication vehicles all feature opinion leader-derived content and have a trusted reputation with HCPs for high quality medical information. In a recent survey, 85% of the 3,985 HCP respondents selected BioPharm opinion leader-derived content materials as having high educational and clinical value.
A BioPharm client recently needed to introduce new clinical data into a challenging marketplace with high impact. This general medicine marketplace is very crowded, with both significant generic penetration and new entries with unique mechanisms of action. In addition, this marketplace has an enormous number of target HCPs, both specialists and PCPs. The challenge for BioPharm was to create a campaign that would break through the NPP clutter and serve up this new clinical data to target HCPs with significant impact. We recognized that the most effective way to gain awareness of this clinical data and change treatment behavior was to have the information presented by well-respected opinion leaders in this disease state. It was also important to include both specialist and PCP opinion leaders to relate to both groups within the target audience, so we developed a multichannel Rx Peer InsightsTM promotional education campaign utilizing multiple opinion leaders.
Post-campaign analysis showed that our opinion leader-content campaign performed extremely well across all 4 channels. Strong email engagement rates were noted, with opinion leader content emails having a 47% greater open rate than non- opinion leader emails. There was a 31% click-through rate (CTR) to the brand website, an important objective of our client. The print newsletter was extremely well received, with 2/3 of HCPs spending 7 minutes or more reading the opinion leader content. HCP feedback on the campaign was very positive, with 87% of HCPs stating that the opinion leader content was clinically relevant and of high quality. Our client was extremely pleased with the metrics of this campaign and felt it had significant positive impact on their brand. The results of this campaign reinforced the value of opinion leader-derived content.