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Engagement planning

HCP engagement solutions – being present isn’t enough 

1 Jan 2024 | By Brand Engagement Team
Have you invested in digital engagement of HCPs? Are you preparing for the future? When it comes to engaging healthcare professionals online, being present isn’t enough.

You need strategic engagement solutions to meet their needs across multiple channels. 

The pharmaceutical industry has significantly increased its digital engagement presence – websites, education portals, virtual events, podcasts, there’s no shortage of content available to share with customers and support their education and patients.   

But what may have been a scattergun approach, activity by activity and need by need, must now become more coherent and consistent.   

It’s time for strategic engagement solutions.   

It’s quite common to look at immediate brand and business need then build the activities around that – webinars, consensus documents, on demands. But is that all you do, and what is driving it?  

These activities are great for attracting HCPs, for building interest and engagement, but what you do next is critical. How do you keep clinicians coming back for more? What’s your value proposition that separates you from your competitor?  

Being present isn’t enough   

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Your digital presence from website to assets needs a strategy within digital transformation. This targeted and scheduled approach needs to entice, educate and support HCPs to encourage them to keep coming back.  

What value are you adding to encourage that ‘brand loyalty’?  

This is where you need to look to the future. Build on those activities with a strategised series of engagement, enhanced digital and in-person assets that can be shared across multiple channels to meet your customers where they are. Plus, a range of communications to land your messages in front of them.   

Content engagement strategy  

Healthcare professionals are not traditional consumers, their decision making is complex. There are funding and formulary considerations, so you need to give them the information they need to move through the lifecycle to prescribing.  

This is where a content strategy and communications plan will help. Pull together your objectives, your customers’ needs, your vision for the next 12 to 24 months and your available channels. Consider whether you have any gaps in your content. Does it meet their persona, prescribing stage or information needs? If not, make a plan to fill those gaps and align it with what you want to share, and what your customers need to know.   

Once you have this information, consider which formats are most effective for maximising reach. You need to be producing a variety of useful educational and promotional multimedia resources. Different formats offer your customers ease of access and consumption. Provide your sales teams with new resources to share with customers or direct them to on your site. Giving them a reason to return.  

You also need to have a steady stream of content coming, a clear and coherent timeline and to publish it regularly. If you don’t give your customers regular content, they won’t see you as a leader in the information they need.   

And you must underpin this activity with data. If you don’t have permission to communicate, make sure you add GDPR compliant consents to your activities. Use data capture, cookies and analytics to understand HCP behaviour. And don’t forget source codes on your digital links.   

Communications planning  

Communications are critical to the effectiveness of your content and understanding your customers. Start with a communications plan. Decide who you want to, and can, contact, what you want to say to them, and when you want to say it – whilst thinking about what they want to know, too. Draw on your sales team here as they know their customers well, have a good understanding of what they need, how and when they like to be contacted.   

Next, consider whether emails can be automated. An effective way to keep in touch with customers is to send out regular communications offering them something new. You can even create automated pathways.   

Your communications will also add to your all-important HCP data and help you to keep engaging them. You can then use the insights to shape your strategy, analyse your tactics and remain agile as your customers and the market evolve.   

Long-term engagement solutions  

It’s no longer enough to build a website and expect HCPs to use it. You can have a wealth of fantastic assets but if you don’t have a clear strategy with long-term engagement solutions you will stand still while your customers move on. 

Uniphar’s strategic mix of in-person and digital engagement can help you achieve maximum return via multimedia content and sequenced communications.