Digital is not the answer, it is just the best car that carries your content

This chart below covers the increase in digital media spend for HCP's…(from Compass Inc.)




But while the blog makes the point about shifting media from print to digital, the increased use of digital by HCP's and a few other salient points, I think the real issue is missed. It is not just moving $$$ that matters but the idea companies moving closer to being forced to consider the HCP relevancy issue — content, timing and cross-channel coordination, ie,

"Don't bore me with the same message."

"Why are you bothering me now?"

"You sent me an email, a mailing, and a call…"

As a fact, most doctors and nurse's have no time. They are so time squeezed on so many fronts that the real issue is attention span + need has to be your formula for generating content of value. Real value.

Let's look at the time squeeze — I was reading a EHR Best Practices piece on using Lean Methodologies that assigned doctor's practices by attitudinal segmentation and it made the point that the gap between an efficient EHR office and an inefficient one was a mere few minutes per patient which equated to a rough gap of $7500 a month in revenue between them. (Meaniningful Use should be renamed Well-Meaning Desperation.)  

So, that is one of the many contexts of the attention issues that surround a doctor every day. Content, timing and coordination are where any manufacturer/marketer needs to focus. Are eDetails relevant and even self-directed, are they useful? Nearly everyone knows a GP or Specialist only has time for an eDetail when it is clinically relevant. And even that has the "And I only have ten minutes." So, to stay relevant means more than email blasts, eDetails, click-to-call and any of the dozen or so arrows in the pharma marketers quiver. 

The solution is never simple — in fact the complexity reaches as much into infrastructure as it does communications, the focus here. Just from a communications/relevance perspective, pharma marketers need to:

1. Bring your customer into the fold: bring your target doctor and nurse into the cross-functional marketing team; they need to have regular invites to help craft contact stratrgies and content that actually makes sense. 

2. Narrow your focus: doing intercepts surveys, quarterly longitudinal studies, are all well and good, but to base your communication content, cadence and KPI's off them is like trying to run over a flea with a truck. You need focus, a content generating group, and if possible, even crowd-source a panel of your customer's to review content before it gets sent into the ether. 

3. Create feedback loops: always seek your customer's feedback on the communication you sent. Even if it annoys them, or was timed badly, it is all helpful to know. Why? Because if you do not ask, your competitor down the road might. And besides, everyone like to be asked their opinion. 

Onward, and in the case of digital spend, upward.