As marketing has evolved from mass advertising and promotion to a more sophisticated interactive approach, marketers have many new choices. But in this new environment, marketing decisions must be based on true insight derived from verifiable customer feedback and not just educated hunches or agency hype.
With the sheer volume of new communication platforms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the huge number of variables that can be involved in an interactive marketing program. I recommend starting with baby steps. Two simple but very effective ways to personalize marketing are the choice of communication channel and the development of custom content. Channel and content. Often just getting these right will have a significant positive impact on building value-based customer relationships with healthcare professionals.
As a place to start, channel and content are both necessary. It’s one thing to come up with great, personalized content – but it’s a total waste if you’re not using the channel that a target physician is monitoring or uses. On the other hand, you might discover the unique channels a specific physician prefers, but if the content is irrelevant or inappropriate, you have lost an opportunity to build affinity.
Lessons Learned from Breakfast
I had breakfast with a physician friend of mine. We’ve had a number of great conversations about her practice. She is very busy internist with over 2400 patients, making her a “top decile” physician, the segment that pharma needs to reach. Not surprisingly, given her large patient load and full calendar, she has very strong opinions about pharmaceutical sales reps and the value she gets or doesn’t get from their daily interruptions.
There are certain media channels that she uses regularly. She knows she needs regular access to information on new FDA approvals and emerging therapies. The major peer-reviewed journals and online content portals are two of those channels; the sales rep channel is not. Try to communicate using any other method and she simply won’t get the message. And like most professionals, she’s very particular about what kind of content she’s interested in. It’s got to be related to internal medicine. Go ahead and try to offer content outside her areas of interest but it won’t matter – she’ll turn it off and walk away. Read Full Article Now »