Physician Courtship and the Undying Love of Sales Reps

7.5 a day (including weekends and holidays) and 2,700 a year – that’s how many marketing messages top category physicians get from Pharmaceutical companies today.

Ridiculous right? But, this is the current industry’s overwhelming marketing strategy with every company struggling to seize greater physicians’ attention.

The Courtship

Flattering as it may be for us to be courted by several admirers, doctors in the medical industry probably view things quite differently.

With direct face-to-face access to physicians getting more and more limited due to factors, such as restrictions on the financial company-physician relationship, changing healthcare systems or just plain work load, physicians are less inclined to allow sales rep visits.

While sales calls are still a functional marketing channel, there’s a clear shift to receive information on new Pharmaceutical products through online communications, whether emails, online database or other digital media.

In fact, Pharma companies are now sending nearly 50% more digital messages than the number of personal face-to-face calls. With the younger generation of doctors using the internet as a data source and for communication purposes, this marketing strategy should have worked wonders for the Pharma industry.

But, something’s not working as planned…

Doctors are so overwhelmed by the volume of marketing messages from the industry, that they gradually ignore them – fulfilling Pharma’s worst nightmare…

Want to win their hearts? Make them feel unique.

Maybe physicians just want to be treated differently. Maybe Pharma companies need to stop sending everyone everything and start making them feel unique.

With Analytics

The best way to win physicians’ hearts is by tailoring to each of them a unique marketing and sales contact. With meticulous metrics and accurate analytics of physician contact preferences, Pharma companies can approach each physician with the best suited tactics.

Here are a few ways analytics can help the common physician-courtship:

1. Listen

To really address physicians’ needs for their patients, you need to listen and learn what information they’d like to get. Digital revolution? Great, use it! Tailor your content for each HCP based on measured engagement in each channel.

2. Talk about something they care about

Sales reps, today, need to understand they’re selling more than just a pill and talk more about the economic and clinical value of their medicine. They need to know how their drug fits into payer reimbursement.

3. Take every chance you get

It’s been shown that many doctors are more prone to meet with sales reps during the first 6 months of a drug launch, when they have fresh insights to offer. Pharma companies should be ready to launch their sales reps right at the beginning when things are still new and exciting!

4. Come prepared

Now more than ever, your pre and post-call planning need to be meticulous. Because, whenever you finally do get access to physicians, remember, your reps have little time to make their point. Equip them with the most recent, relevant KPI’s and HCP profile info to know exactly who they’re talking to, and what they’re talking about.

Remember the days…

When the only available information on new Pharmaceutical products came from the sales reps themselves? A one-on-one visit to the clinic and a personal physician-rep acquaintance…

Well, those days are now gone, but a combination of digital technology and smart analytics can create a renewed, dedicated, and more personal relationship between sales reps and physicians.

Because, with digital marketing tactics bombarding today’s physicians, Pharma companies with a selective-tactics approach to physicians will be the ones to win both their hearts and attention, over all the other marketing noise.