Marketing & Strategy

Evolution of ‘content’ in clinician engagement as we emerge from the pandemic

Health Industry Hub | January 21, 2022 |
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Marketing & Strategy: In this first summary in a series, we share the types and formats of content being consumed by healthcare professionals (HCPs) and supplied by pharma, based on a multi-stakeholder study which explored how the HCP-pharma engagement should evolve as we emerge from the pandemic.

The report assessed HCP demand for content versus industry supply, resource allocation for disease and brand education, and processes for content generation and use.

The top three content types that HCPs indicate a high demand for are guidelines for treatment, disease information, and diagnostic information or tools. However, it appears there may also be an unmet need for recordings and reports from scientific meetings which currently ranks lower as a priority for pharma compared to HCPs.

HCPs express highest demand for short, bite-sized content as well as webinars and interactive, modular learning, and pharma is focused on providing these. For several content types and formats, however, HCP demand significantly outpaces pharma supply, including downloadable content, ability to bookmark content, notification of relevant and trending content and podcasts.

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In fact, 72% of HCPs express demand for podcasts while only 38% of pharma focus on providing them. Also, more than 80% of HCPs would like the ability to both bookmark and rate content, but most pharma consider such features as low priority.

HCPs have a higher demand for disease information than product information, with independent content being most trusted. However, most pharma will create their own disease content, rather than fund independent content or sponsor content in collaboration with third-party providers.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of pharma expect to increase the proportion of their budget for disease awareness education in 2022, and 71% expect to primarily create their own disease awareness HCP content.

Many marketing, medical and commercial teams lack good market insights on where HCPs get their information and what kind of information and content topics they are looking for in this evolving ecosystem.

When considering HCP online engagement with pharma content, it is important to produce micro educational pieces which can be quickly and easily digested. One survey respondent said “The average time on our platform is 14 minutes, but our average content length is 1 hour and 30 minutes. So, we’ve now included the ability to search for video segments. We are also creating a lot of mini readings … and signalling how long it will take to read something … We’re now taking pieces of content and sharing it in different formats – as that’s how people are engaging.”

For pharma companies, prioritising disease awareness education with ease of consumption is critical in this hybrid (digital vs in-person) HCP-pharma environment. Focus on the customer experience with HCPs being able to bookmark, download and watch on-demand. Additionally, personalise content distribution with relevant and timely notifications that meet the needs of individual HCPs.

The global study (including the APAC region) was delivered by Medthority in late 2021. Participants included more than 240 HCPs across 30 specialties, 82 pharma companies and 84 service providers/vendors.

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