HCP Marketing

HCP marketing in today’s digital landscape

Healthcare professional marketing—or HCP marketing—is all about creating smart customer segmentation and targeted campaigns that healthcare companies and the pharmaceutical industry can leverage to drive usage across a product’s lifecycle.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on HCP marketing, meaning physician engagement is now more complex than before and demands an increasingly digital approach. Social media engagement, in particular, has skyrocketed. We’ve seen this ring true on our own physician social platform: throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians sharing their drug perceptions through Sermo’s Drug Rating platform increased by nearly 70%, and participation in online social polls skyrocketed by almost 300%. 

The best HCP marketing techniques use an omnichannel approach and market research to achieve optimal results. Effective HCP advertising includes a mix of direct mail, digital, in-person, and social media marketing tactics.

For pharma companies that don’t invest in the latest healthcare professional marketing technology, adapting to the new digital norms while continuing to meet the demands of HCPs, payors, and government regulations can be challenging. That’s where Sermo’s physicians-only social platform can help. 

The building blocks: a data-driven HCP marketing strategy

Data is the foundation of any successful HCP marketing campaign and key to delivering an exceptional customer experience and identifying content that drives physician action. In addition to physician engagement opportunities, Sermo also provides the world’s most trusted global platform for physician analytics and HCP data, with over 1,300,000 triple-verified HCP members spanning nearly 100 specialties. 

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed healthcare professional marketing to a tipping point by making real-time insights a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’.  Sermo’s RealTime platform is a trusted gateway to the minds of HCPs around the world, where you can tap into industry expertise and feedback in seconds. Leverage RealTime to understand physician preferences/needs, test creative and messaging, measure campaign impact and more. 

Be confident your messages are making an impact by gaining an unprecedented view into what physicians are really saying with organic conversations. Tailor your HCP marketing strategy to better meet your customers’ needs by developing a better understanding of brand preferences, the likelihood of treatment adoption, media usage trends, competitive intelligence, device preferences, and more. With access to 7 million organic physician conversations, you can easily fuel your strategy with the voice of the customer. 

Data-driven HCP targeting to engage healthcare providers

Efficient HCP marketing begins with determining your ideal customer profile (ICP). That means identifying what your patient population looks like, and using data to understand how to best reach, engage and educate HCPs about your treatments. Only then can you produce and deliver relevant content that meets their needs. 

To succeed in HCP targeting, you’ll need to collect enough data to segment your audience across a range of factors, including physician specialty, preferred contact method, service location, prescribing volume, unique motivations, and any specific challenges they face. 

Sermo’s laser-focused  HCP targeting capabilities 

Modern-day brands should be leaning into zero- and first-party data. Sermo offers exactly that—all of our data is generated by either:

  1. Information that is intentionally and proactively shared with us by members of our physician network (zero-party data).
  2. Physician behaviors identified by tracking how users interact and behave on our website and app (first-party data).

Using this information, our technology can target by physician specialty, location, and behavior through a combination of analyzing: 

  • Actions taken on the platform
  • List-matches by NPI
  • Specific engagements with sponsored content 

We never leverage third-party data from outside parties or advertisers that track general browser behavior and search histories. Therefore, the inevitable elimination of third-party cookies has zero impact on our ability to accurately target, track, and analyze user engagement. Plus, because our platform is a private social media network for physicians, our data is unaffected by other social network decisions, like choosing to reduce HCP advertising and targeting capabilities. 

Sermo can also enhance targeting criteria using our insights platform that turns professional experience, expertise, and observations into actionable data across a range of healthcare profiles using a combination of:

  • HCP qualitative surveys
  • HCP quantitative surveys
  • HCP qualitative interviews
  • Online focus groups
  • Professional bulletin boards

How pharma marketers can build a seamless digital marketing strategy

Building impactful healthcare marketing campaigns for healthcare professionals worldwide has never been easier. Here’s how we do it:

  • Feed-based opportunities: Sermo’s native sponsorship opportunities are built to mirror peer-to-peer interaction and drive engagement directly from the feed. Use long form posts to interact with and influence peer-to-peer discussions, promote brand messaging with video and image ads, and gather organic insights with easy-to-use polls — all placed front and center on 1 million physicians’ feeds worldwide. The best part is the wealth of engagement opportunities for physicians to interact with your content, including:
    • Clicks
    • Likes
    • Comments
    • Video views
    • Poll Answers
    • Downloads
    • Sharing
  • Message-based opportunities: Drive awareness and educate your target audience with dedicated emails, promote your brand with direct-to-site clickable ads in Sermo’s community newsletter, or build meaningful connections with personalized messages delivered straight to physicians’ Sermo inbox.  
  • New innovations: Connect with your target audience with live or pre-recorded events and educational webinars, leverage dynamic targeting or triggered messaging, and A/B test creative to optimize impact.  
  • Personalization – Personalization is key to optimizing return on investment for HCP campaigns. Sermo technology provides a deeper level of personalization and enhances user experience to drive higher engagement by:
    • Dynamically displaying any name (i.e. a local key opinion leader) when sending messages. 
    • Customizing content and CTAs based on geography (i.e. matching a physician to their assigned pharma sales representative).
    • Pre-populating email responses for customized follow-up by the physician.
    • Triggering additional content to physicians who take certain actions during your campaign (for example, those who watched your video).

Need direction on content, creative development support or MLR assistance? Tap into Sermo Studio, our in-house team of physician engagement and digital marketing experts. We take your pre-approved assets and optimize them for the Sermo platform, or can build your assets from scratch – making it easier than ever to dive into the world of social engagement. 

HCP marketing success story 

During COVID-19, there were many mistruths about pharmaceutical products circulating the internet. When one leading pharma company found their education campaigns on existing social networks were underperforming, they began looking for other channels to effectively educate physicians and their patients about brand benefits. That’s when they found Sermo.

Over the course of six weeks, we ran a physician education campaign targeting COVID-19 treaters across the US. Because our platform reaches a more qualified audience in a contextually relevant environment, the posts received above-average engagement across all metrics:

Post views  13,000 – 16,00036,000
Clickthrough rate2 – 4%4%
Poll responses75-100250+

Request a demo of Sermo’s physician engagement platform to connect, educate and facilitate better patient care today!