Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Today's multimedia world offers so many choices for reaching healthcare professionals, what
are brand managers to do? Ideally, pharma companies can appeal to physicians with a combination of quality, in-person sales
calls and targeted marketing outreach. Technology can also be a great asset, but only if it's leveraged with focus and care.
Put Down the Shotgun
We're all probably guilty of using the shotgun approach to reaching customers—that is, shooting in all directions in the belief
that eventually we'll hit a valuable target. It's not just that this technique is unsophisticated; it's inefficient and prevents
the marketer from really homing in on what individual doctors want and need. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies may not
all be ready for Web 2.0, but we can do better than the shotgun approach.
There are many attractive, flashy new e-marketing tools and techniques available. But if you're not focused on the right customer
base, it doesn't matter. It's essential to send the right message to the right doctor in the manner that he or she prefers.
Otherwise, you're wasting the most valuable resource any doctor has: time.
Know Your Audience
These days, physicians have higher patient loads and more administrative tasks. Despite sales force cutbacks, physicians still
deal with plenty of sales reps and read plenty of marketing materials on a weekly basis. It's critical we recognize the enormous
importance and immeasurable value of making communication with healthcare providers worth their while. This is the only way
to build the essential trust that drives our message. Any successful dialogue has to begin and end with knowing the customer
and what he or she wants and expects.