HCPs: “More Digitally Savvy Than Ever”

It is not surprising that healthcare professionals (HCP)s today are more digitally savvy than ever. The wave of consumerism led by digital natives has impacted HCPs when it comes to engaging with content on various digital channels for personal consumption. And the catalytic effect of the pandemic on the digital shift cannot be undermined. All this presents the newest challenge for the life sciences industry, requiring a complete revamp of the content strategy and channels for each specialty.

Indegene’s 2021–22 report on the digital habits of HCPs across major regions provides some answers to pharma marketers looking to boost their post-pandemic physician engagement campaigns.

According to Gaurav Kapoor, co-founder and executive vice president of Indegene, “Over the years we have witnessed interesting changes in HCP behavior and its impact on their digital choices. The pandemic, of course, accelerated digital adoption across the board. Our latest study provides an understanding the nuances of this big leap in digital preference by physicians and its far-reaching implications on pharma-physician engagement henceforth. The mix of channels, the time preference, and most importantly, hyper-customization of content at scale, will have a significant bearing on the success for any multichannel marketing initiative. Regional and specialty level variations add another layer of complexity that pharma marketers need to address.”

Among the findings of the study:

  • 68% of HCPs indicated webinars or webcasts as their most preferred channel to receive information. While webinars have emerged as the most preferred channel for HCPs to engage with the pharma companies globally, HCPs in Europe prefer online journals (69%) over webinars (65%).
  • Only 47% of HCPs prefer receiving communication through the marketing e-mail channel. At the same time, marketing emails are among the top 5 channels used by pharma companies to engage HCPs.
  • 50% of HCPs preferred to receive promotional content on their mobile or tablet while 62% of HCPs and 57% of HCPs preferred to receive clinical and medical content on computer/laptops respectively.
  • The survey findings also highlight the regional variation in HCPs’ device preferences and preferred time for receiving content. HCPs in Europe prefer to receive clinical, medical, and promotional content on their computers or laptops unlike their peers from Asia Pac, who prefer mobile devices and tablets. The preferred time for engagement for HCPs from Germany, Spain, and Italy is 5pm to 8pm on weekdays whereas it is 11am to 2pm for HCPs in the UK and post 8pm for HCPs in France.
  • 77% of HCPs use digital channels primarily for personal learning and development. Across regions and specialties, clinical information and medical information continued to be the most sought after content categories by HCPs irrespective of the changes in their channel, device and time preferences. HCPs have begun to prefer channels such as online journals over self-directed web detailing and MSLs. This reflects their increased expectations from pharma companies to share informative and educational content which they can access at their convenience and also use the content for their L&D priorities.

A copy of the survey can be accessed at https://www.indegene.com/insights/article/digitally-savvy-hcp