Marketing to HCPs: Having the Right Data — and Using It Right

Pharmaceutical companies have traditionally reached healthcare providers (HCPs) by sending sales representatives to their offices. But with the pandemic rendering that method impossible, marketing to HCPs required pharma brands to double down on digital advertising over the past year.

Of course, marketing to HCPs is easier said than done, especially when it comes to reaching the right HCPs. When companies put together their digital strategies, they don’t necessarily consider the inevitable data loss that happens when creating their ideal target list with offline data and then trying to onboard it to various media channels. I experienced this first hand countless times during my years doing strategic media planning on the agency side. We’d send NPI lists to vendors, and it would take three to five business days to get a match rate. The lengthy process, in addition to connecting the data from one platform to the next, causes about 30% data loss, limiting the effectiveness and efficiency of reaching that audience.

When I joined DeepIntent, my first order of business was writing a product requirement document for what would become our Healthcare Planner. Inspired by the inefficiencies I experienced as a media planner, the HCP Planner offers marketers unique data for more than 1.6M verified and opted-in HCPs. They can upload and match their NPI list in less than 10 seconds with an average match rate of 95%. Beyond matching their target lists, they can identify and reach their most valuable audiences by creating custom segments based on comprehensive datasets such as: diagnosis and procedure codes, prescribing behavior, specialty, geography, and so much more. Because this real-world data is integrated into our Healthcare Marketing Platform, it facilitates seamless activation with a “click here to activate” across every channel and device without the typical data loss, and in a more timely fashion.

Going Beyond the Data When Marketing to HCPs

Data on its own is not enough. Life science companies need to think holistically about how they use that data when marketing to HCPs. They must consider who a HCP is: their current patient makeup, what their typical prescribing behaviors are, and where they are in the brand journey. At the same time, taking that data out of silos enables clients and agencies to make that data actionable, leveraging it to inform their messaging strategies in order to make every interaction more meaningful.

Life science companies can achieve that by not only pulling data in, but pushing it out as triggers, which can be broken into three categories.

Relevant Timing

Data that helps determine the past, present and future can be instrumental in informing when to serve an ad to a HCP. For example, when marketing to HCPs, you can use medical and pharmacy claims to identify their past diagnosing and prescribing behaviors. You can use electronic health records to serve ads while they are with the patient and now, you can also use eligibility data to identify and reach HCPs before they are scheduled to see a clinically-relevant patient.

Relevant Messaging

Here, data enables life science companies to understand where someone is in the brand journey. With interactions increasingly happening online, it’s easier to determine what content HCPs are seeking out (efficacy vs. MOA), which emails they are engaging with or the ads they click.

Relevant Feedback Loop

Once a life science company has engaged a HCP, they can receive daily physician-level data to ingest back into their Next Best Action or centralized data warehouse. This framework helps connect the dots and inform sequential or future messaging. What a HCP clicks in an email can determine the ads they’re served programmatically, for example.

When marketing to HCPs, it’s crucial that life science companies don’t think of them in a vacuum. They must also consider how patients factor into the equation. Rather than thinking of HCP and Patient campaigns as two entirely separate entities, consider integrated campaigns that deliver the same messaging to both. During our beta testing period for DeepIntent Outcomes™, which empowers marketers to measure and optimize campaigns toward real-world business outcomes, one top pharmaceutical company found that coordinating HCP and patient media drove script lift by up to 35%.

Surveying patients earlier this year, we found that patients are more likely to be receptive to HCPs’ recommendations about something they had previously seen advertised. When HCPs and patients have the same information, it helps facilitate a more open dialogue about treatment options. This strengthens the patient-provider relationship, building trust and ultimately yielding better patient outcomes.

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Amit Chaturvedi
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