How Pharma Can Better Communicate with Healthcare Professionals Through a Highly Personalized Experience

Updated on July 18, 2022
No experience. Positive female pharmacist taking notes while mature male doctor using laptop

By Jay Calavas, Head of Vertical Products, Tealium

Since the onset of the pandemic, healthcare professionals have faced many challenges including long hours of work, supply chain disruptions, economic factors and disjointed, outdated systems that make it hard to fully understand patients and anticipate their needs. The last issue has created stress for organizations, showcasing the need to find the right technology partners to remove friction with their internal systems and ultimately improve digital interactions. 

Pharmaceutical companies are facing the same challenges as many are looking to forge better relationships with healthcare providers through a digital-first, personalized experience at all steps of the research, diagnoses, and prescription process. Companies can better reach healthcare audiences by implementing smarter systems that seamlessly integrate with other technologies to reach the right consumers with the right message, at the right time. 

Step One: Find the Right Technology 

Most industries have undergone a drastic digital transformation over the last two years, and advanced technology has helped expedite the onboarding process and provide deeper insights for employees. A main obstacle in the healthcare industry stems from doctor-patient confidentiality and ensuring the protection of consumer privacy. This should be top of mind when looking for a technology partner, as it is critical to find one that easily integrates into your other existing systems and has built in compliance regulation. 

For pharmaceutical companies specifically, finding a HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based infrastructure is key – particularly when looking to bring a new drug to market. Examining privacy and governance capabilities is also important when selecting a technology partner. The system should automatically create either multi or single tenant data clouds that have stringent guidelines about data residency and management to ultimately ensure your systems are staying within HIPAA requirements. 

The right technology should also provide deep, meaningful and bilateral integrations with your vendors at every touchpoint of the consumer lifecycle. Integrations should include identity resolution, customer relationship management, personalization and message deployment. Without these integrations between systems, it’s nearly impossible to fully understand the customer journey, have meaningful conversations with healthcare professionals, target digitally through ads, and ultimately scale. 

Step Two: Collect Your Data 

Whether you’re just starting to research a new drug or almost ready to write a script, data collection is a critical component to interacting with healthcare professionals, all who may be at different stages in their journey. However, it is essential to ensure you are collecting the right data before applying those insights to conversations. 

When first entering a website, consumers are almost always anonymous, making it difficult to correlate their research with an existing profile record. During this time, your technology provider should be building a new profile that encapsulates this data and then using deterministic stitching to automatically connect the anonymous profile to that of an already-existing consumer. 

Tracking this data and continuously updating user preferences is essential for creating highly personalized experiences. There is no room for error in your communications with healthcare professionals since it’s a tightly regulated industry. With the right data, pharmaceutical companies can provide a more personalized, insightful and thoughtful experience across a multitude of channels whether speaking with a sales rep or targeting an individual with digital advertisements. 

Step Three: Activate Your Data & Unlock New Potential 

The last and most important step is activating your data to create personalized experiences that resonate with consumers, and ultimately result in a more seamless process. Using this data in a compliant, efficient manner can create great experience and leave companies with results. A study conducted among 600 immunologists indicated that when prescribers are fully satisfied with their journey for a particular drug and with the pharma company’s contribution to it, they are twice as likely to prescribe it. 

While the obvious use case for this data is to tailor messaging through communications or advertisements, companies can also learn more about consumer behaviors and alter the user experience across platforms to achieve optimal results. For example, a global healthcare company dynamically changed the search bar on their website to be customized based on tracking online behaviors. This led to a 143% increase in search bar utilization, highlighting the importance of using data to better engage with healthcare professionals when researching treatments for patients. 

There is no doubt that the healthcare industry has already seen drastic change – but this is only the beginning. Pharmaceutical companies must continue to evolve and use the right technology and data to reach healthcare professionals where they are in their customer journey. This unique position presents the opportunity to listen and learn from consumers and use that information to innovate offerings and solve problems that have the potential to provide tremendous value to society. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.