Joined-up action

How many of the promotional activities that you see are discrete, one-off initiatives and how many are part of a multi-year plan to establish regular dialogue with HCPs?

One of the opportunities in digital communications is to build a channel of regular communication between you and your customers over the long-term, so that you have a ready and willing readership and the doctor has a trusted source of brand information.

The difficulty, of course, is that this is not how communications have been done traditionally.

They’re commonly planned and acted on on a year to year basis or even shorter and sometimes in isolation from each other.

A one-off activity can address short-term needs to push a certain message to a certain audience, but its value finishes when it ends.

It’s like hiring a completely new salesforce at the beginning of every year.

You’d lose any relationships that the existing team had painstakingly nurtured and start again from scratch to try and gain access and build trust.

If there’s nothing beyond the yearly plan, then that’s effectively what’s happening.

Every year you have to start anew with a credibility rating of zero in the customer’s eye and achieve your objectives with no carry-over value or momentum.

If you can move from this to a more continuous engagement model, however, you can develop something that you can carry forward for increased returns year on year.

It might not be easy or simple, but with a permission database you can start to mimic the relationships your best reps have with customers.

Doctors become easier to access and you don’t need to try so hard to get their attention.

They opt in to more of your email newsletters and click through to more pages, enabling more effective contact and providing the opportunity for deeper customer insights.