16.04.2021 | Health Strategy

Build long lasting HCP relationships to improve engagement

By Luke Wilson

Doctor using tablet

Build trust and earn loyalty with customers to achieve a positive emotional connection with your brand.’

This was the tagline of the NextGen Pharma Content Virtual Summit where leaders across the pharma industry spoke of their experiences and shared practical examples of how they have fostered this approach into their day-to-day business.

Having listened to a number of the sessions on-demand, we have picked out three areas that can help pharma reach the goal of building real connections with your brand.

Be intentional about building relationships and providing value

It is easy to have an objective of ‘building trust and earning loyalty’ but to get there it takes effort and intentionality. ‘Build’ and ‘earn’ aren’t words that evoke quick win scenarios, but by having a thought through, long term plan.

This was something echoed by Kris Michael Diaz, Digital Manager, Content and Channels, Global Communications at Merck MSD when he said it is “important we focus on building relationships over short term conversions”. Metrics like email opens or social media post impressions should only be targeted if they lead towards deeper relationships.

It’s important we focus on building relationships over short term conversions.

Kris Michael Diaz
Digital Manager, Content and Channels, Global Communications at Merck MSD

Douglas Camargo, Digital & Multichannel Strategy Leader at AbbVie suggested that “the first step to engaging your audience is knowledge and involvement” and that to earn loyalty you first need to “be transparent and deliver high valuable content.

Diaz added that ‘trust is developed through providing value, relevance and authenticity.

Ellen Gerstein, Senior Director, Content Strategy & Engagement at Pfizer alongside her colleague Melanie Latchman, Senior Manager, Digital Analytics discussed how having this attitude, and through data analytics, you can determine whether content is ‘good or bad’ by accessing “whether it is valuable to the customer.

Use storytelling to engage your audience

A common understanding in digital marketing is the power of storytelling to engage with the audience.

Sterlena Taylor, Associate Director, Digital Health Solutions at Novartis highlighted how we should consider “is the digital journey an actual experience that motivates, activates, resonates with customers?

Is the digital journey an actual experience that motivates, activates, resonates with customers?

Sterlena Taylor
Associate Director, Digital Health Solutions at Novartis

Diaz, Merck MSD in his presentation ‘Lessons Learned in Content Marketing to Build Trust in Your Brand in Uncertain Times’ said he felt storytelling was the lifeblood of content marketing and building long term relationships and that “video is the #1 form of storytelling right now.

To quantify this he went on to reference Neil Patel, of NeilPatel.com, that “70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product from an article than an ad, and 4x more would rather watch a video than an article

So, how might you add storytelling to your marketing using different media formats? Part of your approach will need to consider different channels relevant to the customer journey.

Consider different channels at different stages of the customer journey

The drive to use different channels shouldn’t be, as Diaz, Merck MSD said, “to recycle the same content on all platforms” because “each have different demographics” and “need a different strategy”.

Rather, as Camargo, AbbVie suggested in his session ‘Optimize Engagement with HCPs During 2021 To Improve Remote Communications, it is about discovering “where [your customers] are and how to reach out to them”.

He continued, by delivering content in a way that “your audience can use straight away” and by embracing them “across all channels you have available” you can “become an authoritative respected voice.”

Speaking on how to measure success or impact of a campaign across channels Latchman, Pfizer, said it’s important to “do apples-to-apples comparisons”. It doesn’t make sense to have a standard benchmark across different channels or campaigns, as each will have different audiences and targets to consider.

Discover more

CREATION.co has been supporting the healthcare industry with insights and consulting informed by tracking the conversations of nearly 3M healthcare professional (HCP) social media profiles. If you would like to better understand your HCP customers to add value at the right time in the right place in order to create better engagement and build long lasting relationships please get in touch, we would love to help.

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Meet the Author

Luke Wilson

Luke brings a design thinking perspective to our Marketing & Communications, working to keep CREATION’s brand presence and message front of mind to all key stakeholders.

When he isn’t learning about fatherhood, Luke enjoys watching and playing football, being an over enthusiastic fan of Liverpool FC.