Burlington, MA—A recent survey by the Decision Resource Group reveals that only 34% of physicians feel that pharmaceutical websites are trustworthy. Even fewer (barely a quarter of the 2,784 doctors surveyed) see pharma websites as credible sources for professional information. But DRG’s 2017 Manhattan Research shows that these HCPs are not as skeptical of all digital sources: 77% see third-party HCP websites as credible. Some drugmakers are acting on that insight and leveraging those third-party sites, but not necessarily in the ways their customers want: 62% of the respondents feel all pharma contents on those sites “are always ads.”

Why This Matters—

So what are savvy healthcare marketers to do? Matt Arnold, principal analyst at DRG claimed, “We’re in a new environment where you really need to move from pushing out promotional content to pulling in the customer and engaging them with valuable resources…What physicians need are resources for patient education, scientific information on drugs to help them make better treatment decisions, and continuing medical education.” With that said, there’s plenty of room for improvement: more than half of physicians surveyed didn’t feel that any pharma company does a good job of providing quality medical education resources to physicians online. And simply “online” is just the tip of the iceberg of opportunity: the study also showed that 86% of physicians use their smartphones to access digital resources for professional purposes, but 41% of them don’t visit pharma websites more often because it takes too much time to find the information they need.

Ultimately, insights from this survey led DRG to create this simple checklist to ensure physicians’ key concerns are addressed in 2017:

  • Better support care and increased brand value through provision
  • Embed resources at the point of care to support treatment decisions (inside and outside the EHR)
  • Make it easier for physicians to stay on top of your medical information by anticipating their format and source preferences
  • Optimize your brand experience across devices by understanding the use cases of screen-switching physicians
  • Increase your visibility in a crowded market with the right partnership strategies
  • Leverage video in smart ways to enhance learning and increase impact on behavior

About the Author:

Drew Beck has spent his entire career in healthcare — from direct patient care as an EMT in college to countless roles in pharma sales and global marketing for leading life science companies including Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently a leader on the Syneos Health Insights & Innovation team, a group charged with leveraging deep expertise in virtual collaboration, behavioral science, trends-based-innovation, custom research and global marketing insights.