In today's fast-changing pharmaceutical industry, virtual engagement has become a game-changer.
It's a way for companies to connect with healthcare professionals (HCPs) in a more efficient way than ever using technology.
Virtual engagement is becoming more widespread also due to the advances in technology and the evident changes in the market.
By embracing virtual engagement, companies can improve communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing with all the right people, at the right time.
In this article, we explore what virtual engagement is and why it's especially important for pharma companies. We'll also see how it's breaking down barriers and encouraging more meaningful real-time interactions.
So let’s get to it!
The rise of virtual engagement in pharma
The pharmaceutical industry has experienced a significant rise in the adoption of virtual engagement strategies, which has been influenced by various factors including the global COVID-19 pandemic.
As traditional methods of engagement were disrupted, pharma and life science companies have turned to virtual engagement platforms to connect with stakeholders.
This shift offered advantages such as:
- overcoming geographical limitations
- expanding reach globally
- increasing adoption of digital technologies
- individuals have become more comfortable with online tools
This shift towards virtual engagement to engage HCPs is not temporary but rather a permanent paradigm in the pharmaceutical industry.
Some of the leading companies today have already witnessed benefits in cost savings, expanded reach, and increased engagement through virtual platforms.
And stakeholders have experienced the convenience and flexibility of digital interactions – making virtual engagement an integral part of their daily routines.
However, many companies in the pharmaceutical industry have struggled to adapt to the new hybrid model.
According to a survey conducted by BCG, 50% of pharma companies scored below average in digitally delivering content to HCPs the past year.
On the contrary, HCPs are already showing signs of adjusting well to the new interaction channels. So companies in pharma need to boost their efforts to meet the new demand.
Virtual engagement tools and technologies
Virtual engagement platforms, like websites, provide many interactive features and opportunities for real-time and engaging participation as well as many effective ways of distributing information, surpassing many of the traditional methods.
These platforms empower HCPs to:
- stay updated with the latest advancements
- engage with experts in their field
- enhance their professional development
- and aid pharma companies in delivering efficient messaging about the latest developments and information about their products.
Some examples of pharma digital engagement channels are:
💻 Engagement platforms and portals
These are digital platforms that offer qualified HCPs access to a wide range of resources, including medical literature, clinical guidelines, videos, and educational materials.
They also often have features like discussion forums and personalized recommendations that enable the HCPs to access the most relevant and up-to-date information for their area of expertise.
📲 Remote or e-detailing tools
E-detailing tools also provide a virtual platform for pharmaceutical representatives to remotely engage with HCPs and deliver product information, clinical data, and educational resources.
Through these, the representatives can personalize their content, address HCPs' specific needs and concerns, and provide detailed insights about the benefits and usage of their particular pharmaceutical products.
Many of the tools and technologies that are available today utilize these features and allow HCPs to actively participate in discussions, ask questions, and access the most relevant resources for them.
To help you explore the best options available, we have curated a list of the top 8 HCP engagement platforms that effectively leverage these features.
Benefits and opportunities of virtual engagement
Virtual engagement offers many advantages and exciting opportunities for pharmaceutical companies and HCPs alike.
🌎 Firstly, it helps to overcome geographical limitations, by allowing companies to reach and connect with HCPs regardless of their physical location.
🕰 Virtual interactions also provide flexibility, accommodating busy schedules and allowing HCPs to engage at their convenience.
This is not to even include the range of ways that virtual platforms enhance engagement and information sharing, including chat, secure resource sharing, and personalized content delivery.
💎 These present opportunities for delivering targeted and tailored information, educate HCPs about new treatments and therapies, and foster collaboration among professionals.
Ultimately, using virtual channels opens doors to increased accessibility, more efficient communication, and the creation of meaningful connections and interactions.
Overcoming challenges and ensuring effective virtual engagement
To overcome challenges and ensure effective virtual engagement, it is crucial for companies to tailor the mix of engagement channels for HCPs.
The selection of channels should consider different factors. For example, physician preferences, behavioural patterns, and practice-specific interests.
These should also include a continuous collection of engagement data, enabling yous to adapt their strategies. This approach will foster stronger connections and optimize the impact of virtual engagement efforts.
To learn more about actionable steps you can take, check out the best practices for your next HCP marketing strategy or the 5 best strategies for optimizing your digital engagement.
Virtual engagement has proven to be a transformative force in the industry, offering many new opportunities for companies to connect with healthcare professionals in new and impactful ways.
By embracing virtual engagement and various virtual tools, sales reps can overcome geographical limitations, foster real-time interactions, and deliver targeted information and interactive content to HCPs.
As technology continues to advance and market dynamics evolve, this digital transformation will play an increasingly vital role in shaping the future of pharmaceutical sales.
Feeling inspired? See giosg's effective solutions for boosting virtual engagement in pharma, or get in touch with one of our experts to discuss the best strategy for you! 😊