Sep 09, 2022



Effectively Connecting with HCPs in Today’s Landscape

Digital advertising has transformed pharma marketing, but that doesn’t mean all strategies are effectively locking in high-value relationships with HCPs. Let’s discuss.

In 2005, there were around 100,000 pharmaceutical sales reps in the industry. Now, the number of pharma reps has barely risen above 65,000 since 2010. Face-to-face interactions used to be the most effective way for a rep to connect with a physician, but COVID-19 has dramatically disrupted that avenue. Even if a sales rep manages to secure an in-person meeting, it’s not guaranteed they’ll be able to reach that physician again in the same year. The chances of connecting with a physician twice in a year are only around 50 percent, and four times a year is 25 percent.

As sales force numbers continue to dwindle and tried-and-true advertising approaches lose efficacy, marketers must find a new strategy for reaching physicians through the noise. But how? Hint: it all comes down to high-quality content and reaching the right audience of healthcare professionals at the right time.

The State of HCP Marketing Today 

Even though healthcare professionals are notoriously busy, they still read articles, white papers, case studies, and other high-quality editorial content to stay updated on recent pharmaceutical and medical advancements. For pharma marketers, this spells an opportunity for brand exposure and engagement. Advertising alongside trustworthy editorial content drives traffic to your website and jumpstarts the process of building rapport and credibility with prescribers.

However, not all healthcare professionals have the same value to pharma advertisers. An HCP’s value to your brand is primarily based on the prescriptions they write, and for a prescription to be written, a doctor has to be seen by a qualified patient. The perfect time to capture a physician’s attention with engaging content and relevant ads is right before a qualified patient visits. It makes an impression that lasts and keeps your brand top of mind when it’s time to discuss treatment options. 

Also, pharma marketers shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond doctors and specialists to find prescribers. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants have the authority to prescribe medications and almost 97 percent of them do, writing an average of 21 prescriptions daily. Pharma marketers who remember that NPs and PAs can be high-prescribers unlock an opportunity to drive even more incremental scripts.

The Healthgrades Difference

The Healthgrades team knows what it takes to engage physicians, which helps us make meaningful connections between doctors and patients. 

82% of physicians who visit Healthgrades to view and update their profiles also go on to other areas of the site to research treatment options, vet specialists for referrals, and read medically-reviewed content. Also, eighty percent of reviews on Healthgrades are positive, showing that patients find exceptionally compatible and experienced healthcare professionals when they use our site.1 Engaging with our site is a win-win for doctors and patients, and pharmaceutical brands partnering with us can capitalize on that connection.  

Since our platform sits at the intersection of the patient-doctor journey, we have unique insight into what matters to patients and put that data to work for physicians. At the end of each year, Healthgrades sends an email to physicians with claimed profiles summarizing patient engagement generated from real-time metrics and analytical data. This insight provides concrete statistics such as page views, average star rating, and national percentile ranking, and it also includes recommendations on attracting more profile visitors and increasing overall engagement. 

Still, patient-focused metrics are only half the story. Doctors not only care about ratings but how they compare in their markets by specialty. The Healthgrades for Professionals portal also provides competitive insights and data to give physicians an idea of where they stand in their market and how they can stand out from the crowd. Physicians value Healthgrades’ professional expertise, and placing your brand’s ads alongside our actionable insights and relevant content boosts brand recognition so you can drive incremental scripts.

Healthgrades’ latest HCP Marketing product, HG360, harnesses patient-doctor touchpoints and gives pharmaceutical companies a new way to close the loop while maximizing their ad spend.

Introducing HG360

HG360 is a direct-to-physician advertising solution that targets the HCPs likely to be visited by a qualified patient. When a consumer explores condition-related content, searches for care for their condition on, or researches a physician on your website, we flag all of the healthcare professionals they come across. Then, HG360 launches a branded messaging campaign. Your campaign might include a sponsored ad, an email alert notifying the physician that an interested patient has viewed their profile, and an exclusive Healthgrades Insighter newsletter with industry news, patient perspectives, and reputation management tips.

Healthgrades also provides exclusive access to the HCPs who are part of your HG360 campaign for the duration of the program. They’ll never receive an email with another brand’s messaging, helping you create a single branded experience that keeps your brand top of mind. 

Revitalize Your HCP Marketing Strategy with Healthgrades

Pharma brands know that the future of direct-to-physician marketing is digital, but timing, content, and audience targeting are critical. With Healthgrades’ data-driven digital advertising solutions, we can help your pharma brand find your target audience among over 90 percent of active HCPs. Ready to turn your marketing goals into tangible results? Contact us today.

1 Healthgrades analysis