Digital events a new channel for HCP engagement


Events have always been key for medical & marketing teams in pharmaceutical and Medical devices companies to reach, train, support daily practices, and engage in meaningful exchanges with healthcare stakeholders/professionals (HCP).

There is an increasing number of events and engagements, whether physical or virtual, including conferences, educational programs, scientific meetings, speaker programs, medical advisory boards, symposium, investigator meetings, and more.

Events must be carefully managed as they directly reflect on the company reputation, compliance & scientific exposure.

In 2017, face-to-face interactions were still the preferred channel for HCPs to access medical information (74%), but more than 60% of them also indicated webinars, websites, and webcasts as key channels they use to access information [1].

The increasing number of digital natives among HCPs (67% in 2020 [2]), combined with the Covid-19 epidemic context, has largely accelerated the need for a digital shift of events and medical trainings.  Even Asco, cancer research’s top meeting has moved on-line.

For pharma companies and Medical Device manufacturers, the organization of digital events combined with other channels (e-mails, remote detailing…) ensures a continuum in HCP relationship, and frequency of contacts.

Key advices when organizing Digital events

1. Approach Digital events as specific event types
  • Define HCP target audience & understand HCP information-seeking behavior for the event in your given business/therapeutic area
  • Decide on appropriate e-event content objectives & timing
  • Design specific KPIs measuring efficiency of the digital event (#of attendees; #of contacts after the event; #tweets after meeting, # of likes, level of satisfaction…)
  • Help your KOLs to become Digital Opinion Leaders (DOL) to create medical communities
  • Track all your digital activity to constantly refine your digital approach
2. Adapt Event format to the digital context
  • Focus on reduced session time (5 mn presentation, 30 mn presentation/ 20 Q&A…) and vary session format thanks to the interactive tools available (ex: a short video, a quiz, a short comment, slides…)
  • Propose a blend live and on-demand online content to maximize reach (for instance event available on your website with HCP number...)
3. Take Benefits from Technology to maximize engagement & conversion
  • Evaluate content updates requirements during the event, to adapt during live sessions when needed
  • Propose quick feedback surveys to evaluate adoption by the participants and adapt future digital events
4. Leverage on several communication means & customer-facing population
  • Communicate about the webinar with appropriate social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook…) and SEO to increase potential HCP attendees
  • Make for Field Force, MSLs an invitation set available for personal invitations

“The advantage with Digital events, is extended reach, a tracking on all actions, reduced cost, and possibility in 1to1 meeting to come back to the webinar and target messages“

Why don’t you test digital Event platform and learn from this experience

Today, several solutions exist to train and inform on scientific aspects HCPs such as video-learning, visio-conferences, and e-learning.  You can easily implement them, and therefore get a quick win and experiment this new way of interactions with HCP’s, under the motto Test & Learn

Invivox use case

Invivox is an example of a medical distance platform capable to quickly organize information/education, scientific sharing, and best practice exchange with scientific societies and KOLs.

Invivox is a French Startup whose mission is to facilitate the continuing medical training of all types of HCPs in France and in the world – both online and on-site – leveraging its platform and digital approach (peer-to-peer communication).

Invivox main benefits:

  • Create and publish training events (on-site or online) targeting HCPs
  • Manage and follow-up the number of registrants for each event organized
  • Generate leads through the visibility given to the trainings listed on the platform (in full compliance with the regulatory environment)
  • Support KOLs to become DOLs (Digital Opinion Leaders) to increase share of voice in the digital world
  • Organize from A to Z training/scientific webinars to keep in touch with HCPs (Peer-to-Peer approach)
  • Structure & organize « Open classrooms » events to carry on training courses for HCPs
  • Track all digital campaigns and measure the ROI of each event

After a successful experience in the medical device environment (with clients such as Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Philips, Peters Surgical), the startup can strongly contribute to the “new deal” in Pharmaceutical companies.

Don’t forget that digital events in one channel, within a multi-channel strategy

The digitalization of events is part of the overall multichannel engagement strategy of a product/therapeutic area. 5 steps have to be followed for a multichannel engagement strategy, with the absolute priority of maintaining regular and qualitative contacts with each HCP (specialists, GPs, Nurses, pharmacists...) by offering the best content on the optimal format at the right moment thanks to the coordination of different channels (on-line & offline).

With the pandemic, you need to start with the understanding of your HCP needs and usages. Qualitative and quantitative data & insights are therefore fundamental to start about:

  • How has HCP changed its habits regarding channels? (F2F, digital detailing, attendance to medical meetings or congresses, digital training attendance …)?
  • What kind of content does the HCP expect?
  • What is the frequency of interactions?
  • Where and how are HCPs looking for scientific content? What kind of services are needed with regards to patients? Which new services could be offered?

In general, what we have seen is that HCPs are looking for interesting content & services. Qualitative content should get a prominent role in the interaction.

Digital means are part of the mix of the multi-channel strategy. The advantage of a digital approach is the capacity to target your audience, interest your clients with appropriate content, and the capability to analyze data coming from digital sources.

As the customer is at the center, a continuous feedback on the mix, content, and experience should be incorporated in the multi-channel strategy. In this term, it is about Test, Learn, Build, Run, Learn, Build again….



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