Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Epharma Summit 2010 Physician Portals: Just Say No

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Bill Drummy, CEO, Heartbeat Digital

Bill challenges the audience right off the bat – What is the right way to engage doctors and get them involved?

Traditional sales model is broken! Sales reps are being laid off, due to them not getting into seeing the doctor. 80% of the time there is no contact with the doctor by the sales person. How else do you engage the doctor? Most large brands spend huge sums of money on building portals.

How are current HCP portals getting interaction with doctors?
Every large pharma co has an HCP portal. The amount of time/money/effort required to build it is very high; but the successfulness of an HCP is not that great at all. Some examples are: The Merck website gets 4.6 visits (per doctor) per year on average. Pfizer & Shire both come in less with around 3 visits (per doctor) per year according to http://www.manhattanresearch.com/

Portal usage declined from 47% to 39% in 2008.
Why? Doctors say it’s confusing and not easy to get the info they want.

Some important figures which support that the HCP current portals/business models do not work:
• Hcp’s visit portals 2-5x per year on average
• Hcp’s visit Medscape/Up-to-Date 100x

Medscape: Medical News, Full-text Journal Articles & More http://www.medscape.com/ Medscape is a free resource for Physicians, medical journal articles, MEDLINE, medical news, major conference coverage, and comprehensive drug information.

UpToDate Inc. http://www.uptodate.com/ UpToDate is an evidence based, peer reviewed information resource, available via the Web, desktop, and PDA. Our community includes more than 4,000 leading physicians, peer…

The question again becomes which sites are getting the visitors? Branded portals or portals like Medscape/UpToDate? Obviously from the numbers the Medscape/UpToDate portals are the clear winners. But why?

Top portals get 1/2 of their traffic from only 2 outside sources (Medscape/UptoDate).

On the other hand there are sites like Penfieldmed.com (doctors get rewarded Amazon for interaction)

Question: Do you want the doctor which is going to be rewarded with Amazon rewards? Generally No; the type of doctor who provides content for Amazon rewards is not really a good source for content.

No doctor visits an HCP portal just because he/she wants to; they are looking for answers to questions and want this information quickly and effortlessly. Is your portal providing this service? Probably not!

What is it people really want from the internet and how to apply this to doctors? This is the real question which is not just industry specific – people want information and want it quickly. Just look at the recent Google ad viewed during the 2010 super bowl. It’s a great example of what real people are searching for and getting quick answers – quickly.
Instant gratification. It’s what we all want from doctors to mechanics.

What are some *good* role models or websites which give their browsers/visitors what they want – answers quickly.

People want instant interaction such as instant chat, A good example of this is Lands End. You have a question about your order or a product, you click on instant chat and get a response which then allows you to purchase something and feel comfortable doing it.

The United States Postal Service has the ability to upload a photo of your package and they tell you the box size you will require to send the package. This is a phenomenal interaction and allows the visitors to the USPS website to do what they want – send packages easily.

What do HCP’s/Doctors really want? Quick and easy answers online.

So what is pharma doing to address their needs?

• Success:
To be successful, pharma will have to re-engineer the processes and provide quality on-demand service: that earns meaning fill brand interactions

89% HCP’s think the internet is essential to their practice.
82% HCP’s expect online service fro pharma

Fast and simple – reliable info on their own terms
Answers – at their fingertips
Control – in the HCPs hands
On-demand – when they want it
Pay 2 Play - They can pay to play, dollars are only used when they have an impact

In the end; service on demand is the proper concept & doing it will gain trust and earned value opposed to forced value. Right now the model is let’s recruit doctors and it’s not a good model. Just ask any doctor what they think.

Service on demand —whenever they want something – you are there. The engagement model that works, just look at the numbers.

There are many ways to interact with the doctor.. on his/her own time; live chat, interactive FAQ, etc

Some simple ways to engage:
Right in Google results: you can engage doctors and give them a proper call to action. Which is answering their request of on demand results.

Live help - has to be easy/low barrier of use. Must be simple and easy – chat is the solution. You already have them evangelists avail in call centers already; they can be seamless and transparent.

Doctors say – “MAKE IT EASY FOR ME”. I have questions and I want to engage, but it has to e easy to do.. This is what will create the personal relationship between pharma and PCHs.

In the real world: Search boxes in the banner ad offers a simple yet easy call to action (without leaving the page or being redirected elsewhere). You are NOT forcing the doctor into the pharma world but answering them in their comfort level. You can then push them into video, interactive faq, push docs and data to the doctor or have them speak to a liaison at that point. It’s all started on the page in a banner ad/ ad block. Simple yet perfectly effective.

Branded websites need to be re-thought with these new engagement ideas, this will in fact make the relationship and engagement between pharma and HCPs positive and functional.

Model: typical Pharma portal is company centric – Pfizer for example is getting only 3 visits per year/per person and this model does NOT work

• Experience
: more of an offline sales approach, does not do service on demand. On demand offers return visitors

Barriers: high in current portal, on demand has LOW barriers. If the barriers are low; they will find it useful/simple and will return

Engagement: in traditional Pharma portals you are recruiting them. In the on demand model they are engaged and want to help

Methods of engagement: opaque and hard to determine in the current portal models. You cannot learn what’s working or not working. There is limited info sharing. On the other hand on demand has complete transparency—so you can really test and try all of the methods to gain insight into the what’s working or NOT working and then change direction or scope.

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