SEPTEMBER 23, 2013

In June 2013, CMI/Compas conducted its inaugural Media VitalsTM study to assess the varying key factors of physician engagement across 21 specialties, enabling strategy teams to leverage data about physician‐stated media preferences and behaviors to inform how best to reach their critical audiences.  Knowing that the existing biopharm sales and marketing approach is no longer viable and that doctors are simply less available, CMI/Compas looks for alternate means of reaching, educating, and engaging physicians by combining non‐personal promotion with a customer‐centric orientation to meet physicians’ knowledge needs and enhance experiences.

Physicians by nature and profession are information seekers and gatherers, particularly when it comes to new medical developments that are important for their knowledge and the health of their patient. For many years, pharmaceutical sales representatives served as key channels for the delivery of important and valued drug‐related information to physicians such as new product developments. While the value of a rep remains high, increasing workloads, saturation and decreasing wages have forced greater erosion of the ongoing steady relationships doctors once had with pharmaceutical representatives.



A strong majority of Oncologists (66%), General & Family Practioners (60%), Pediatricians (71%), and Psychiatrists (66%) all stated having an open preference to varying alternative detailing methods of engagement, from eDetailing to web conferencing and even phone. While these preferences are dispersed at different levels across the multiple plamorms for engagement, knowing that they exist is a key to alternative rep access that can easily be supported by marketing teams at the individual rep and physician level.

alternative detailing

As information gatherers, physicians want to receive information from pharma. In fact, they want to receive it across multiple channels – increasing greatly from year to year. While their increasing preference towards the use of more channels grows, we also see that individual channel preferences tend to fragment and disperse based on channel adoption and experience as well as the type of information provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers, which may include:

  • Product updates/reminders
  • New product information
  • Drug formulary changes/updates
  • Patient support program announcements

While we may see higher percentages of physicians flocking to individual channels including reps, email, direct mail, peer‐to‐peer and dinner meetings as key sources for information gathering, it is much more important to understand that physicians have also specified their preferred channel mix (data which is available from CMI/ Compas Customer Insights data services) not only for each information type above, but across them.

When it comes to staying abreast of new medical developments, doctors are vast muli‐channel information seekers, open leveraging a multitude of cross‐media sources throughout their day to stay abreast of medical developments critical for the success of their medical practice, personal development, and patient outcomes. A mix of channels that includes medical journals (print, online and mobile), medical databases, online drug reference tools, conventions, and more plays a critical role in how and when physicians learn and engage. Understanding how each medium is used and during which times will help prepare both a placement and content strategy most appropriate for each physician’s intended use.

physicians update

Doctors are mulF‐channel information seekers and gatherers who find value in obtaining relevant information from numerous third‐party professional sources to enhance their personal and professional knowhow and patient outcomes.

Physicians are also favorable toward pharmaceutical interactions, which include reps as well as alternative channels of high value. As live access to physicians continues to be a challenge, direct access through alternative non‐personal means continues to increase in both usage and importance.


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