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Evaluating Alternative Channels for HCP Communication

Over the past few years, we have seen a number of third-party vendors rise to the forefront of customer-centric marketing – driving healthcare providers’ (HCP) social engagement and the dissemination of brand/therapeutic information. As with the rise of social media by traditional service and product offerings among consumers, these channels have their challenges.

Given they all have the potential to add value to the traditional means of non-personal promotion (email, direct mail, telemarketing), they need to be evaluated with the same level of due diligence that one would consider for any promotional stream.

While each offering has a variety of unique features that should be considered, none is more important, or consistent across each offering, than the overlap (or separation) between the third party vendor’s “members/opt-ins” and the brand’s house file.  More specifically:

  • What is the overlap between the potential channel and the target universe?
  • Within the overlap universe, what are the criteria for defining “active” participants?
  • What is the unique value proposition of the associated channels?
  • What is the overlap between the channels, namely, will different vendors actually help me reach new incremental audiences?

To really evaluate this feature, a simple overlap analysis is the key starting point (Diagram 1).

Diagram 1: Overlap Analysis
Overlap Analysis

While there are individuals in both the vendors and the current target universe that are unique, there are an additional 4 levels of overlap to consider:

  • Overlap A) Vendor 1 and the Target Universe
  • Overlap B)Vendor 1 and Vendor 2
  • Overlap C) Vendor 2 and the Target Universe
  • Overlap D) Vendor 1, Vendor 2 and the Target Universe

Each of these overlaps, depending on the size, needs to be considered relative to profile, Rx activity, brand activity, geo-demographics, and alignment with the brand’s objectives. Without this overlap analysis, brand teams today are effectively running blind, and are most likely spending more money than necessary. They may be targeting the wrong HCPs with the wrong message. They may be using the wrong channel or inadvertently filling a target’s in-box with duplicative messages, potentially driving a valuable target to a point of diminishing returns.

Given that most vendors today are open to sharing their data, this analysis can help you quantify the opportunities for new messaging, channel selection and category activity based targeting. This approach will help you gain a better understanding of your target profiles relative to your communication objectives and each vendor’s unique value proposition. Ultimately, the goal here is to build a strategy (not a series of unrelated tactics) that is measurable, and moves the needle on your 3600 view of your HCP universe.

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