A glimpse into the future of physician engagement


For life sciences companies, effective commercial execution depends on delivering useful information to healthcare providers. How can your business manage engagement intelligently across all channels?

The pace of pharmaceutical development is accelerating faster than ever before. During the pandemic, life sciences leaders proved that the industry can react to emerging healthcare challenges at impressive speed, with R&D pipelines that are optimised to bring hundreds of new, life-changing medicines to market every year.

But that pace can also create problems. To give patients the best possible care, physicians and other healthcare providers (HCPs) need to stay on top of a vast, rapid, and ever-changing flow of information about the latest pharmaceutical products.

Engaging with healthcare providers today

Traditionally, the flow of knowledge from companies to HCPs has been managed and coordinated by experienced sales reps. By understanding each physician’s specific needs and goals and acting as the main conduit for product information, reps played—and still play—a crucial role in giving HCPs the insight they need to make the right decisions for their patients’ treatment pathways.

However, when the COVID-19 crisis made it impossible for reps and HCPs to meet face-to-face, it forced companies to pivot towards new, digital communications channels, leading to a proliferation of apps, webinars, social networks, chatbots and other technologies that all aim to give HCPs rapid access to the information they need. And post-pandemic, we’re seeing a hybrid model emerge. According to Accenture, 46% of HCPs now prefer a mix of in-person and virtual engagements with their life sciences partners.

Unfortunately, this has also led to unintended consequences. More than ever, HCPs are being bombarded by information from every channel—making it even harder to find and focus on the optimal treatments and the best outcomes for their patients. And since reps are only one source of information among many, it’s extremely difficult for them to control the message and ensure that the physicians in their network are getting the right guidance.

Why intelligent engagement matters

So far, no major life sciences company has succeeded in joining physical and digital information flows into a true, full cycle, omnichannel data platform. Without the ability to centrally coordinate and orchestrate all touchpoints between the company and its HCP network, it’s impossible to ensure consistent, relevant, and helpful messaging.

This wastes time and budget for marketers and makes it more difficult for sales reps to have productive meetings—but it also squanders an even more valuable resource: the attention and goodwill of HCPs. In the long term, if you erode physicians’ trust in your brand by drowning them in useless or counterproductive information, it will have a negative impact on commercial execution and revenue – and prevent patients from receiving treatments that could help them.

Delivering data-driven customer experiences

Just imagine if you could:

That’s why leading players like GSK are starting to talk about the importance of data-driven customer experiences. There’s a growing acknowledgment in the industry that the only way to truly impact human health at scale is to ensure HCPs have the insight they need to make the right decisions—and that’s only possible if companies can deliver clear, consistent information about the right products for the right patients at the right time.

  • Connect information from across all channels to orchestrate intelligent engagement.
  • Empower reps with insight to maximise the impact of their meetings with HCPs.
  • Deliver more relevant and effective digital marketing campaigns at lower cost.
  • Enable HCPs to find the right information faster by streamlining digital journeys.
  • Strengthen trust in your brand by demonstrating that you understand HCPs’ needs.
  • At SAS, we’re working with leading life sciences companies around the world to build analytical data platforms that can drive intelligent omnichannel HCP engagement.