How can pharma avoid HCP ‘promo fatigue’?

Market research reports in the last few months have shined a light on “promo fatigue”—that feeling among doctors that pharma has been spamming them with digital marketing overkill during the pandemic.

A recent survey by Indegene found 62% of HCPs felt “overwhelmed” by product-related promotional content they receive from drugmakers. In a separate Accenture survey, 64% of HCPs said they’re getting too much digital content from pharma, and 65% said at least one pharma company had “spammed” them since the pandemic began.

So how can pharma engage doctors in this new marketing landscape without adding to the deluge of clutter? It’s about synchronization and storytelling.

The number one thing to consider is what the needs of physicians are, the best way to reach them, and the story.

For sales reps, for instance, that may mean straying from their promotional scripts and arming themselves with more information that can help doctors help their patients.

Physicians want to know who’s the right patient for a drug against competitors, what access to this drug is like. What type of patient savings programs are available? How can they support patients so they stay committed to the treatment? Other questions could be how the mechanism of action is different, how does this drug show up in the guidelines or if there is head-to-head data versus another drug?

With so much information coming at doctors from multiple directions, it's also crucial the messaging is synchronized. One way is through omnichannel marketing strategies that tell a seamless story across platforms. But coordination between marketing personnel and field force is also important—as is making sure that DTC campaigns are paired up with relevant communications to doctors. When companies pitch their drugs on TV or social media with instructions to “ask your doctor,” those doctors need to be ready with detailed information so they can adequately respond to patients' questions.

Pharma should emphasize quality over quantity in their HCP engagement strategies.

HCPs have time, and they will reward you if you engage them appropriately, but that certainly is quick to turn if there’s too much content coming their way in a disorganized fashion or that doesn't speak to their specific consumption preferences.



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