AffinityMonitor™ Results: Unlocking Physician’s Doors, Both Virtual and Real

Malcolm Sturgis, Associate Principal and Pratap Khedkar, Managing Principal 

Malcolm Sturgis, Associate Principal: AffinityMonitor™ provides information on the specific affinities for over half a million prescribers. This is the first time that we’ve had such a broad-based view of doctors across specialties, across channels, across the industry.

Maybe the most important initial finding is that digital channels provide a real, viable alternative to some of the traditional ways that Pharma has interacted with its customers.

Nearly half of all physicians are hard for the sales force to see. However, within that group of ostensibly no-see doctors, it turns out about a third of them will interact with other non-personal channels, especially digital channels.

It could be many options. It could be email. It could be mobile alerts. It could be getting information from microsites. It could be videos, online sample requests. The list goes on.

Pratap Khedkar, Managing Principal: The other trend, which is somewhat encouraging, is that while sales rep importance and access is declining, about a third of the physicians still say by their behavior that the rep is a top channel. And 47% of the physicians say the rep is one of their top three channel.

One-quarter of the physicians like multiple channels. There are about 15% to 18% who say they don’t like the personal channel as much, but they’re perfectly fine with at least one non-personal channel. And there’s about 37%, sort of the quadrant that is the most difficult, who don’t show a preference for any personal or non-personal channel.

What makes affinity and engagement data important?

Pratap Khedkar: We really need to get back in front of the customer. The customer’s walking away from us, and we need to get back in front of them. But we need to do so in the way that they will control, because reach and frequency has moved to the point where they can control how they want to engage with us. It’s not just up to us.

Who is that person will open the email? Who is that person who likes to get their news from a website? Who is that person who prefers credible peer information as opposed to Pharma-generated promotional information?

Malcolm Sturgis: Consider an example: a cardiologist in Charlotte. AffinityMonitor™ may tell you this cardiologist engages with the sales force, by far prefers to receive information in person, and while other channels may be an option, they’re really just a supplement.

Another cardiologist in Charlotte, maybe in the same practice, could have a very different sort of channel affinity or preferences.

Pratap Khedkar: This other cardiologist, he really likes peer-to-peer information. He’s not very much into Pharma-directed promotion. And he’s very much into technology, because he’s a regular user of the EMR.

Now, knowing some of these characteristics, knowing what Pharma has been able or not able to do with him, you as a company can have a very different strategy towards that physician. Everything else may be the same. Same number of patients. Same type of behavior with regard to your project and your competitors’ products.

But how do you convey your information and build that relationship? You can be successful with both [physicians], but it will be in different ways.