How the right content experience boosts pharma product launch engagement

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The deciding factor? 

There are two aspects of brand and medical communication to get right. Firstly, there’s the content itself. That’s how well something conveys your messages, engages HCPs, and meets their information needs. And, yes, it has to be brilliant, but it’s just half the story.

You also need to consider how that content is presented or, to use marketing jargon, how it is ‘surfaced’ to HCPs. That’s the content experience — how content is organised and highlighted on a website, email, or any other channel. It is often the determining factor for the success of your marketing investments, but it doesn’t get the attention it should.

This Anthill Insight explains the meaning of content experience in healthcare and offers practical suggestions on applying it to your product launch.

Content experience is often the determining factor for the success of your marketing investments

The meaning of content experience

A good way to understand content experience is to take a practical example. Let’s start with a simple channel — a standard webpage. And now, imagine that you've created a fantastic content library that you can use to populate that page. So, you have your marketing strategy and your marketing content.  

All the decisions that then follow are about content experience.  

What should HCPs see first? Is it the most eye-catching animation to attract attention? Or maybe you should highlight the latest content so the audience always sees what's new? Will you present all the videos together because you know that videos are popular? How will you highlight each content element so that HCPs are encouraged to engage with it? What will drive the clicks, downloads and sign-ups?

In other words, content experience determines how HCPs can interact when they visit your channels. It is the vital moment when an HCP decides whether to engage.

Content experience applies to the moments when HCPs are deciding to engage

Why it matters

Content experience matters because — quite simply — getting it wrong reduces the impact of your marketing. For established healthcare products, a poor content experience is damaging. For a product launch, it is disastrous because — as all pharma marketers know — the trajectory achieved in the first months of a launch tends to be maintained throughout the product lifecycle. Get the launch right, and you'll do well for years. Get it wrong, and you're forever playing catch-up.

The hard truth is that HCPs don't lack websites to visit or emails to read. Their problem is never ‘not enough content’. It is always too little time. Consequently, if HCPs struggle to find what they need or don't immediately see the importance, they will leave.

By paying attention to content experience, however, HCPs better understand the value of your content. And that results in increased engagement.

Deloitte Insights: Key factors to improve drug launches, March 2020

Be wary of chronological presentation

One common issue is presenting content in the order that it was created. For example, the newest thing gets the most prominent position on a webpage. This approach is not necessarily the most useful for the audience.

If someone is new to a subject or has a generally low knowledge of a topic, you first need to win them over and demonstrate why they should care. Easy-to-consume content works great initially because you can provide an overview and quickly show why it matters. However, if HCPs are presented with a detailed explanation of one specific aspect of a topic, they will likely bounce off.

That said, this isn’t an ironclad rule. There are occasions when showing content chronologically is precisely what's needed. But it shouldn’t be the default option. For every tactic, you must consider the best way  – meaning the most effective – to present the content.

In other words, content experience requires knowing people’s needs because you are always designing for someone. In this way, it is similar to message development. All marketers are experts in segmentation and matching the right message with the right person. Content experience just takes that a little further and applies it to how content is delivered.

Best practice is to consider the customer journey and present content in the order HCPs need. This often is different from the order in which it was produced.

Doctor engages with content on ipad
Content experience drives engagement by ‘surfacing’ content in the way that best meets HCP needs

Organise by topic, not content format

Another common mistake is categorising content by type — such as grouping all case studies or videos on a single page. Usually, HCPs are not looking for a video but specific information. If they have to review all the videos and then repeat that process in other sections categorised by content format, it's slow and frustrating.  

Again, the solution is to think about what HCPs need. Most people want to explore a topic, not a format. So, grouping content thematically enables HCPs to review all relevant content. And if you then present that content in the correct order — working out what people need to see first and then what should follow — you further improve the content experience.

That said, it’s true people have different format preferences. For example, some people really do prefer reading a simple text over watching a video because they want to scan the page and jump to the most relevant part. Then, once you've demonstrated your value, they may hit the play button on a video.

So, having texts, videos, images and animations on any topic is excellent. But if you group these thematically, people can first go to the topic and then choose the format that suits them best.

Label content by sophistication  

Labelling your content according to the required knowledge level is also a good idea. In that way, people can select what's most appropriate for them. For example, an HCP email can highlight the latest clinical study and include a small section with basic information.  

If this primary content is clearly indicated and kept short — e.g. a 3-minute refresher on a disease — many people may find it helpful. And it may be surprisingly popular. In the publishing world, many successful series of books were established by labelling them ‘for beginners’ or ‘the idiots guide to’. This wording isn’t appropriate for expert healthcare professionals, but the underlying approach can work well. No one can be an expert on everything. Ensuring a range of content for different knowledge levels — and clearly labelling it — is appreciated.

Categorising your content by knowledge level can also be helpful for you. It makes building the desired content experience much easier — providing the right mix of content presented in the correct order.

Explain the relevance

Explaining relevance is perhaps the most critical factor in content experience. Get it right, and HCPs will take notice of your product launch content. Unfortunately, very little attention is paid to this last little step; consequently, all the investments in strategy and content are never fully realised.

What’s the secret? It’s very simple: first explain why something is relevant.

Imagine a personalised email. It's tempting to think that if you know what a doctor wants and have created the content that meets those needs, the only thing left to do is to send it: “Here are our latest diabetes treatment resources. We hope you find these useful. Please reach out if you require more information.”

That's okay, but there's a good chance that many HCPs won't engage. While you know the content is an excellent match for their needs, doctors only know once they view it. There’s a gap. The value is only revealed after they click play on a video, open a patient case study, or scroll down the page.

To bridge this temporary gap, HCPs must understand why something matters — so tell them. Give them a reason to engage by explaining why it’s relevant to them specifically. You do that with one word, 'because':

  • “…because in your region, there are higher cases of this disease compared to the national average"
  • “…because doctors in surrounding towns are reporting a spike in incidence over the last 6 months”
  • “…because patients replay these videos 3 or 4 times to understand their condition better"
  • “…because this new data shows the optimal dosing regimen”

Explaining the relevance will have a major impact on your launch communications. While many companies are competing for an HCP's attention, you already have an advantage by offering something new. They are primed to engage. Taking a step further — helping them understand why it matters to them specifically — boosts click-throughs, open rates and sign-ups.  

Explaining why your content matters and surfacing the right elements drive engagement

Content experience drives product launches  

Content experience needs to get more attention. Tremendous effort goes into developing innovative marketing strategies; even more resources are applied to creating content that conveys those strategies. But how that content is presented is too often an afterthought.

As we've sought to explain, the content experience ultimately determines success. The moments when HCPs decide whether or not to engage with an email or brand website matter most. By focusing on those points — creating the right content experience at every touchpoint — all the hard work in developing strategies and content pays off.  

If you get it right once, your communication will be successful. Provide a great content experience repeatedly, and you’ll build a brand reputation for providing relevant information that’s easy to access.  

Where next?

Learn how automated HCP engagement provides your content on-demand with a ‘chat’ interface that personalises the experience and guides HCPs. Automated engagement is a great way to supplement your salesforce and boost marketing reach and contact frequency in the critical first months of your product launch.

Watch the webinar

More on pharma product launches

Webinar recording: from launch to legacy
: product launch success factors
: omnichannel product launches
HCP content preferences
Marketing guide:
 understanding omnichannel


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