Marketing to physicians is always a communications challenge. There are gatekeepers, drawbridges, barriers and the never-ending constraints of a busy physician’s packed schedule. Everyone wants a slice of time for physician relations, medical device sales, hospital marketing and PR, and pharmaceutical detailing, to name just a few.
There’s no magic answer. But a recent survey suggests that the old-fashioned telephone is at the top of the list of “new media” tools to reach and promote products to physicians and other prescribers.
The recent data by the research firm SK&A – U.S. Pharma Company Promotional Spending Trends in New Media – is exclusively about pharmaceutical marketing, but there’s guidance here for others who target physicians in healthcare marketing.
Their research focused on new media channels such as Internet detailing, tele-detailing, e-meetings and web advertising. They report: “Over the last four years, promotional spending in new media has increased significantly from about $5 million in January 2006 to about $26 million by September 2010. Traditional forms of promotion, such as face-to-face detailing and meetings, are becoming less commonplace, while Internet media such as e-detailing and e-meetings are growing at a fast and steady pace.”
Nearly 50 percent of the average monthly new media spending was in Telephone Detailing ($160 million). Internet Detailing ranked second at 35 percent ($116 million), and E-Meeting (Internet) came in third with 15 percent ($48 million). Finally, web advertising (targeted to physicians), which is growing but at a much slower pace than other new forms of detailing or meetings, made up one percent of spending in new media.
We’re not sure what qualifies the 134-year-old telephone for the New Media category, but with a $160 million monthly allowance, it’s definitely a player in marketing to physicians. We’d like to know what you think.
And if you’d like to talk about healthcare marketing or marketing to physicians, reach out to us through our website.