Get Digi With It!

Is pharma doing enough to maximize digital potential in payer marketing?
A recent DRG Digital Manhattan Research study finds that pharmas’ marketing tactics have not evolved to meet the ever-changing data needs of today’s payer decision-makers, who now prefer to locate and receive targeted information online.

Pharma companies have traditionally relied on face-to-face meetings between account managers and payers to market drug treatments. This customary approach is now clearly at odds with the demands and protocols of the digital age and misses a critical opportunity.

In a recent study conducted by DRG Digital’s Manhattan Research, 189 U.S. P&T committee members were surveyed. Of those members:

• 44% indicated that they would use pharma digital resources more often if manufacturers made it easier to find information targeted to formulary decision-makers
• 52% agreed that interactive content makes in-person meetings with account managers more valuable

According to DRG’s research, the top three things P&T members are most interested in obtaining from pharma are:

  1. Access to HEOR data after product launch (52%)
  2. Trend reports for disease categories (51%)
  3. The ability to reach experts digitally (46%)

Payers are no longer sitting back and waiting for account managers to come tell them about new treatments and data. Payers are searching for information on drug websites for HCPs, online medical journals, and other digital information channels.

How can pharma establish a strong digital presence with payers?

One digital move pharma has employed to maximize communications with payer decision-makers is to put digital tools into the hands of account managers during live meetings (e.g., interactive tablet presentations with relevant payer content). Results from the DRG study showed that 52% of P&T committee members agreed that interactive presentations make meetings with account managers more worthwhile.

The Opportunity

Pharma can improve payer engagement by:

• Developing targeted digital content, and incorporating digital tools into face-to-face account manager meetings
• Tailoring the content of digital outreach to payers’ data needs. Payer resources should be discoverable online and specifically targeted to the interests and information needs of formulary-decision makers. These can include branded payer-focused websites, disease state websites and interactive payer value propositions.

Results from the DRG study showed that P&T committee members consider digital apps and websites for payers and HCPs as important to their formulary decisions as communications with account managers, highlighting the need – and the opportunity – for pharma companies to employ a more balanced approach in their market access communications.

The Take-Away

In today’s digital age, payers are conducting the majority of their research online. Pharma companies who are not responding to this reality are neglecting a fundamental marketing directive: be where your customers are.

Author: Ashley Snelling