Written by: Nathalie Dijsselbloem

Yup, we all experience the rapidly changing medical environment. Especially healthcare professionals (HCPs) suffer to stay up to date to provide optimal patient care.

Do you also feel swamped with information that not necessarily fits your needs and you’ve to spend time selecting what’s relevant and sometimes even ignore all influx as a counter-reaction?

Yes, we all have our moments thinking "trop c’est trop". And especially HCPs face time restrictions and feel pressured to spend their precious time and efforts into information that they actually need.


With the digital (r)evolution, we can create tailored and customised packages of medical information. Addressing HCPs with medical information fitting their personal educational needs. All online! And with a much large potential in terms of reach: HCPs that can’t be engaged through classical channels such as congresses, satellite symposia, journal manuscripts etc.

What is it?

An interactive educational digital community platform. It really is a mouth full and maybe an easier question is, what is it not? It is certainly not a regular information database, not passive and not one-size-fits-all.


How does it work?

Adopting a digital strategy obviously starts with defining and characterising the HCP target group. Who do you want to reach? Impactful digital campaigns are a key element in approaching and actively recruiting HCPs with interest in the topic. The known ones but also, and even more important, the ones that are yet unknown.

One of the best acquisition channels is Google. Google is the number one search engine with a huge amount of search volume. This means that Google knows a lot about people: what they are looking for, which websites they visit, where they live, … and enables pretty refined segmentation. Advertisements through Google (Google Ads) let you reach those HCPS who are actually looking for specific information. Or you can build awareness by showing your ads to a specific target audience.

Also, the world’s largest business focused social network, LinkedIn, can be used for your target audience. It contains a lot of professional information that can be employed to set up your acquisition campaigns.

Another strategy - probably less hocus-pocus for many people - is sending out emails to a relevant contact database e.g. from a journal or a congress in the disease area or topic. But how relevant is a contact database? Sometimes it is better to build your specific contact database/

But don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal! Give people the information they are looking for. Speed and relevance are top criteria. Therefore, specific landing pages with a single message are a key instrument in succeeding.

Grabbing the HCPs’ attention is only the first step. The next steps are activation and retention: make sure they are coming back. How? Ask for an email address for receiving updates or use re-marketing with Google Ads. The latter will let you show specific ads to people who already visited your site.

And, when the HCPs like what they get, they will tell their colleagues and peers (referral).

Is it effective, does it actually work?

A digital community platform is continuously evolving: the information needs to be up-to-date and specific for different target audiences. HCPs need to be challenged all the time. And most important: they must be able to decide how, what, where and when they interact and engage.

The digital acquisition, activation, retention and referral (AARR) campaigns are core elements in the build of digital community platforms. Which campaigns work really depends on the target audience and content setting. We want to think along with you to develop pinpointed campaigns serving your goals.

Don’t forget measurement brings knowledge. You need to know what to measure in order to know how to adapt all actions accordingly. Choosing the right metrics and making the right interpretation is not so easy.

For more information: go to [What is the relationship between sushi & consumption of medical content] and [Do you still believe in cosmetic statistics?].

medical information

What are the risks?

It’s true that the pharmaceutical industry is struggling to adopt the latest innovation in the digital world, due to fears related to regulation or privacy concerns. With the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place in Europe, caution may win from opportunities. However, with the appropriate measures in state, compliance concerns should not be existing.

For more information, go to [GDPR in medical education & communication : blessing or curse?].

Does it mean the classical approach does not work?

Don’t step away from classical approaches to engage HCPs such as face-to-face meetings, satellite symposia etc. They are still important and should in fact be implemented in your overall strategy. In the end, the best strategy is a combination of both online and offline approaches that are interconnected.

What’s next?

By welcoming, embracing and mastering digital, it can become a real driver in your engagement with HCPs. Are you interested in this concept? Contact us for collaborating to meet your goals!