The HCP customer journey consists of the steps a healthcare professional takes before the prescription of a medicine or the choice of a certain treatment method. This journey can start with increasing awareness about a certain disease or treatment method. It ultimately ends when your product is prescribed or recommended, and the HCP shares his experience with colleagues.
To add value to the customer journey of your target audience, you should first map their information needs. Based on this, you can start creating content that can help them in their search for answers. By doing this, you create several touchpoints that will gradually guide your HCP audience through the customer journey.
What could the customer journey of an HCP look like?
To give an example of a possible customer journey in the LSH sector, we will have a look at a fictional pharmaceutical company with a new treatment for psoriasis. The stages of the customer journey of a dermatologist could look like this:
● Awareness: the dermatologist often has patients return to their practice because the first couple of treatments that he/she has prescribed do not work well enough. The dermatologist starts doing research into recent developments in psoriasis treatments.
● Consideration: the dermatologist has read about a relatively new category of medicines for the treatment of psoriasis. However, there are multiple treatment options within this category. One product has a lower frequency of administration, the other medicine has an easier route of administration for the patients. The dermatologist is now evaluating all the options.
● Purchase: the dermatologist has now chosen a treatment method. Before it can actually be prescribed, all relevant stakeholders in the hospital should be provided with the right information.
● Retention/Service: at this point, the dermatologist just recently started using the new treatment method. This might mean that he/she needs some support.
● Loyalty: the dermatologist is enthusiastic about the treatment method and prescribes it to his/her patients if they meet the criteria. He/she likes to talk about the successful treatment with the product to colleagues, like an ambassador would!
Inbound marketing & customer journey mapping
Mapping the customer journey of your target audience and the inbound marketing methodology are closely related. By researching the behaviour and information needs of your target audience, you will get an understanding of the topics that could add value to their daily work. Based on these topics, you can start creating content.
The idea behind inbound marketing is that creating valuable content will attract your target audience. Since a lot of HCPs are digital natives, they will start their search for information online, in a search engine for instance. This could be the first touchpoint. The topic of your content, the type of content and the channel(s) of your next touchpoint will be determined in the customer journey map. It is all about delivering the right message, at the right time via the right channel!
Customer journey mapping in Life Sciences & Health
Mapping the customer journey in the LSH sector can be very complex, especially compared to other sectors. One factor that causes complexity is the strict set of rules and regulations. A good example of this is the distribution of product-related content. In other sectors, this is very common. But when it comes to prescription medicines, you obviously cannot just do a promotion in the public domain. Another factor that adds complexity is the HCP target audience. Contrary to a regular consumer that is interested in buying new shoes, this is more of a behavioural change, as the HCP most likely is familiar with another treatment method. Therefore, the decision has a big impact on the working day of an HCP.