HCPs as ambassadors of your product or treatment

On the internet, there is a tremendous amount of information available. This is relevant with regard to healthcare professionals (HCPs). Realizing an optimal customer experience is essential to grasp the attention of the healthcare professional within the large amount of available online information. A well-defined customer journey and persona are necessary for this. This way, you offer your target group the right message at the right time, via the right channel. In this blog you will read about the power of the customer journey in combination with the inbound marketing methodology.

The course of the customer journey

A customer journey maps out which steps the target group goes through in the purchase process of a product or service. Many organizations let the customer journey start with the first contact with the customer. However, the customer journey already begins when you are trying to discover or create the customer’s needs. Ultimately, the aim is for the customer to convert and become an ambassador for your product or service.

The customer journey provides insights into the customer’s experiences during all contact moments. It makes clear which behaviour of the HCP can be observed in all phases, which information need there is, and which possible optimization steps can be made. However, it must be said that a customer journey is never finished. It is a continuous process of deploying, learning, measuring and adjusting.

Customer journey for HCPs

Below, we give an example to get a better picture of a possible customer journey within pharmacy. This journey is about a fictional organization with a new treatment method for Alzheimer’s.

The possible stages of the customer journey for this treatment method are as follows:

  • Out of the loop: the healthcare professional is not yet aware of (better) treatment methods for Alzheimer’s.
  • Awareness: the healthcare professional is aware of (better) treatment methods. He has attained the need to gather more information.
  • Consideration: the healthcare professional considers a number of treatment methods and draws up a list of arguments.
  • Purchase: the healthcare professional has chosen to apply your treatment method.
  • Service: the healthcare professional receives all important information about the treatment method.

Loyalty: the healthcare professional is very satisfied with the treatment method and becomes an ambassador

Inbound marketing

The customer journey is an essential part of an inbound marketing strategy and helps to better understand the information needs or issues per phase. This marketing approach is gaining importance in the Pharma & Health sector. The inbound marketing methodology ensures that you attract customers as you create valuable content and provide a unique customer-oriented experience. A customer journey better aligns the content to the needs of HCPs. The aim is to provide HCPs, both existing relations and prospects, with relevant information in every phase of the customer journey. This will lead to more trust and higher quality leads.

The first steps of a customer journey

To determine the appropriate moment to spread your message, it is important to place the needs of a persona onto the customer journey. This provides insights into the behaviour and information needs of the different buyer personas per phase.

The next step is to determine which content fulfils a specific need and which channel is suitable for offering this content. This way the puzzle pieces fall into place and the question is answered: “How do you deliver the right content, at the right time and the right channel to the HCP?

Power of customer journey mapping within pharma

Developing a customer journey for the pharmaceutical industry is complex compared to other sectors. At the same time, having a clearly formulated customer journey is very important: it can make or break a strategy. The complexity starts with defining the “customer”. The pharmaceutical industry has a direct relationship with HCPs and a less direct relationship with the patient. Despite the less direct relationship with patients, they play an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of HCPs. The power of the customer journey is to respond to this.

The complexity also has to do with the sometimes obstinate pharma environment, which is precisely what makes a customer journey interesting. The sector is highly regulated, and that has a major impact. This model achieves clarity of the interplay between customer behaviour, the latest customer needs and emerging technologies. In this way, within the regulation, on the basis of the customer journey, the difference can still be made for the customer.

Three reasons to use customer journey mapping for HCP target groups:

  • Clarifying the interplay between customer behaviour, the latest customer needs and emerging technologies.
  • Keep up with developments in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The effectiveness of marketing communications. Campaigns that are poorly targeted entail much higher marketing costs, because part of the budget is lost on irrelevant audiences

To sum up, a customer journey is also and perhaps particularly relevant for the pharmaceutical industry. It provides insight into the behaviour of a healthcare provider per phase and how this can be effectively anticipated. If you make serious work of this and meet an HCP with the right content from start to finish, the chance that he will become an ambassador will increase substantially.

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