AN OMNI-CHANNEL APPROACH TO SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS

HOW TO BETTER MEET THE NEEDS OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS (HCPS)

Published 27 Sep 2017

It is no longer sufficient to provide onsite scientific meetings. For the foreseeable future, there is still high demand for national and international conferences (over two thirds of HCPs say meetings continue to be the most important way for them to gain new information and skills) but the modern meeting calls for a more integrated and multi-channel approach to content delivery. By limiting HCPs to live and onsite events, without the option for accessing the same information on-demand or virtually, HCP engagement is limited by various chanllenges: 76% of HCPs cited cost as an obstacle to attending onsite events, 62% cited a lack of time and 71% cited prioritising time for workload as a preventative factor.

Multi-channel

Multi-channel strategy, a concept now widely understood by the pharmaceutical industry, ensures that HCP engagement is possible regardless of where, when and how they choose to access information. However, recent research conducted by EPG Communications Group indicates that pharma is falling short of HCP demand for multi-channel access to scientific meetings and their output, with 89% of HCPs wanting to access meetings online but only 33% of pharma ‘always or usually’ considering the opportunities for HCPs’ virtual/online access. Equally, 90% of HCPs said that access to information beyond the meeting helps them to apply new medical approaches more quickly but under a third of pharma currently have high focus on dissemination of content beyond onsite events. Pharma, therefore, is missing a key opportunity to optimise audience reach and engagement, and to better support HCPs education needs.

Omni-channel

While a multi-channel approach ensures that content is available beyond the onsite meeting, implementing an omni-channel approach ensures a seamless customer experience across every medium. The omni-channel approach stems from a focus on the customer’s needs, rather than the individual goal of each channel. The result is a more convenient, familiar and engaging customer experience which, in turn, translates into trust in the source and longer, more frequent engagement with the content and activities surrounding scientific meetings. To implement a successful omni-channel strategy, pharma needs to ensure that HCPs are supplied with what is currently lacking: convenient access to live, virtual and on-demand scientific meetings and their output.

Pharma’s role

So what does pharma need to do to evolve strategy around scientific meetings and meet HCP demands? Our research identifies a number of challenges faced by pharma, such as a lack of internal confidence (reported by 61%), lack of internal skills/knowledge (44%), internal reluctance to change (50%) and concerns about measuring and understanding the engagement, value and outcomes (37%). Overcoming these challengesis key to successfully progressing towards an omni-channel approach that will satisfy the current needs of HCPs.

On the 18th October, a multi-stakeholder panel (pharma, medcomms, medical association and HCP) will discuss the research findings, obstacles faced by all stakeholders and opportunities to overcome the challenges of scientific meetings in the digital age. Register for webinar >



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