In today's fiercely competitive market, promotions play a crucial role in driving brand awareness, customer engagement, and ultimately, sales growth. To unravel the true impact of promotion across offline and online channels, we present insights from an analysis marrying data from two sources -
(i) Primary Market Research data from PETs (Promotional Effectiveness Tracker) that track in-person sales rep visits and subsequent perceptions of HCPs on how effective those visits were
(ii) PERxCEPT - ZoomRx’s omnichannel Market Research tool that tracks all digital promotion HCPs are exposed to, in real-time
By examining three key channels – Display ads, Brand website visits, and Organic brand engagement online – we aim to uncover the effect of encountering a brand online before a sales rep visit and the subsequent impact on product perception and overall sales performance.
We specifically dive into three outcome metrics - Overall Sales Quality (OSQ), Likelihood to Increase Prescription (LTIP), and Product Perception (PP) to gain actionable insights for informed decision-making and marketing success. For this study, we analyzed 40,000+ interactions across 380 HCPs and their healthcare-related digital exposure.
#1. Organic brand engagement is pivotal in nurturing enduring customer relationships, fostering brand loyalty, and inspiring advocacy.
For the purpose of this study, we define “brand engagement” as reading about a specific drug in detail on any healthcare related website (eg. reading about Keytruda in medscape.com). MDs reported higher ratings for their sales rep visits across all three metrics (OSQ, LTIP, and PP) when they had engaged with the brand 14 days before the sales rep interaction, compared to situations where no such engagements took place.
Furthermore, a shorter 7-day window between brand engagement promotions and sales interactions yielded even more positive outcomes. HCPs had a more favorable response to brand engagement efforts when they occur in closer proximity to the sales representative interaction.
#2. Product website visits play a critical role in captivating the online experience and driving prescription likelihood, sales quality, and positive product perception.
Product website visits (eg. an HCP visiting keytruda.com) serves as a valuable opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to provide HCPs with relevant and engaging content, showcase product information, and create a seamless user experience. Online visits occurring 14 days prior to a sales representative interaction yield substantial positive impacts on pharmaceutical sales performance. Among the three promotional channels analyzed, website visits before a sales rep visit consistently yielded the highest performance metrics - indicating the rep building on latent interest on the part of the HCP.
#3. Display ads exhibit their visually appealing and attention-grabbing nature to capture users' attention and create a sense of urgency.
Digital display advertising has become increasingly prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry due to its ability to target specific audiences and provide measurable results. Encountering display ads resulted in higher OSQ and LTIP, indicating an improved perception of the sales rep interaction. Display ads also had a beneficial impact on Product Perception - though the effect was not as pronounced.
#4. Promotional emails, when engaged with closer to a sales rep's visit, positively influence perception among HCPs.
Manufacturer-sponsored promotional emails were subjected to a similar analysis but there was no effect observed on change in perceptions about the interaction - likely because email communication is not initiated by HCPs. However, the closer an HCP reads a promotional email prior to interacting with a sales rep, the better the perception. Marketers would do well to effectively connect their online and offline promotional experiences to make their marketing strategies more effective.