Expert insight:

Which HCPs are more likely to engage in teledetailing with REPs and MSLs?

By Ruud Kooi and Beverly Smet, expert-trainers of The Strategic Digital Pharma Marketing Course.

In their recently published book, which reads as a practical guide, the experts from Across Health share lots of interesting findings from their research. This is a striking one about the use of teledetailing – also referred to as “remote detailing “or “web calls” – by pharma companies in the EU in both marketing and medical affairs (2015 data):

  • Only 15% use it as a standard tactic in pharma marketing.
  • This rate is even lower in medical affairs - only 11% - which is surprising given the fact that the interest of physicians to talk remotely with MSLs is higher compared to their willingness to talk to sales reps.
  • 46% of the companies never used web calls as a pharma marketing tactic.
  • 54% of the companies never used web calls in a medical affairs context.

As more and more digital native physicians enter the arena and remote technologies become common practice for a growing group of customers, and as access to physicians is becoming increasingly difficult, all pharma companies should embrace teledetailing.

Best is to start with HCPs who are more likely to engage in this. Research has shown that there is a strong relationship between teledetailing participation and the following factors:

  • Age: in general, HCPs who engage with teledetailing are slightly younger compared to the general population (mean age: 45)
  • Device ownership: physicians who own a tablet or smartphone are more likely to accept a teledetailing invitation.
  • Relationship: physicians are 3 times more likely to accept a remote call if they already have a good relationship with the REP or MSL.
  • E-savviness: physicians who visit pharma-owned websites or who are active on social networks for professional purposes are twice as likely to accept a teledetailing call compared to those who don’t.

Having insights into these factors for your target audience will help you make the recruitment process more cost-effective, especially in a start-up phase where you don’t know yet which customers will accept your invitation.

Last update: March 2017