Improving physician engagement through multichannel data: Channel affinity

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Email

Jingfen Zhu

Chief Scientist, Analytics, Chief Science Officer

April 20, 2016 - In the pharmaceutical industry, marketing efforts to physicians have been shifting from sales force driven to multichannel. Different pharmaceutical companies embarked on this journey at different points in time. While some have successfully traveled a long way and are using multichannel data for reporting and advanced analytics, others have just started and are only beginning to report on or analyze readily available HCP-level data, such as calls and samples.

Although reports keep track of key metrics around channel performanc and multichannel analysis generates insights on the contribution of channels to the sales, relatively little discussion has been held on the following questions:

  • Channel affinity: How to derive a physician's preference of channels through multichannel data?
  • Channel synergy: How to integrate multiple channels to optimize a physician's experience?
  • Resource allocation: Based on channel affinity and synergy, how to optimize budget spending?
  • Preference segmentation: How to create segments based on channel preference?

In an easy situation, channel preference, in its strict sense, can be revealed through opt-in/opt-out of a channel or primary research data in which physicians are directly asked about their preferred way to be contacted. However, this preference only indicates ease of access and likelihood of response. It does not imply the effectiveness of channel. For example, if physician A states their preferred channel is email and physician B states their preferred channel is phone, it does not necessarily mean that contacting physician A through email will make physician A write more than physician B. The distinction between response and responsiveness must be made.

In the last 15 years, Genpact has helped many pharmaceutical clients along this transformation journey with its tremendous experience in data management and analytics. While response can be directly inferred from a physician's choice, or indirectly derived from the campaign response model via calculation of response probabilities, at other times we leverage the multichannel data to derive the responsiveness value for each physician.

While the sales force approach has dominated marketing analytics for decades, the evolution of the pharmaceutical world has seen the need for the traditional sales force approach to work in tandem with emerging multichannel approaches. Therefore, optimizing the channel mix through the lens of affinity and synergy becomes extremely relevant and ultimately improves physician experience. Marketing managers who implement tactics based on channel affinity analysis often witness the following benefits over both the short and long term:

  • Enhanced physician engagement as both channels and messages are more relevant
  • Increased loyalty from physicians
  • Improved ROMI as a result of channel optimization

Are you ready to help your company achieve these benefits? Genpact is here to help you. Please reach out to to find out more.