Overcome a Disconnect in HCP Engagement

In our previous articles, we touched on how specialty care and the specialty care customer experience (CX) have changed in the post-COVID world. Pharma companies have more opportunities to reach providers overwhelmed with more patients and challenging cases through an omnichannel strategy and hybrid engagement. However, many companies struggle to succeed and engage with doctors and patients in the new era of medical care.

One of the significant hurdles to post-COVID success is that pharma companies struggle to adjust their mindset to make long-term, permanent changes. Many specialty care physicians do not plan to return to pre-pandemic, siloed communication. As such, pharm must transform their engagement and marketing methods to account for these changes.

Here is what you need to know about the evolving mindset in specialty care and why pharma companies must succeed post-COVID.

A Changing Customer Journey: Where Siloed Approaches Fail

Most specialty care has shifted to a digital-first and flexible era. In one survey of physicians in China, Germany, and the United States, 63% of U.S. physicians and 75% overall said they would like to keep or even increase digital interactions with sales reps. However, pharma is disconnected between the realities of a digital-first world and their traditional, siloed approach to engagement. Organizations fail to adequately address the changes in specialty care because they continue to use the established customer engagement strategies developed before the pandemic.

Many marketing leaders understand the disconnect in engagement with specialty care HCPs and how it impacts overall engagement. However, many fail to tackle it: almost 40% of respondents in our survey cited the mindset gap as the least addressed issue in customer service.

This mindset gap has a significant impact on specialty care. Operational silos typical in pre-pandemic organizations perform poorly in specialty medicine. Specialty medicine treats complex conditions that have grown even more complicated for patients that did not seek care during COVID, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic conditions. Specialty care providers need a unified, omnichannel solution in this space to help them optimize patient treatment.

Integrated Expertise as the Evolved Role in Pharma

Pharma organizations build the most effective working relationships with specialty care physicians when their platforms and content provide HCPs with advanced access and understanding in their specialty disease areas. This means that sales teams need to collaborate with departments that offer this expertise, such as medical affairs.

Companies that develop an evolved awareness understand an integrated medical affairs function is critical to meeting the increasing demands of specialty care. Breaking down silos and increasing communication with medical affairs enables sales to bring deep expertise in complex specialty diseases. With an integrated structure, reps, KAMs, or MSLs can connect their conversations with specialty care providers and experts within their organization. These experts help HCPs and provide more value than siloed systems where reps lack the know-how to provide insights and expertise.

The added value a collaborative team brings to specialty care results in increased engagement with HCPs.

Enhancing the Digital-First Approach

Beyond added expertise and collaboration, the mindset gap impacts the digital-first attitude of specialty care. Data-led approaches are critical for engagement, but many pharma companies struggle to catch up. Shifting from a product-focused mindset to a customer-focused one requires data and a digital-first perspective to enhance CX and engagement.

Pharma companies with an evolved mindset organize and use data to generate insights. They understand how to use the information they glean most effectively to fuel engagement. In one survey of physicians, 62% said that the most constructive approach pharma representatives take is taking time to understand their needs and sharing only relevant and valuable content. The right data insights can help companies create the content their specialty care physicians need.

Improving specialty care engagement requires better data management and analytics to enhance understanding of critical digital strategies and tactics. It enables them to create a digital-first approach that understands and addresses the unique needs of specialty care.

Harnessing Data with an Evolved Mindset

Pharma companies need to create an integrated organization that harnesses digital-first strategies to reach customers in the new era of medicine. The siloed, product-focused mindset no longer meets the needs and preferences of specialty care physicians grappling with a post-COVID environment. Overwhelmed with patients and increasingly complex conditions, they need pharma representatives who provide expert understanding and information where they need it. An evolved mindset requires collaboration across departments and better data management to fuel insights and provide value to customers.

How Omnipresence Can Help

Exeevo’s Omnipresence platform offers critical support for commercial and medical customer relationship management (CRM) in a single digital ecosystem. Empowered with Microsoft AI, our omnichannel CRM system improves CX interactions for life science organizations at each stage of the customer journey across devices and applications.


[1] Wolf, F, Shah, S., et al. 2021. Expectations of pharma are here to stay. BCG. Retrieved from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2021/pharma-industry-changing-doctor-expectations

[2] Pharma Phorum. 2022. Making data work by delivering relevant content to HCPs.