Manhattan Research, LLCTraditionally, pharmaceutical companies had a limited array of sources available to them to communicate with physicians - the sales force, dinner meetings, conferences, and sponsorships. But today's European physician is media savvy and interested in receiving content from a wide variety of professional information and clinical news sources. Pharmaceutical companies, accordingly, must update their relationship marketing plans to take evolving communication preferences into account when providing new product information, clinical alerts, or product updates in general.

For instance, European physicians are clearly amenable to receiving worthwhile news and information via email. Nearly 80% of European physicians report that they subscribe to some form of medical or professional email newsletters today, with the average physician reporting more than six newsletter subscriptions. This demonstrates the high penetration and reliance of this population upon email as a form of easy information gathering.

Furthermore, given nearly one-third of European physicians report they would prefer to receive updates about new pharmaceutical products and indications via email, newsletters and email content present a unique and low-cost opportunity for targeting European physicians and prescribers today.

Another growing opportunity in Europe is to communicate with physicians via SMS (text) messaging. Nearly half of European physicians report sending or receiving text messages for professional purposes, and over one-fifth report receiving SMS messages from pharma companies or reps. While routine information may not be well-suited to SMS delivery, urgent or time-sensitive information such as event updates, alerts about new products or indications, or meeting reminders could provide a value-added service to the physician. It is now, more than ever, critical for companies to understand how physicians prefer to access information, and update their customer relationship management (CRM) strategies to reflect these preferences.

Five Emerging Trends about European Consumer and Physician Use of New Media

1. Connecting to Physicians, on Their Terms

2. Leverage E-detailing as a Sales Force Supplement

3. Online Physician Portals Evolve into Clinical Resources, Beyond News

4. Empowered European Consumers Speak with Their Physician about Information Found Online

5. In the Absence of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising, Online Content Is Critical

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Source: white paper derived from Cybercitizen® Health Europe and Taking the Pulse® Europe
© Manhattan Research, LLC, 2007