How to Overcome Your Biggest Challenges Marketing to HCPs

February 3, 2021

Marketing to healthcare professionals (HCPs) is essential to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, as they have significant influence over the purchasing decisions for their company’s products and services. Over the years however, reaching this audience has become extremely difficult… but why?

Physicians are becoming harder and harder to reach

According to a recent COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Survey by Accenture, nearly half (43%) of HCPs are restricting in-person visits from pharma reps in one way or another. And many expect it to stay that way. In fact, of the physicians who have restrictions, 28% believe it is something they may implement permanently while another 44% expect to keep the restrictions in place “for the foreseeable future.” To combat reduced access to physicians, marketers have increasingly turned to digital solutions to meet their needs.

When employed correctly, digital approaches can transform an HCP marketing strategy from face-to-face sales to targeted, multi-channel outreach. Instead of basing your approach on the scale of your sales force, you can reduce the number of sales reps while also increasing their effectiveness by targeting their efforts using digital marketing.

Using digital to target HCP audiences

While marketers have always seen the power of digital, they were historically faced with challenges around reaching the right HCP audiences and campaign measurement. With the evolution of digital advertising and programmatic, marketers can now target and reach HCP audiences with an unprecedented level of accuracy and effectively measure campaign performance with more meaningful insights

Taking advantage of the hyper-focused targeting afforded by digital marketing, though, requires access to data…and not just any data. The right data. The demise of third-party cookies has created significant challenges with collecting data about HCPs. Increasingly, data needs to be first-party: the HCP needs to have agreed to provide the data collector with information. This is often carried out through research initiatives by trusted organizations that collect specific information tied to the HCP’s NPI. In doing so, the data can be correlated against other first-party data sources, such as a medical website like, to provide more granularity about the HCP’s digital activities.

But an HCP marketing strategy can’t be based on data alone. To make use of that data, such as in an omni-channel approach, you need the right tools.

Employing a programmatic platform to power your HCP marketing strategy

Although digital is critical to targeting and reaching that HCP audience, you can’t include digital channels in your HCP marketing strategy with data alone. You need a programmatic platform through which you can execute your omnichannel approach. These platforms include ways to leverage that HCP data in a way to deliver consistent messaging across different channels: web, apps, CTV, even the EHR. 

Along with the ability to manage all of your campaigns from a single point, programmatic platforms, like Life by PulsePoint, make digital marketing easier by automating the selection and purchase of ad spots in different digital properties. And, finally, these platforms often include an analytics component enabling the digital marketer to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns. Measurement is an important part of any digital marketing strategy, whether it’s targeting HCPs or not.

So what does a better HCP marketing strategy look like now?

First, it’s digital. There’s just no denying the importance of digital marketing in reaching any audience today. Second, it’s data. In the case of healthcare marketers, it’s verified first-party data. Finally, it’s a programmatic platform that provides the ability to leverage that data for cross-channel campaigns while measuring their impact and effectiveness. 

Life by PulsePoint is a powerful programmatic platform targeted specifically to HCP marketers. Married with over 3MM first-party, verified HCP data records, Life provides you all of the tools and data you need to significantly improve your HCP marketing strategy.

To further help healthcare marketers improve their HCP marketing strategy as well as reach and engage with physician audiences at scale, read our latest guide for healthcare marketers: How to  Seamlessly Activate Data-Driven HCP Campaign in Real Time.

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