While the COVID-19 pandemic has created many shifts in consumer behavior, it has also had a significant impact on the behavior of healthcare professionals (HCPs). Marketing to HCPs still accounts for the largest share of pharma promotional spend1, but recent reports show that 58% of HCPs will not engage face-to-face in 2020.2 As a result, rep-driven email and virtual visits have increased significantly, with the average remote meeting duration doubling since the start of COVID-19.2
However, marketers are considering new ways to supplement that engagement. Many have begun looking at the influence of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising on HCPs. With many TV campaigns reaching 80% or more of the US population–on top of the heightened TV consumption during the pandemic lockdown–most HCPs are also clearly exposed to DTC messaging.3
This naturally raises the question, what impact do these DTC efforts have on HCPs? Until now, measurement approaches were unable to isolate the impact of DTC ads on HCPs. While the standard marketing mix approach can uncover how DTC and HCP marketing efforts drive intended behaviors, there are limitations when it comes to isolating and measuring how DTC media impacts HCPs on its own. Without insights into the contribution of marketing efforts on all consumers, including healthcare professionals, marketers cannot get the full picture of how their investments are working.
Veeva Crossix is closing this knowledge gap and has discovered how DTC ads impact HCPs more precisely. For example, we recently measured a DTC TV campaign for a branded prescription drug for a chronic condition. The TV ad reached approximately 85% of US households with TVs. After determining which households in the TV analysis sample included HCPs, we determined that over 85% of brand-relevant HCPs were exposed to the ad. The sample test group for the analysis included around 150,000 HCPs.
Beyond quantifying exposure, we measured the impact on conversion-to-brand Rx for patients of those TV-exposed HCPs, compared to a control group of matched HCPs and patients. The findings demonstrated that the ad drove a 23% increase in new-to-brand prescriptions (NBRx) among patients of exposed HCPs, as seen in the figure below. This impact translated to nearly 5,000 new-to-brand patients.
The findings have implications for how pharma teams should think about their DTC and HCP efforts — they are no longer two separate marketing channels. In fact, it is more important than ever to understand how broad reach DTC advertising can also influence HCPs.
Interested in seeing how your media is influencing different audiences? Contact us to learn more.
1JAMA. 2019;321(1):80-96. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.19320
2Veeva Pulse Data, October 2020
3Crossix TV Panel