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Breaking silos: Aligning HCP and patient engagement for better patient and Rx outcomes

28 Sep 2023
The convergence of healthcare professional (HCP) and Direct-to-consumer (DTC) engagement is a topic of increasing importance. Life sciences organizations are actively seeking innovative ways to align these two crucial aspects of their business to better serve patients and HCPs and improve overall healthcare and prescription outcomes.
At the Indegene Digital Summit, industry experts Brian Cantwell (Bayer), Andrew Isaacs (Novartis), and Anand Ramachandran(Regeneron) shared their insights on the challenges and opportunities surrounding this convergence.
The key highlights of the session are summarized below.

Ways to align HCP and Patient Engagement

Setting strategy and objectives

Aligning DTC and HCP marketing efforts necessitates a clear strategy and well-defined objectives. Brian Cantwell emphasized the importance of establishing clear goals to commence this alignment. The primary external objective revolves around delivering an exceptional life sciences customer experience by conveying the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel. Strategic content alignment is vital for greater patient and HCP engagement.
Brian further underlined that delivering the right message hinges on a robust content strategy. This strategy goes beyond simply crafting compelling content; it must ensure that patient and HCP communication is effective. This alignment is a cornerstone for creating a seamless and meaningful experience for both parties. Patients should feel confident in sharing relevant information with their healthcare providers, making it a linchpin for achieving a holistically aligned content strategy.
The question is, are you enabling the patient or consumer and the HCP to be speaking the same language when they are in the same place together?
– Brian Cantwell
Identifying the right recipient at the right moment is a challenge in life sciences marketing. Privacy-safe methods for tracking patient engagement with marketing material allows for the timely deployment of tactics and ensures that HCPs receive pertinent information precisely when they need it. Timely communication fosters productive conversations and enhances the overall effectiveness of digital HCP engagement.
Brian also highlighted an important aspect of the alignment process: acknowledging that HCPs are also consumers. This perspective underscores the need to recognize that HCPs can be reached through consumer marketing channels. He shared an example of a consumer-targeted TV advertisement that successfully demonstrated HCP engagement, highlighting the interconnectedness of these two marketing approaches.

Privacy and compliance

Andrew Isaacs stressed on the critical aspects of privacy and regulatory compliance in healthcare marketing. Organizations must handle data with the utmost care, especially when utilizing electronic health records (EHR) claims data. Compliance is non-negotiable in healthcare marketing, and it necessitates meticulous attention to processes, content, and metadata matrices to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements. He also recommended risk-stratified review lanes to optimize modularized content review.

Leveraging technology

Anand Ramachandran delved into the role of technology in supporting integrated marketing efforts. He emphasized the importance of high-quality data as the foundation for success. Data must be consolidated and validated to ensure its reliability and relevance. Technology tools, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), play a crucial role in this process. They facilitate tasks such as segmentation and channel affinity analysis, providing valuable insights for optimizing marketing strategies and patient engagement. Additionally, technology aids in content review and risk mitigation, ensuring that all content aligns with compliance standards.
I don't know of any organization that has one technology stack for everything.
– Andrew Isaacs

Audience quality and data-driven insights

Integrated conversations between different teams in an organization, specifically between HCP and consumer/patient marketing teams, are of paramount importance. Brian highlighted steps taken in his organization to consolidate partners by bringing media planning and buying in-house. The internal team engages in discussions about partner opportunities, and they support brand teams with digital strategy and campaign planning in an integrated manner.
Andrew emphasized the significance of a common business planning process linked to strategic imperatives. This approach centres on achieving a superior customer experience, which, in turn, guides data and content requirements. By focusing on audience segmentation and delivering tailor-made content to the right audience, organizations can ensure that their marketing efforts resonate effectively.
Anand also shared an illuminating example from Regeneron, showcasing how clinical trials data is leveraged to empower the field force. The development of an app that identifies patient populations and cohorts allows for the customization of messages. This level of data consolidation and analysis provides deep customer insights, drives segmentation, and enables the generation of next-best-action recommendations for the field force.

Transitioning to integrated campaigns

In transitioning towards integrated marketing efforts, there is a need to emphasize the importance of accountability, measurement, and goal achievement. Organizations should continually assess their progress against established objectives. The journey encompasses consolidating technology stacks, optimizing costs, and ultimately delivering a high return on investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns.
Organizational structure plays an important role in achieving integrated marketing. Andrew emphasized the need for a holistic approach that focuses on behavior change, customer experience design, planning and integrated pharma solutions. Data should serve as a support mechanism for the overarching plan, aligning with the strategic imperatives that drive the organization's success.
Getting your plans in front of data privacy teams early in the cycle and taking them along on the journey is critical for success.
– Anand Ramachandran


Aligning DTC and HCP marketing strategies requires clear objectives, a well-defined content strategy, data-driven insights, and a focus on delivering a superior customer experience. Organizations must leverage technology and prioritize privacy and compliance while transitioning to integrated campaigns. By following these strategies and aligning organizational structures, companies can successfully take advantage of its potential and drive both efficiencies and results.

Insights to build #FutureReadyHealthcare