Three factors to achieve memorable messaging in oncology marketing

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Message Effectiveness, Message Recall

Three factors to achieve memorable messaging in oncology marketing

By Manoj Hariharaputhiran and Vidhya Hariharan

As a pharma marketer, it can be challenging to reach oncologists due to the constant influx of information that bombards them on a daily basis. A consistent stream of emails, texts, and other electronic notifications with an avalanche of conferences, scientific papers, and journals demanding to be read — all wedged between patient visits.

To effectively promote your brand, it is important to have a message that stands out and a story that will capture the attention of your target audience. We have utilized oncology message benchmarks to study more than 30,000 interactions between oncologists and sales representatives for over 100 brands to understand what makes them tick. This could help you craft messages that will maximize brand awareness and could ultimately increase prescription rates.

Maximize the impact of your promotional messaging
We analyzed a variety of personal promotion interactions – in-person, video conference, and telephonic – between oncologists and sales representatives. We found three key factors shared by the brand messages that generated the maximum positive impact on oncologists.

1. Keep it short and have data

Effectiveness based on Length of Messages-ZoomRx

Figure 1

Our research confirmed what we all intuitively know: No oncologists have the time to listen to or read a long, detailed promotional message. Shorter messages greatly increase both brand perception and the likelihood of prescription. Oncologists found them more effective; they also could more clearly differentiate these messages from those for competitive products.

Shorter is great, but just how short should your message be? Messages with 10–14 words proved most effective (see Figure 1).

Similarly, data helps solidify your message – but keep it to a few, very precise points. While it is sometimes necessary to include multiple data points (when, for instance, listing all the adverse events related to a drug’s performance), messages containing three data points scored highest in our study.

2. Deliver ~four messages and connect them with a brand story

Are short, precise messages with data alone enough? Of course not. They need to weave together to build a clear story conveying a compelling value proposition, one that resonates with your target oncologists.

Your brand undoubtedly has many such messages to offer. You will have clear evidence of demonstrated need; you will want to explain your novel mechanism of action (MOA); your clinical trials will have produced a plethora of safety and efficacy data; your patient education and patient assistance programs and, perhaps, innovative support programs for both nurses and doctors all strengthen your brand narrative; you also want HCPs to feel comfortable with your pharma company itself and its leadership.
Unfortunately, we recommend that you not share all these valuable points in most communications.

Although HCPs may remember your messages, our research shows that if they recall more than five brand messages, their likelihood of prescribing drops. It is only slightly higher if you focus on one or two key messages. Sales reps had a significantly higher likelihood of increasing prescription rates when HCPs recalled three to five messages.

3. Clinical trials, safety, and efficacy drive an impactful story

We have seen that a data-backed statement will have a much higher impact on a sales rep’s success than simply highlighting the benefits of your product. But with a limit of only three to five messages, the immediate question of which data becomes pressing.
The research is clear. HCPs care most about two things:

  • Is it effective?
  • Is it safe?

Answer these questions with data from clinical trials leads to an increased likelihood of prescribing. Consequently, clinical messages (i.e., efficacy, safety, dosing, MOA, clinical trials) are perceived to be significantly (CI:95 percent) more effective than non-clinical messages (i.e., access, patient support).

Message Effectiveness, Message Recall

Figure 2

Of these, impactful sales rep interactions prioritize messages centered on efficacy. The strategy is successful; HCPs have a high recall of these messages and respond well to them. Indication messages are the second most popular — and the second most powerful — but as you can see from Figure 2, they lag far behind efficacy.

Irrespective of how carefully crafted or compellingly delivered your marketing may be, there are really only two metrics for success:

  • Do your target oncologists recall your message?
  • Does your message inspire them to prescribe your product?

By leveraging these insights from analyzing tens of thousands of interactions between oncologists and physicians, you can ensure that your messaging is completely optimized to drive prescriptions — enabling the broadest possible number of patients to benefit from your therapy.

Manoj Hariharaputhiran, ZoomRx Manoj Hariharaputhiran is a product manager at ZoomRx. Manoj is a highly experienced analytics professional with over a decade of experience. He has spent the last 6+ years focused on commercial analytics and PMR in the pharmaceutical industry. Manoj is dedicated to using technology to solve problems and drive innovation. His strong analytical abilities and passion for using technology to tackle complex issues make him a valuable asset to all his clients.
Vidhya Hariharan, ZoomRx Vidhya Hariharan is an engagement manager at ZoomRx, with 7+ years of expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically in the areas of commercial analytics, market research, and customer analytics. She has a successful track record of leading and consulting on projects related to sales force effectiveness (SFE) and Omnichannel Tracking. She also leads the industry benchmarks team at ZoomRx.

All figures courtesy of ZoomRx.