Uh-Oh

According to the results of a new study, about 45,000 US physicians meet via online video with sales reps, and more than 300,000 have shown interest in interacting with sales or other company representatives online.
Data from the study by Manhattan Research reveals that physicians who are already engaged in video detailing with sales reps are, for the most part, highly satisfied with their experience. This attitude may help to explain why these physicians are consistent users — physicians already participating in live video detailing sessions - do so with an average of seven sales reps per month. According to Manhattan Research, some pharmaceutical companies are already including this communication strategy in their plans.


I'd love to say that this is a new trend, but I have been tracking online usage in the US and globally in Pharma and Med Device for the last eight years, and this trend has been coming--for years. Distance learning, eDetailing, is one of those things that is always a year away and has been that way for many years.

I think there is confluence of things that affect the lack of adoption by companies despite the fact that Doctors, by all measure have been embracing it for a few years. I don't want to minimize the issue, because it is complex and more complex than I frankly want to detail here, but the fact is that Doctors don't want to see sales reps in person or during office hours. They have made it very difficult for sales reps to get in and then if they do get in and beyond the front desk person or the Practice Manager, the average visit is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 minutes.

However, companies have been slow to adopt new technologies that enable new pathways to the doctor for a few reasons:

-This is a whole new model that could be uncomfortable for sales leadership
-Unless forced to change, change doesn't come easy
-It's technology based

I honestly see a groundswell occurring in this area with tremendous growth opportunity and this model of reaching out to the doctor is unavoidable. There is so much activity on developing consumer experiences, but marketers forget that doctors are consumers too and experience is important. I would be moving quickly towards this as a way to reach the doctor. So rather then bring in the same sales guy in the same suit, I would move towards incorporating an innovative and unique way to get your message in front of the doctor via video conference, edetailing or other forms of interactive. It is especially effective in product launch scenarios or opportunities when you really have something new to say.

Meanwhile, Doctor's are waiting....
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