New ways to trigger—and tailor—messages may get pharma's info past the physician filter

Doctor and digital devices
Pharma companies are using triggered messaging in more targeted, analytical and predictive ways to reach HCPs.

The good old days of strolling into a physician’s office with lunch, brochures and samples aren't coming back. But there's good news for drugmakers and sales reps working to replace those connections: data. One of the new ways to use data is triggered messaging to providers.

Of course, data is nothing new to marketers. But as technology becomes more sophisticated, automated and analytical, data can be used in entirely different ways. Triggered messages, simply speaking, are near-real-time reactions to some event or decision. A doctor, for instance, visits a medical website to learn more about a particular condition. A click in the right place could trigger a pharma email following up with more detailed information.

That’s how pharma is already using triggered messaging. Next up: reaching beyond simple messaging via customer relationship management or owned media delivery, says Jose Ferreira, CMI/Compas VP of customer experience and data management.

That means managing the message—using data, analytics and predictive tools—to track and trigger relevant communications across online and offline platforms. The analyzed and predictive data offers the chance to personally tailor the message, and the personalized info gets reinforced across multiple channels.

There's still a ways to go before this beyond-the-typical, tailored contact can be triggered anytime or anywhere, though, and 2018 is likely to deliver some advances. “Triggered messaging generally has meant a direct message from a pharma company where any entity can be managed through multiple means," Ferreira said. "But when we’re thinking about how to message through intermediaries like a media-owned TV ad or journal print ad, that becomes harder to manage and orchestrate. That’s where we are now—building that [capability] out and figuring out what it looks like."