Advanced HCP Engagement Models for a Pharmaceutical Company

Pharmaceutical companies have to become innovative in engaging with the various HCPs. This article would like to explain how we enable our Pharmaceutical clients to establish critical commercial processes and leverage a diverse set of external and internal data, central cloud, data integration & analytics tools, and AI algorithms.


Nowadays, Healthcare Professionals (HCP) are less likely to accept appointments with Pharmaceutical Sales Reps. There are fewer chances to organize direct lunch and learn sessions to discuss the benefits of Pharmaceutical Products. The national conferences on therapeutic areas also do not happen as often as before.

Pharmaceutical companies must become innovative in how they engage with the various HCPs. This article will explain how we enable our customers to establish critical commercial processes and leverage diverse external and internal data, prominent data integration & analytics tools, and AI algorithms.

Working with our Pharmaceutical clients, we are helping them to build new capabilities within the marketing and customer experience domain.  For instance, target marketing enables our Pharmaceutical clients to enhance the way of reaching and engaging with the right HCPs across numerous channels and with the right message & timing to drive behavior change. As a result of implementing advanced HCP engagement models, our customers have realized impactful business outcomes such as a drastic increase in product sales and an increase in loyalty of customers toward Pharmaceutical brands. Let us walk thru the various HCP Engagement Commercial Processes.

HCP Engagement Commercial Processes

Trigger Marketing

Marketing triggers refer to predefined actions or 'triggers' that cause an automated response, such as sending a marketing message to an HCP customer or prospect in response to predefined events.

In work with our Pharmaceutical clients, we leverage web crawler data such as a purchase, a form submission, opening/not opening an email, abandoning a cart, or simply spending more time on a particular section of the website than expected.  Then within the HCP engagement data ecosystem, we pass on Events to the CRM system to trigger immediate, automated actions. It allows our Pharmaceutical Commercial Sales Reps to take highly relevant steps and send relevant messages at the right time.

As a result, the HCP will receive a message with the correct content when convenient for them to receive it, not when convenient for our Pharma Sales Rep to send it.

Using the channel most appropriate to the trigger allows our clients to increase receptivity from HCPs and get their attention. If HCPs are already on the website, sending a relevant and timely chat bot message increases response (and further action) than an email sent a few hours later.

Target Marketing

Customer selection focuses on choosing potential HCPs to whom a Pharmaceutical Company wishes to sell products or services. The targeting strategy involves segmenting the market, selecting the appropriate segments, and choosing what products will be offered. When a Pharmaceutical Company offers multiple products, the decision is made whether to provide one generic product to all segments (as in mass marketing) or whether to create a customized product for each segment (multi-segment). That's according to the market's diversity, maturity, level of competition, and expected sales volume. It is also known as targeting.

Pharmaceutical Companies that create target market strategies are more likely to reach potential HCPs and keep HCPs who are already loyal. Target market strategies enable our Pharma clients to plan and budget for growth and product development.

Target Marketing works hand in hand with Segmentation, taking a specific group of known or projected HCPs and breaking them into categories based on Demographics, geographic locations, and purchasing behaviors.

Segmentation (Micro-Segmentation)

Our Pharmaceutical clients would have all the information needed about the HCP they target in an ideal world. However, this is not always the case, so we must adjust. The goal of micro-segmentation is to influence the thoughts and actions of HCPs using data.

Micro-segmentation allows for the grouping of HCPs into targeted audiences enabling engagement with the right HCP and with the right content.

Collaborating with our Pharmaceutical clients, we divide HCPs into groups.  We begin by looking at our Pharma client's existing segmentation, which could be based on demographics of the HCPs such as Geography, Age, Gender, Education, Lifestyle, Loyalty, Liking, or Purchase patterns.

These groups or segments develop indexing of variables that we run through a highly scalable cloud data warehouse platform for analysis. Based on that analysis, the campaigns can be continually optimized to reach those HCP audience segments that perform best.

Channel Marketing

The way Pharma Companies communicate with HCPs, and where HCPs turn to find information about a Pharma company has evolved. Used to be TV, Radio, and Print Ads were the way for a business to get their information out, and HCP, in turn, would pick up a phone and call to get more information.

If an HCP wants to reach a Pharma company to make a purchase or get help, they can use channels like email, social media, SMS, or even live chat.

Pharma Companies need to create a consistent experience across all channels. It is where the challenge comes in. A lack of cohesiveness between channels can lead to lost sales, or worse yet, HCPs looking to competitor products.

Channel marketing is a way of creating a personalized customer journey across all the different channels. It requires an understanding of how HCPs interact with the Pharma brand through various touchpoints. That information is leveraged to provide a personalized experience for each HCPs, using the optimal channel to deliver the information.


Recommendations are the final piece of the puzzle. The recommendations consider all the information from the Triggers, Targets, Segments, and Channels and recommend to the sales force of our Pharmaceutical Clients the best channel, best content, best cadence, and best HCPs to target.  In our experience, the best way to enable these key commercial processes is to leverage a diverse set of external and internal data, prominent data integration & analytics tools, and AI algorithms. In the following section, we will touch more on all of these.

Leveraging Data, Analytics & AI to enable the vital Commercial Processes for HCP Engagement

We help our Pharmaceutical clients build out their Data and Advanced Analytics Environments and encourage a Data-Driven culture to fully implement and realize the benefits of an Advanced HCP Engagement Model and develop a unified view of HCPs and engage them most efficiently and effectively.

The foundation of any Enterprise AI & Analytics initiative is Data. For our clients, we like to leverage Sales and Finance Data captured in ERP systems, Sales and Rep Activity data in CRM Systems, Digital Data captured via Google Analytics, HCP Data, HCP Tiers and Segments, and Product and Brand Data, to name a few. 

Life Science companies, of course, cannot know the entire Landscape of their HCPs. They need to partner with companies specializing in Data for Market Insights, HCP Profile enrichment, preferences, etc. IQVIA is one of these companies. IQVIA provides specific information about their HCPs and preferences to help craft the messages that work to increase sales. It is essential to help unlock physician and patient level insights that allow the Pharmaceutical sales team to be more precise with their sales strategies and deliver better results.

These data sets are ingested via different ETL Tools to Data warehouses or Data Lakes, which have accelerated due to Cloud Technologies & Platforms (Snowflake, SAP Data-warehouse Cloud). These cloud platforms enable Life Science companies to quickly stand-up data environments and scale both in storage and computing power as the Organization grows.

On the other end of the data, flow is what the company does with the data. Advanced Analytics provides AI capabilities to Model behavior and predicts outcomes. Tools like Dataiku, Alteryx help democratize Advanced Analytics by providing sophisticated workflows that enable quick experimentation with different models and libraries in R or Python and compare predicted outcomes, choose the best target HCPs for reps to contact, the most likely channel(email, call, Banner) HCPs will respond to, and even the messaging.

Aside from delivering recommendations, targets, and insights to the Sales Reps, more can be done by partnering with companies like DMD, PulsePoint, BioPharm, and others. These companies can help augment email marketing campaigns, analyze and optimize digital healthcare advertising campaigns, and reach more potential HCPs with their proprietary audience lists.

Finally, the results of these models can be measured based on expected goals vs. results. Measuring if the AI Models increase engagement, increase sales, or increase customer satisfaction can be visualized via tools that encourage data exploration and ease of use (Power BI, Qlik, SAP Analytics Cloud). It is vital to adjust strategies and implement changes in future Engagement Models and Marketing Campaigns.

In closing, internal & external Data Sources, Data Science, Cloud, Analytics & AI technologies helped us deliver impactful business outcomes for the Commercial Departments of Pharmaceutical companies, such as a drastic increase in product sales and an increase in customers' loyalty toward Pharmaceutical brands.

Tenthpin Pharma Commercial Advisers have deep experience and knowledge of Cloud, Analytics, Data Science, and AI-enabled technologies and their practical application to solve current and emerging business challenges in the Pharma Commercial Domain.

Stay up to date with the latest #Lifeattenthpin #LifeSciences #Pharma #MedDevices #Biotech #Digitalforlife #Thoughtleadership #Medical Technology #AnimalHealth news by following us on Instagram #LifeAtTenthpin Facebook Tenthpin and our Tenthpin LinkedIn corporate page.

Ronan Mencias

written by

Ronan Mencias

Pharma Commercial Architect & Product Owner

We continuously optimize the online experience for our visitors by using cookies. For more information, please view our privacy guideline.