Con­nec­tiv­i­ty in mo­tion: The art and sci­ence of cre­at­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that in­form and in­spire health­care pro­fes­sion­als

Health­care pro­fes­sion­als are strug­gling to find the in­for­ma­tion they need to make the de­ci­sions that mat­ter. By in­fus­ing sci­en­tif­ic in­for­ma­tion with cre­ativ­i­ty and tech­nol­o­gy, brands can de­vel­op rel­e­vant and in­spir­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that dri­ve clar­i­ty, help­ing pre­scribers im­prove out­comes for their pa­tients faster. 

In the past decade, sci­en­tif­ic en­gage­ment has evolved from a brand-cen­tric ap­proach to a cus­tomer-cen­tric ap­proach. But, al­though there is plen­ty of in­for­ma­tion that bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies can and do pro­vide to health­care pro­fes­sion­als, cus­tomer needs are of­ten still not met.

For ex­am­ple, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey on health­care pro­fes­sion­al con­tent pref­er­ences by Wi­ley and EMI Re­search So­lu­tion, which in­clud­ed 949 health­care pro­fes­sion­als from 141 coun­tries:

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  • 50% strug­gle to find in­for­ma­tion on a rel­e­vant or spe­cif­ic top­ic
  • 44% find it chal­leng­ing to keep up with the lat­est med­ical de­vel­op­ments
  • 41% strug­gle to find cred­i­ble re­sources for in­for­ma­tion1

Health­care pro­fes­sion­als strug­gle to ac­cess the ed­u­ca­tion­al con­tent they need for sev­er­al rea­sons. Not on­ly are they time-poor, but the treat­ment land­scape has be­come more crowd­ed and com­plex. As treat­ments to­day are be­com­ing more spe­cial­ized, pre­scribers must nav­i­gate shift­ing da­ta and an abun­dance of mes­sages from com­pet­ing com­pa­nies.

Adding to the mix, siloed team struc­tures and strict com­pli­ance bar­ri­ers sep­a­rat­ing med­ical and pro­mo­tion­al mes­sages have led to Med­ical Af­fairs and Com­mer­cial teams spend­ing time, mon­ey, and en­er­gy de­vel­op­ing two sep­a­rate ex­pe­ri­ences to en­gage the same cus­tomer. The re­sult is two teams com­pet­ing for the health­care pro­fes­sion­al’s at­ten­tion, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for the cus­tomer to sift through the ar­ray of mes­sages and find the valu­able in­for­ma­tion they are look­ing for.

But it does not have to be this way. As Gary Lyons, Di­rec­tor of Med­ical Strat­e­gy at Avalere Health, ex­plains:Sci­en­tif­ic en­gage­ment is about tak­ing health­care pro­fes­sion­als on a learn­ing jour­ney that keeps them en­gaged. It’s about cre­at­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence that keeps the jour­ney alive and en­cour­ages them to come back for more. To achieve this, we need to in­te­grate the ap­proach­es tak­en by the Med­ical Af­fairs and Com­mer­cial teams so we can op­ti­mize the small win­dow of time health­care pro­fes­sion­als have to en­gage in con­tent and learn new in­for­ma­tion.”

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The re­lent­less pur­suit of rel­e­vance

In­no­v­a­tive bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies are cre­at­ing small, ag­ile teams ded­i­cat­ed to en­cour­ag­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and bridg­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween the Med­ical and Com­mer­cial de­part­ments. These cross-func­tion­al teams com­bine ex­per­tise in sci­ence, strat­e­gy, cre­ativ­i­ty, tech­nol­o­gy, me­dia, and an­a­lyt­ics to de­vel­op a sin­gle uni­fied ex­pe­ri­ence across touch­points—one that unites cred­i­ble, di­gestible, and clear med­ical in­for­ma­tion with em­pa­thet­ic and emo­tion­al­ly res­o­nant sto­ry­telling.

Da­ta and in­sights are at the core of de­vel­op­ing im­pact­ful ex­pe­ri­ences that are rel­e­vant to­day and con­tin­ue to be rel­e­vant over time. How­ev­er, too of­ten in­sights are col­lect­ed by dif­fer­ent teams and housed in siloed data­bas­es, mean­ing cru­cial in­for­ma­tion is lost and a holis­tic pic­ture of the cus­tomer nev­er tru­ly forms. By work­ing cross-func­tion­al­ly, Med­ical and Com­mer­cial teams can com­bine their in­sights to build a a deep­er view of the pre­scriber.

“Brands need to con­sid­er the to­tal cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence in re­la­tion to the prod­uct, dis­ease ed­u­ca­tion, ser­vices, and sup­port a health­care com­pa­ny of­fers its cus­tomers. The ex­pe­ri­ence should ad­dress a col­lec­tion of needs that in­clude but are not lim­it­ed to the strict­ly clin­i­cal, with the un­der­stand­ing that cus­tomers are whole peo­ple, liv­ing and work­ing in broad­er com­mu­ni­ties, with all the needs, dy­nam­ics, and ex­pec­ta­tions that go along with that,” says Ryan Ma­son, Chief Mar­ket­ing and Cre­ative Of­fi­cer at Avalere Health.

Once the ex­pe­ri­ence has been launched, the da­ta con­tin­u­ous­ly gen­er­at­ed at each touch­point can be used to evolve the team’s un­der­stand­ing of the cus­tomer, pro­vid­ing the knowl­edge need­ed to it­er­ate the ex­pe­ri­ence and en­sure it re­mains rel­e­vant over time.

“Rel­e­vance is nev­er re­al­ly ‘done.’ Cus­tomers change, the com­pe­ti­tion changes, the mar­ket­place changes, and the world changes,” Ryan ex­plains. “To thrive and suc­ceed, brands must evolve co­her­ent­ly from the start and ac­tive­ly nur­ture their evo­lu­tion along their life­cy­cle. This is a pur­suit that re­quires var­ied ex­per­tise to both un­der­stand what is rel­e­vant and act on that un­der­stand­ing. We call this ap­proach de­vel­op­ing Liv­ing Brands and it re­quires a to­tal team ef­fort that in­volves every fla­vor of strate­gic, sci­en­tif­ic, cre­ative, ac­ti­va­tion, tech­no­log­ic, and an­a­lyt­i­cal know-how.”

The art of sto­ry­telling

At the heart of cre­at­ing rel­e­vant and en­gag­ing ex­pe­ri­ences is sto­ry­telling—it is how hu­mans make mean­ing and is the essence of dri­ving be­lief and be­hav­ior change.

“Ads, no mat­ter how bril­liant­ly craft­ed, are un­like­ly to be enough on their own. We need to move from an ad­ver­tis­ing- and mes­sag­ing-dri­ven mod­el of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to a con­tent pub­lish­ing and ex­pe­ri­en­tial ap­proach. These en­gage­ments go be­yond an ad­ver­tise­ment. They val­i­date, in­form, ex­plain, en­cour­age, and in­spire,” says Ryan.

Prac­tic­ing au­then­tic, ef­fec­tive sto­ry­telling in health­care in­volves in­fus­ing the brand mes­sages in a nat­ur­al and un­in­tru­sive way. The sto­ries can come from the brand it­self or can be cus­tomer and pa­tient sto­ries that are el­e­vat­ed and am­pli­fied. Each piece of con­tent in­vites cus­tomers to ex­plore, in­ter­act, and en­gage in deep, mean­ing­ful ways, whether in per­son or on­line. Im­por­tant­ly, the con­tent not on­ly in­forms the cus­tomer, but al­so piques cu­rios­i­ty and mean­ing­ful­ly pro­vokes, trig­ger­ing in­ter­est and break­ing through the fog of com­pet­i­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

By de­vel­op­ing skilled cross-func­tion­al teams that com­bine sci­ence and sto­ry­telling with the right da­ta, tech­nol­o­gy, and user ex­pe­ri­ence, brands can de­vel­op en­gage­ments and ex­pe­ri­ences that bet­ter match the way the world works, and the way cus­tomers think and com­mu­ni­cate. The re­sult: health­care pro­fes­sion­als will bet­ter un­der­stand the rel­e­vance of life-chang­ing ther­a­pies and tech­nolo­gies, nav­i­gat­ing sci­en­tif­ic da­ta with ease so they can make the health­care de­ci­sions that im­prove lives.

Down­load the full ar­ti­cle for a re­al-life case study ex­plor­ing how Avalere Health unit­ed art, tech­nol­o­gy, and sci­ence to in­form and in­spire rheuma­tol­o­gists. Get the full sto­ry.

Get in touch with Avalere Health to find out how we can help you cre­ate in­spir­ing and en­gag­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for health­care pro­fes­sion­als.


1 PM­Live.­­ical_ed­u­ca­tion/wi­ley/white_pa­pers_and_re­sources/how_can_you_en­gage_health­care_pro­fes­sion­als_on­line_prac­ti­cal_in­sights_from_our_2023_sur­vey; [ac­cessed Oc­to­ber 24, 2023]


  • Natasha Cow­an, Se­nior Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ag­er, Avalere Health