Digital Doctors:
Marketing to Online Networks

They’re tech savvy, elusive and mobile. They prefer web conferences and e-detailing to face-to-face promotion, use smartphones to research new drugs and move nimbly through e-communities.

They’re digital doctors and according to one industry expert, they may well determine the future of pharmaceutical marketing.

Yet in a digital age where information is fluid and online habits dynamic and changing, marketing to e-physicians poses considerable hurdles. As elsewhere on the internet, digital doctors log on and off to networks rapidly, can be hard to track and are suspicious of obviously commercial overtures.

The result? A plethora of physician online communities catering to their every need. At the same time, these same communities are being ‘packaged’ as ideal marketing environments in which companies can listen in on conversations, conduct active market research and, finally, engage with physicians directly. From e-detailing and site sponsorship to micro sites and CME modules, e-marketing is evolving as rapidly as the online communities themselves

FirstWord’s Digital Doctors: Marketing to Online Networks explores the landscape of physician online communities to show how it is evolving, how pharma companies are using these communities and how the networks are responding to pharma needs . Based on interviews with industry experts, up-to-the-minute research and compelling statistical evidence, this report offers instant and timely insight into the dynamic world of physician online communities. The concisely-written dossier contains case studies, details of social media partnerships and a resource of physician online communities in the US and Europe.

The report offers insights into:

  • The rise of the e-physician
  • How pharmaceutical marketing is addressing rapidly changing e-physician needs

Key features:

  • Informative case studies from leading networks such as DocCheck, Sermo and Physician Connect (Medscape)
  • How pharma companies use physician communities to observe, research and actively engage
  • Calculating return on investment on promotional campaigns in physician online communities
  • Insights into how physicians use online networks and how networks are monetised
  • Basic data on general and specialist physician online communities in the US and Europe

Digital Doctors: Marketing to Online Networks costs $395 a copy. Click here to order

For multi-user access, click here to contact us.

Publication date:
 December, 2010
Product code:
$395 User Single License
$1,975 Site License
$5,925 Global License

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From the experts

"I think the physician audiences very quickly will be tired of pharma marketing programmes following the same mould and would welcome innovative, creative and highly relevant programmes. But I wonder how the media owners are going to face up to the challenge. If they don't, they risk losing both the community and the advertisers." Carl Engelmarc, managing partner, Refreshing Wellbeing

"I am personally convinced that dedicated physician networks will play a very significant role in the way the industry engages with the profession in the future." Len Starnes, head of Digital Marketing & Sales, General Medicine, Bayer Schering Pharma

Content Highlights

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
    > The rise and rise of the e-physician
    > What physicians do on the web
    > Complexity of the online physician world
  • Physician-only social media
    > Pfizer-Sermo partnership
    > Proliferation of networks
    > Case study: DocCheck
    > Case study: Sermo
    > Case study: Physician Connect (Medscape)
    > Case study:
    > Specialist online physician communities
  • How pharma companies use online physician networks
    > Passive market research
    > Active market research
    > Direct engagement with the community
    > Direct promotion
    > Detailed knowledge of a network
    > Promotional campaigns
    > E-detailing
    > Micro sites
    > Speaker programmes
  • How doctors use online physician networks
    > Connecting with colleagues
    > Connecting with pharma
    > Continuing medical education
    > Earning extra money
    > How networks charge for their services
    > Return on investment
    > Case study: Ferring UK
    > A question of engagement
    > Looking to the future
  • Physician online communities
    > 1. General communities
    > 2. Specialist physician online communities
  • Acknowledgements