- Global Pharma News & Resources


Failure to keep pace with physician preferences may cause investment in the wrong channels


26th February 2020 – LONDON, UK: New research of +1,500 physicians in Europe has revealed the need for the pharmaceutical industry to gain a greater understanding of local markets and physician speciality to enable pharmaceutical companies to maximise their digital strategies.


The research led by Bryter, a market research and insights consultancy, shows the need for the pharmaceutical industry to elevate multichannel engagement as current approaches fall short of physician needs in Europe.


Laurence Olding, Healthcare Research Manager at Bryter, said, “Optimising the use of digital strategies requires an understanding of how digital media contrasts with physicians’ experiences of sales-representatives. Despite pharma’s investment in digital, we see that clinicians are yet to be convinced of the ability of digital channels to not only provide them with the same support that reps offer but to enhance their interaction with pharma. There is a lack of understanding of the differences between local markets, variances in physician speciality and the need to flex digital strategies to engage different clinicians fully. There is a risk that pharma marketing teams are missing opportunities for their target customer”.  


While multichannel engagement provides the opportunity to bridge the communication gap between increasingly infrequent and sparse face-to-face visits with the convenience and flexibility of digital, there is a need to tailor digital strategies to meet local preferences and the differing needs of clinical specialists.  


“Bryter’s research shows that clinicians want pharmaceutical companies to provide information that is straightforward and easy to understand. Clinicians value qualities such as interactivity, personalised content, and information that they do not have to seek out. Since these experiences come hand-in-hand with face-to-face communication, we see only a small minority of clinicians who currently feel digital is capable of doing all of this. The pharmaceutical industry needs to take advantage of digital strategies to evolve their sales approach,” said Laurence Olding.


Across the European markets studied, 66% of clinicians use WhatsApp for personal use; 47% for communication with colleagues, yet only 16% are communicating with pharma on this channel.


“Clinicians in Spain were found to be the most likely to use WhatsApp to communicate with pharma (38%) vs. a European market average of 16% but even here - with 70% of Spanish clinicians regularly using the channel - pharma is not maximising opportunities for engagement”, Laurence Olding added.


Bryter’s research reveals the most important factors for clinicians are that content is easily digestible (55%), allows them to receive an immediate response to their questions (50%), and that communications fit in with their schedule (42%).


In France and the UK, clinicians are generally more open to digital communications, whereas, in Belgium, there is a greater reliance on face-to-face meetings with reps.


Further insights are available to download from Bryter’s report ‘Digital Marketing to Doctors’ at



Editor Details

  • Company:
    • Bryter
  • Name:
    • Bryter
Last Updated: 28-Feb-2020