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Digital Doctors: Marketing to Online Networks (2nd Edition)

Product Code:
Publication date:
March 2013

As smartphones and tablets become ubiquitous among physicians, there are more ways than ever for doctors to stay connected with each other and collaborate meaningfully. Established online communities are becoming more sophisticated, and new professional networks for healthcare professionals are springing up the world over, and reporting extremely rapid growth. The landscape of physician networking and online communities is evolving fast, with a recent trend towards global consolidation.

For anyone with an interest in engaging with physicians, the explosion of physician networking is exciting, but can also be overwhelming.

FirstWord’s up-to-the-minute report on physician communities – Digital Doctors: Marketing to Online Networks (2nd Edition) – is your definitive guide to the leading online physician networks in both developed and emerging markets: What are they? How are doctors using them? And how can you bring real value to prescribers through these new media channels?

Key Benefits

This insightful report arms you with the intelligence and guidance you need to develop effective physician community marketing strategies – tailored to your drug’s life-cycle stage and its competitive environment. Understand why physicians and other healthcare professionals are flocking to exclusive communities and how they are using them for professional growth, education, and clinical collaboration.

Learn how other companies have been spending their digital marketing budget and why simply migrating old practices to this new channel is a missed opportunity. Some are investing heavily in developing their own communities to provide a home-grown network of loyal customers. This report will help you to:

  • Assess the global landscape of physician communities
  • Understand the trends driving physicians’ use of exclusive communities
  • Identify why and how physicians participate in these communities
  • Evaluate consolidation trends in both developed and emerging markets
  • Obtain guidance on monitoring physician networks
  • Compare the pros and cons of owning rather than leasing access to a community
  • Learn from successful efforts in marketing to physician communities
  • Receive practical advice on how marketing strategies can be tailored for a drug’s profile
  • Evaluate new techniques for measuring engagement and ROI


Digital Doctors: Marketing to Online Networks (2nd Edition) answers key questions including:

  • Where are my key stakeholders gathering on the web?
  • How can I monitor or measure what they are doing there?
  • How critical is the mobile dimension?
  • Why did the US subsidiary of Japan’s M3 buy Doctors.net.uk, and what does that mean for my digital marketing strategy?
  • When will networks become more specialised around therapeutic areas?
  • How can I make the best use of online physician communities at various points in a drug’s lifecycle to communicate to key stakeholders?
  • How can I translate engagement statistics into sales data demanded by senior management?

Selected Quotes

“Once we have these statistics, who our clientele are and the countries where they practice, we then approach the affiliates to ask who has the most influence and where they need the most drive to come from, primary care or specialists. We then select sites and determine investment based on our chances of reaching the most critical audience to that particular area,” Jeremy Boss, senior global product manager for Victoza, Novo Nordisk

“We have experimented with being very commercial and focused on our products, and feel that we get a much better reach and impact by focusing on high-quality educational activities. When we get too commercial, we lose out in interest and in impact. It’s about really being very good at adding value and giving the customers what they need. Then they will also absorb the other things which are related to our products,” Martin Jönsson, global brand manager in urology, Ferring Pharmaceuticals

“Making sure the doctors are actually collaborating and exchanging on these platforms and allowing us to understand what their real needs and perceptions are. That is where the value will come, not from just pushing old content onto them,” Sven Awege, pharma digital consultant

Content Highlights

  • Medicine is digital
  • Physician online communities: Physician engagement and Professional engagement
  • Pharma use of physician communities: Regulatory issues, Spend on physician communities rising, New thinking required
  • Shifting landscapes: Network evolution, Specialist communities, Digital diabetes space, New kinds of collaborations, Global consolidation
  • Working with the communities: Sales force v digital, Ferring learning curves, Centres of digital excellence, Novo Nordisk digital excellence
  • A question of ownership: Benefits of owning access and Global content strategy
  • Emphasis on analytics


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