Monday, September 19, 2011

New Segmentation of Physicians - "Connected or Not Connected"

Biotech/Pharma marketers create physician segmentation in order to provide direction to the sales team and to optimize their marketing messages.  I've seen different types of segmentation of physicians in our field: 1) volume of prescriptions, 2) geography, 3) willingness to try new products, 4) setting of practice, 5) brand loyalty, etc. 

As we move toward a digital world where nearly 90% of physicians use at least one social media site for personal use, while over 65% have used at least one to support their professional practice, do we consider a new type of physician segmentation.  Care Continuum Alliance suggests that there is a segment of physicians, "Connected Clinicians" who are on the forefront of social media.  They also tend to participate in online patient communities and believe in those communities' impact on patient care.  They are also more likely to communicate with patients electronically.

Biotech/pharma marketers - let's re-evaluate how we segment our physicians.  Is there an opportunity here to segment by how the physician is connected?  If yes, then how might we re-allocate our sales reps on the ground?  Do we identify alternate marketing tactics for those more connected physicans?  Perhaps we even cut sales reps detailing and find alternate avenues to communicate with our "connected" physicians.  This discussion can go on, but I'll stop here to reinforce - let's explore a re-segmentation.


  1. You point out an opportunity to focus on the connected MDs preferred media channels, and there's also the reality that more offices are instituting "no see" policies. Pharma companies really have no choice but to start amping up non-personal marketing. Interesting to think about testing marketing campaigns with the connected MDs and transferring what we learn to the no see base.

  2. I think that it would be extremely valuable given the stats we are hearing about physician use of mobile devices and apps. Why not take the time an opportunity to look at segmentation with this new channels in mind? There are so many different ways that people receive information and outside our industry, marketing is changing to reflect that. Within out industry, we have a big hill to climb.