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    Healthcare marketer, do your online assets have that human touch?

    Digital technology allows pharmaceutical companies to communicate with vast numbers of their customers. But that doesn't have to imply impersonal, one-size-fits-all solutions! Cingulate Marketing and Advertising can help you deliver that customised online experience to your healthcare professionals (HCPs) and consumers, to achieve a single-minded, integrated brand campaign.
    Healthcare marketer, do your online assets have that human touch?

    Isn’t it ironic that technology is now allowing us to communicate one-on-one? Be that as it may, your customers are engaging with your digital assets via a ‘cold’ technological device, like a laptop or mobile phone. It’s crucial that their online experience is personalised so they feel an emotional connection with your brand, and customised to meet their unique and different needs.

    Here are some tips to achieve just that when communicating with your HCPs and consumers:

    Connect with your HCPs

    Covid-19 has made it difficult for your representatives to call on their HCPs, so it’s become increasingly important to communicate with HCPs online. Make sure all your marketing activities protect your customers’ personal information, so you adhere to the new Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

    • Online meetings enable your representatives to have face-to-face time with HCPs. These can be effectively hosted on an e-platform such as Veeva, Mobile Intelligence (MI) and Kadrige. Provide your representatives with professional presentations/e-Detailers, medical videos, electronic leaflets and online graphics to support disease management and treatment.

      Encourage representatives to:

      • Start online meetings on time and keep to the allocated time;
      • Look professional and turn on their videos;
      • Be well prepared and able to answer questions;
      • Customise the presentation to meet the needs of their HCPs;
      • Train HCPs to effectively use digital tools with which they are provided.

    • Use representative triggered e-mails: Research* conducted by Veeva indicates that the number of e-mails sent to HCPs by pharma representatives in South Africa has increased by 974% with an impressive opening rate of 39%.

      Once you have done your online presentation, you can follow up with a customised e-mailer.

      A healthcare agency accredited by an e-platform can create e-mails which:

      • Include clinical information, product branding and graphics;
      • Allow for personalisation;
      • Facilitate customisation of segments (so-called fragments) of the e-mail content, so that it’s relevant to the specific HCP receiving the e-mail;
      • Permit links to be added, such as a link to a packaging insert, clinical materials or video.

    • E-Learning: Develop an e-learning portal where HCPs can access clinical content in the form of articles, webinars and podcasts. These activities can be accredited for Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

      In the case of webinars, consider using Key Opinion Leaders who are experts in the disease/product area, as presenters.

    • Using WhatsApp: WhatsApp is a quick, real time communication channel that helps to maintain and nurture existing relationships. Ensure that your representative:

      • Places their profile picture on WhatsApp;
      • Keeps conversations warm, professional and succinct;

      • Creates short posts with links to medical updates.

    Connect with your consumers

    Human relationships start by getting to know someone. In the digital world, it’s no different.

    • Use the latest online data collection and management tools. Understand your consumers’ challenges through social media listening on their favourite platforms, analyse clicks on your website and collect customer names and e-mail addresses (offer an incentive to encourage engagement). Follow POPIA regulations to protect your consumers’ personal information.

      Use these insights to: know which language/tone to use when communicating, identify the topics your clients are interested in (frequently asked questions), and personalise messaging. It will also permit you to adjust to your consumers’ changing needs… giving your brand a competitive advantage!

    • Good data collection leads to consumer segmentation and better targeted online marketing, as your brand may be used for both prevention and treatment. Segmentation could facilitate different and more appropriate communication to these two types of users, for example, patient portals to communicate what your brand is doing to help manage their disease better.

    • Ensure your online content is professional and includes links to your website, where more detailed information can be sourced. Use short, impactful videos and infographics to encourage understanding and engagement.

    • Consider using social influencers who can endorse and provide product mentions to enhance unscheduled brands’ online credibility. A decade ago, social influencers were mostly celebrities but nowadays micro influencers are popular. MediaKix surveyed marketers in 2018 and found that 81% said that the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other channels.

    Cingulate Marketing and Advertising is accredited to create material for e-platforms including Veeva, Mobile Intelligence and Kadrige.

    Should you need a digital strategy for your brand, please contact Sabine on (011) 467 3645 or visit

    * (Digital Field Engagement March – December 2020 Insights)

    At Cingulate, as a full-service, cross-marketing and advertising agency we offer you a 360° spectrum of agency services from strategy and concept development, to creative design, advertising (traditional and digital), media planning and buying, promotional material and event management.
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