5 Guaranteed Ways to Annoy an HCP Audience

May 10, 2023
Posted by: Danny Flamberg, VP Strategy- HCP

Every pharma marketer wants to know and persuade healthcare professionals (HCPs). So, it’s no wonder that HCPs are bombarded with messages, in a growing array of channels, the majority of which either land with a thud or are completely ignored. It’s easy to annoy HCPs by making bad creative choices on social media.

Here are 5 guaranteed ways to annoy an HCP audience.

Ignore the Segments. Build one-size-fits-all creative that ignores psycho-demographic, gender, specialty, practice, or response behavior. Forget about the usage and tech nuances of each major social media platform. Make broad, bland claims that may or may not be credible or relevant to your target HCP population. Send the same thing to everyone. Put the same content on each platform. Spray and pray that your message reaches your most valuable HCP segment.

Go Static. Illustrate your message with overused stock images, badly cropped photos, and hard-to-read fonts. Cram as much information into every post and every ad. Don’t animate anything. Stick with static images. Ignore HCPs stated preferences for short, snackable videos, fun quizzes, and colorful infographics.

Bury the Lead. Ignore how HCPs use social media in stolen moments during a time-starved working day. Go encyclopedic with each message. Expect busy clinicians to scroll endlessly and squint at tiny types rather than click on a bold headline, an arresting image, or a telegraphic body copy.

Spin the Data. Most HCPs want to see and evaluate the clinical or scientific data themselves. They are skeptical about arguments and stories spun by pharma reps and sometimes by KOLs.

Hype the numbers, sidestep over the likely questions or objections, and hammer home the party line.

Do the Expected. Pharma ads look and feel similar. Caution and fear are abundant regulatory actions that put an HCP in a white coat with a stethoscope or a golden retriever on a beach in so many social, digital, and especially TV ads. Keep up this tradition. Don’t be concerned with short attention spans, the sea of sameness, or the fact that the average HCP scrolls the equivalent height of the Statue of Liberty every day. Don’t try to catch their eyes or ears. Do what everyone else does.

The battles to introduce new medications and treatments to HCPs and the struggle to gain market share are increasingly being played out in social media. There’s no percentage for marketers to annoy rather than attract their target populations. Smart creative choices are necessary to break out of well-worn patterns and earn the attention of digitally savvy HCPs.

Learn more about getting creative while remaining complaint and how to develop stand out campaigns that meet regulatory approval. Watch the Webinar on Demand.


Reach out to the author: Danny Flamberg is VP Strategy, HCP, LiveWorld at dflamberg@liveworld.com