In our last blog, we introduced you to Contextual Intelligence, a specific blend of advanced technologies—like business logic, machine learning and xAI—and human insight that enables life sciences teams to personalize the customer journey and create more meaningful experiences with HCPs.

Today, we’re talking about relevance—the factor that determines whether brand interactions are engaged with or ignored. When HCPs receive an email from HQ or engage with the field, the answer to “Why should I care?” must be clear. The best way to do this? Ensure that all content, across all channels, considers the full context of their behavior to not only reflect their needs, but respond to them in real time.

When HCPs feel heard, they listen: Why relevance matters

When HCPs are served a one-size-fits-all campaign, engagement can suffer. For example, it doesn’t make sense to target a practitioner with an email sequence focused on safety in older populations if the majority of her patients are between the ages of 18-35. For another HCP who makes prescription decisions based on the availability of copay cards, messaging on other channels might be a wasted effort. 

In addition to rolling the dice on the next step in the HCP’s brand journey, every misstep increases the probability HCPs will ignore future brand communications. But if you can strategically evolve and react to HCPs in ways that demonstrate you understand exactly what they need to make informed treatment decisions for their patients, then a typical engagement can turn into an ongoing dialogue, and a passive prescriber can become an active brand champion. 

Context determines what makes the cut 

In the world of AI, what does it mean to consider context? It means simultaneously evaluating multiple data sources against the greater context of your brand strategy, real-world insights gathered by the field and the best practices you’ve established over time. It also means providing your team with the “why” behind each recommendation, equipping them with the information and control to shape the customer journey as they see fit. 

The power of perspective 

In our experience, the strongest opportunities for engagement arise when considering all of the recent actions an HCP has taken, both directly or indirectly, with the brand. In the traditional approach, a physician-led search on a brand’s website for sample orders that doesn’t yield any results can trigger a follow-up email attempting to address the HCP’s recent activity. But what about all the actions and interactions that led to the search to begin with? 

When the preceding actions are captured as part of a whole rather than in a vacuum, the brand can tailor the next-best-actions to be less generic and more precise. In this case, perhaps a call from the brand’s call center, followed by placing a sample order, would have gotten the job done—the result of a wider analysis that included the last sample drop time, HCP’s patient activity and similar website behavior.

COVID raises the stakes for relevance in the new normal 

When COVID grounded the sales force, commercial teams were forced to quickly reshuffle their strategies to suit the reality of remote engagement. Even when channels are restricted, relevance is still a critical concern, especially when you’re presenting to a static headshot over Zoom. To optimize relevance and engagement in the new normal, commercial teams might want to know: 

  • What’s the best time to engage with a specific physician over video? 
  • Have treatment protocols changed as a result of COVID restrictions on office visits?  
  • Which topics should we emphasize to keep the HCP engaged in conversation? 

While HCPs may be seeing fewer patients, information overload is still a major factor—even more so for anything sounding more like sales than education. As brands fight for HCP attention in fewer channels, those who can cut through the noise will come out ahead.

Don’t forget: Your team needs relevance too

None of the above is helpful if your sales and marketing teams aren’t motivated to use the suggestions and insights generated by your intelligence platform. Therefore, it’s just as important to prioritize relevance when deciding which recommendations, with which phrasing,  will be the most persuasive to each member of your team. 

This is where explainable AI comes in. Just like HCPs, different reps or marketers need different reasons to act, and brands that can tailor their content to meet their motivations will have the greatest impact on both groups.  

Intelligent engagement drives commercial success 

The fact that people are more likely to engage with material they find relevant is nothing groundbreaking, but the technology that makes it possible for commercial teams to deliver relevance at scale is. Contextual Intelligence takes what it knows and makes it work from one situation to the next, learning from every interaction to fine-tune its definition of relevance as it relates to the customer journey for each HCP and the teams tasked with bringing those journeys to life. 

In the next part of our series, we’ll take a look at alignment and the major benefits of delivering coordinated customer experiences for HCPs and life sciences companies alike.