How You Earn HCP Trust When Your Message is Authentic

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Today’s HCPs crave authenticity. The real kind, not the after-school special kind. Faux authenticity is seen for what it is: gimmicky gift wrapping that we’re just going to throw away. HCPs need to see you as a trusted source of information on effective treatments and devices.

Consider this: 58% of doctors spend between one and five hours each week seeking medical information online, and 63% of smartphone users look up information about a health condition. We have become so skeptical of false promises in advertising that sales pitches create distrust.

While we touched on creating authentic messaging using mobile video in a recent BrightTALK presentation, we wanted to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of building trust through authenticity.

Use Unbranded Content

Use unbranded content to start building a relationship of relatability with your HCPs. With unbranded content, you have an opportunity to educate HCPs (and patients) by focusing on the people benefiting from your products. In giving patients a voice, you lay the foundation of meaningful connections with HCPs and their patient base. This allows HCPs to see the value of your product in action, while patients see a glimpse of how it can improve their lives.

Brella is an expert in producing KOL educational messages and patient journey videos. Peer-to-peer educational videos highlight key opinion leaders discussing treatment options and sharing their knowledge for the betterment of the patient and the HCP community. The challenge is creating an experience where the audience stays engaged and where the knowledge is of substantial benefit. The key to producing these KOL videos is authenticity. If the video looks like a sales piece or a commercial it is discounted; yet if it is too low quality, the message is not as valued because the speakers are not “high level experts.”  By mixing “man on the street” interviews, high quality stage presentations, and formal interviews, the message is believed because it looks like a news exposé. Think 60 minutes versus late night infomercial and you will achieve success.

Patient videos, on the other hand, are mini documentaries where patients discuss their experiences and challenges, as well as successes. The value is in their ability to create empathy with viewers and to build community. According to Brella Executive Producer Mark Mallchok, these videos (or any content that focuses on the patient experience), “show what the patients’ lives are like and how they deal with their disease. This authenticity connects with HCPs and other patients because it frees the viewer to concentrate on the message versus the company producing it.” The best patient journey videos focus on the story.  Hearing the patient, in their own words, tell their story about the issues they faced prior to diagnosis, the challenges they dealt with during treatment, and the life changing benefits, is the most engaging and authentic content there is.  Don’t be tempted to promote your product or go the sales route—let their success and message speak for itself. It should be unfiltered, straight from the heart, and honest.

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Keep it Transparent

Transparency builds trust, but only when it is genuine. Being transparent lets your HCP know how well researched your product is and helps them distill and impart important information to their patients. When transparency is bandied about as a marketing tool and not lived, the consequences can be disastrous.

Look at the recent cautionary tale of Theranos. In a classic case of over-promise, founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes claimed in 2014 that Theranos would revolutionize the diagnostics industry with a machine that could perform 240 tests on blood samples. When a 2015 Wall Street Journal article alleged that their machine could only perform 15 of the named tests, sometimes with inaccurate results, the company’s credibility took a nosedive. Three months later, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a letter stating that Theranos’ testing machines “pose immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety”. Theranos’ value plummeted and they were forced to lay off 43% of their staff.

By contrast, look at Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. GSK released drugs from patent protection in poorer nations to lower drug prices, reinvesting 20% of those profits into training healthcare workers and building clinics. The result was a 4% revenue growth in the second quarter of 2016, and a wildly successful patient access strategy. GSK, having walked the transparent talk, now stands at the top of Fortune’s ‘Change the World’ list.

Build Credibility Through Relevancy

Staying relevant by knowing the diseases or illnesses that affect their patient base will help get your HCPs on board. Brella’s Director of New Business Development, the Sales team at Brella stresses that, “Our clients are finding that the true benefit and value of pertinent information and education resonates more in the healthcare community; that’s how you get their attention. And it has to be a proven solution, not a promise.”

Being an open source of information and support for your HCPs—and therefore their patients—establishes credibility, which builds trust. Align with their values and understand their pain points as a medical caregiver. Present them with evidence of your product’s efficacy from trusted, credible sources they would recognize. In an age where everyone self-diagnoses on Web MD, consumers need a trusted source of information. Be that source for your HCPs.

HCPs are looking for trusted partners who can provide what their patients need to live healthier lives. Show them that you are knowledgeable, communicative, and in touch with patient concerns, and they will accept you as a trusted, authentic source.

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