Success Stories

Oncology | Sales Force Effectiveness | Social Media

How to Reach Oncologists when Face-to-Face Interaction is Impossible


How do you reach oncologists when face-to-face interaction is no longer an option? Which social media channels are doctors using to gather medical information?

In KMK’s Customer Value and Innovation Study we learned that oncologists working in breast cancer can be divided into two distinct groups with surprisingly different behaviors.

The value of support services lies in the eye of the beholder, and in this respect, there are at least two types of oncologists: the Information Oriented Oncologist and the Data & Access Oriented Oncologist.

Two Very Different Groups of Oncologists

Information-Oriented Oncologists valued information for both patients & physicians

Information-Oriented Oncologists placed a higher value on information support for patients, such as:

  • Patient-oriented websites around available treatment options and disease management.

  • Increased patient access to breast cancer nurse educators.

  • Use of consumer advertisements (TV, Print etc.) around the disease state and available treatment options.

Information-Oriented Oncologists also placed a higher value on information support for physicians, such as:

  • Use of ‘”e-detailing” and other professional digital channels to convey product and therapeutic benefits.

  • Support of professional speaker training programs.

  • Professional, physician-led speaker programs and/or dinner meetings.

Data & Access-Oriented Oncologists valued access support and clinical data

Data & Access-Oriented Oncologists placed a higher value on access to therapy, such as:

  • Patient Assistance Programs, co-pay cards, and vouchers to help access medication. 

  • Prior authorization support.

Data & Access-Oriented Oncologists also placed a higher value on clinical data, such as:

  • Published clinical trails or clinical abstracts on new therapy options.

  • Use of real-world evidence (RWE) data to reinforce and demonstrate product value and deliver higher quality patient care.

How to Reach Each Group in the Digital Era

Now that these two groups have been identified, the question still remains – how can we reach these oncologists when face-to-face interaction is impossible? Our study found that although both groups use social media to communicate with their audiences, Information-Oriented Oncologists are more likely to find value in these channels.

On a scale of 1, not at all useful, to 10, very useful, Information-Oriented Oncologists gave “social media value” a rating of 6.5 while Data & Access-Oriented Oncologists gave it a rating of 4.

The above chart shows the percent of oncologists using various social media channels for connecting with peers or acquiring information.

Social Media Works

Our data suggests that not only can social media be a useful tool for connecting with oncologists in the post-COVID world, but channels such as Medscape and WebMD were used by about 30% of the Information-Oriented Oncologists we surveyed. 

If you’d like more information on the survey results, please contact us today!

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