Given an unlimited budget and no restrictions on time or travel, live face-to-face events would clearly be the preferred method for communicating information in most industries. But due to the cost of air travel, hotel and consulting fees—not to mention compliance and the need to be more competitive and generally cost sensitive—web-based seminars called “webcasts” are quickly and understandably gaining popularity within the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
According to research carried out by RNsights in 2017, 70 per cent of healthcare professionals watch online videos for professional purposes to stay abreast of the latest clinical information, spending an average of 11 hours per week on professional training and development. Because of the wide and relatively inexpensive reach KOL webcasts allow, Life Science companies can now engage thousands of people with industry experts at the same time, using an easy to manage webcasting platform which can stream live presentations to thousands of people at the same time. In addition, with the right video platform KOL webcasts can be streamed across the globe, and viewed on any device, including mobile, the end-user chooses to participate with.
In addition to the technology advantages, KOL webcasts can provide some logistical and executional benefits as well. KOL webcasts can be customised to not only broadcast presentations but also exchange views, provide real-time assistance, execute live Q&A sessions and gather research data via surveys and polls. In fact, KOL webcasts are increasingly being used as two-way communication tools—to reinforce strategic channels, establish an interaction with healthcare professionals who cannot be seen face to face, break down geographical barriers, and enhance education and knowledge via a true teaching model.
An ongoing value proposition
Once a live KOL webcast is completed, Life Sciences companies have a new asset in their libraries—one that can be used on an ongoing basis to drive engagement and increase education. With the right webcasting platform, presentations can be recorded, stored, tagged and made available to users on demand, for as long as the webcast content is relevant to the audience.
Much like live presentations, on demand webcasts can be delivered on a worldwide basis and viewed by users on any device—by RSS, by hosting them on a website or intranet site via widget, or by sharing them via email or a direct URL. And content administrators can also leverage the functionality of the webcasting platform by tracking views and viewing time, controlling access through custom security permissions and access levels, and guiding viewers through a learning path if the recorded KOL webcast is wrapped into a series of other courses or a mandatory educational track.
As the below graph shows, according to a recent survey, Life Science companies rank Key Opinion Leadership webcasts among their Top 3 Digital Marketing channels—and the number 1 overall ROI generator. Face-to-face tablet and websites rank respectively 1st and 2nd.
Measurable and tangible Benefits
As major Life Science companies look to deliver more measurable value to stakeholders through large events, webcasting is becoming a compelling alternative when it comes to Return on Investment (ROI). Although selecting the right video platform depends on many factors, both internal and external, the ‘standard’ set of benefits Life Science companies seek when considering a Key Opinion Leadership webcasting programme include the following:
- Remote connection: busy heath care professionals can connect with leaders in their field on their own schedules, without having to leave their office or home.
- Real-time engagement: presenting Key Opinion Leaders will receive real-time questions from doctors and other health care professionals. This allows marketers to gain additional insight from the questions asked during the webcast and create supporting materials on the various specific topics.
- Polls & surveys: clinical dilemmas will be identified promptly through polls and surveys. This way, problems can be addressed swiftly by pharma staff who will also have access to all the information they need to plan for future KOL webcasts’ content.
- Relationship building: by providing valuable content through Key Opinion Leadership webcasts, pharma companies can share expertise and forge important relationships with healthcare professionals but also establish themselves as leading experts in therapeutic areas.
- Key contact identification: contact information of all webcast participants is collected upon registration. This means that known key influencers and decision makers, such as chief medical officers and heads of pharmacy, can be easily recognised and engaged.
- Increased collaboration: cooperation between health care professionals and pharma companies is improved, including collaboration with those individuals who may never have been visited in person.
- On-demand content sharing: webcasts can be recorded and shared as on demand digital assets and become part of a content library you can go back to again and again. This allows lasting, maximum exposure and significant impact for each pound invested in speakers.
- Data collection: the collection of data and user analytics makes better cost control possible and eliminates the duplication of services, leading to improved patient care and outcomes.
- Reporting & analytics: evaluating the effectiveness of each webcast is made easy by a built-in reporting engine that provides real-time metrics and analysis for both live and on-demand presentations. In-depth features such as drop-off curves can show how viewers engage with content and provide the basis for future content planning.
Wrapping it all up
The digital future of healthcare is already here, and Life Science companies should be looking to harness new technologies that improve standards of care, extract new information from new sources of data, and provide better overall support for health care professionals. Key Opinion Leadership webcasting not only provides an easy way to reach large target audiences at scale and offers industry perspective on patient care and therapeutic research but it is also the number one ROI generator as identified by Life Science companies that currently have a programme in place.
Paul Herdman, Vice President, Qumu