Pharma’s Omnichannel Missing Link: 6 Findings on Why On-Demand Content is Key to Engaging HCPs Around the World

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Papercurve streamlines the creation, review and sharing of content for life science teams.

We are proud to be affiliated with Evermed - a company that specializes in Health Care Professional (HCP) engagement.

What is Evermed?

Evermed licenses software to pharma companies so they can launch their own, personalized, Netflix-like content hub within 30 days, in order to engage HCPs directly, continually and on-demand.  

Pharma’s Omnichannel Missing Link: 6 Findings on Why On-Demand Content is Key to Engaging HCPs Around the World

COVID led to permanent changes in how HCPs engage with content.

Before COVID and during the first 12 months after COVID hit, HCPs were perfectly fine with attending 60-minute-long webinars.

Many pharma companies jumped on this opportunity… 

However, 12 months into COVID, HCPs were flooded with pharma invitations to virtual events and webinars. HCPs started to experience massive HCP virtual fatigue.

They soon stopped attending most pharma webinars, and even stopped engaging with any long-form content. 

The 60-minute virtual event/webinar was officially dead.

HCPs started to look for more convenient ways to stay up-to-date.

That led to the rise of short-form, on-demand content.

More specifically, 3-5 minute, “snackable” video content, delivered in a personalized way, through an easy to use, Netflix-like user interface.

If you want to learn how to have your own Netflix-like content hub for HCPs, click the button below to find out how. FIND OUT HOW

Pharma is New to Using On-Demand Content to Engage HCPs, And is Facing Many Unknowns

This massive change in HCPs’ preferences has led to many challenges for pharma marketing, medical affairs and omnichannel teams:

  • Do HCPs actually consume/watch on-demand content?
  • How long is the typical session?
  • Does content get old after 30 days?
  • How do I ensure that they come back and engage repeatedly?
  • How do I produce content? In-house or with an agency?
  • What type of content? What are the key success factors?

Analysis of Our Own Data on HCPs’ On-Demand Content Consumption 2020-2022

Between 2020 and 2022 our team at Evermed had a unique opportunity to deliver 18 projects for pharma clients, focused on delivering short-form on-demand content through a Netflix-like user interface, with HCPs from 120 countries across 6 specialties.  

Here is how that worked:

  • Pharma company would sign a contract with Evermed
  • Evermed would then  set up an on-demand, Netflix-like content hub for HCPs, that will engage HCPs for at least 90 days. 
  • Content would typically be a KOL-driven video lecture, mostly short-form 
  • Pharma company would invite HCPs to register (e-permission) using various traffic drivers (emails, paid media)
  • After HCPs would register, Evermed would take over the engagement. More specifically, we would:
  • Deliver the content through a highly-engaging Netflix-like content hub
  • Send “return” email campaigns (1 email per week, for 90 days, 12 emails in total) with personalized content recommendation, and using “VIPE” approach (more below).
  • Report back the analytics and insights

With this unique setup, between 2020 and 2022 pharma companies offered HCPs thousands of on-demand videos through Evermed, most of them being authored by KOLs.

This setup has put us in a unique situation to see HCPs’ behavior through data between 2020 and 2022 and understand what the “new normal '' is when it comes to HCP engagement with on-demand video content.

If you want to learn how to have your own Netflix-like content hub for HCPs, click here.


Finding #1: HCPs spend a LOT OF TIME engaging with on-demand content

With webinars, HCPs would consume one long piece of content at once.

But with on-demand content, HCPs consume content over time and spend even more time!

Average engagement time per HCP within the first 30 days was 22 minutes, within 60 days it was 46, within 90 days it was 75 minutes!


Finding #2: HCPs consume on-demand content in a piecemeal manner

HCP log-in 20 times over the course of 90 days (!!!!), and spend 6 minutes watching content every time they log-in.

That means that doctors are watching on-demand content in bursts of 6 minutes, whenever they have some time or get nudged by an email.

This also means that it's imperative to find a way to nudge HCPs to come back to the content hub and re-engage with the content. What we call a “return path”. 

Which brings us to the next finding..


Finding #3: Email “Return” Campaigns drive 370% increase in engagement. They are the key to repeated engagement..

You know those emails that Netflix sends to us, with personalized content recommendations?

They are powerful. They drive users back to Netflix. They drive repeated engagement and create a habit. 

We tested the similar approach by sending weekly emails (more on that below) that bring HCPs back to the content hub, creating a return path, and repeated engagement.  

And what we saw was astonishing: Average engagement time over the 90 days period when we did NOT send email campaigns after HCPs would register, was 30 minutes. In contrast, when we DID send the email campaigns, average engagement time was 111 minutes. 

That's a 370% difference!

Conclusion: Launching an on-demand content hub without an email “return” campaign is a sure way to fail, while launching it with an email “return” campaign increases chances of success by 370%.


Finding #4: Email “Return” Campaigns have higher open-rates than both rep-triggered emails and pharma email broadcasts

Here is the proof: Average email open rate over a 90 day period was 37.2%.That means that open rates for email ‘return” campaigns are 24% higher than rep-triggered emails* and 57% higher than pharma broadcasts”.

That means that the broadcast email sent from content hubs (scalable, one-to-many email)  is performing 24% better than rep-triggered email (one-to-one email, non scalable). That’s huge!

The reason for high open rates is a combination of three factors:

  • 1) Trusted presenter 
  • 2) Relevant topic 
  • 3) On-demand delivery in an intuitive, Netflix-like user experience. 


Finding #5: Each “return” email drives linear increase in average engagement time per HCP, without any signs of slowdown over the first 90 days

Our data: each email drove an average of additional 6.6 minutes of engagement time per HCP.  Within the first 30 days each email drove an extra 10.6 minutes, for days 31-60 it drove an extra 4.5 minutes of engagement time, and for days 61-90 it drove 4.7 minutes of extra average engagement time.

Our conclusion here is that “return” campaigns are the key to repeated engagement and that when implemented correctly (see below), HCPs keep opening emails, keep clicking on the links, and keep coming back to the content hub.


Finding #6: Emails can’t be boring and dry. Instead use the “VIPE'' approach.

We modeled our email campaigns approach after Netflix and created a “VIPE” approach. What is VIPE? 

It’s an acronym for V-isual, I-nteresting, P-ersonalized (like Netflix personalized content recommendations) and E-ducational. Let’s break that down:  

Visual emails work better than non-visual. For example, when we added an image with a play button in the middle, we would get a 38% higher click rate.

Interesting: We experimented with various types of emails and learned that the VIPE approach works the best. In addition, using a variety of email formats (Newsletter, Lecture/Session Key Takeaways) while having unique, curiosity-driven subject lines and a clear call-to-action has a much greater impact when aiming towards high conversion rates. 

Personalized: Generic emails don’t work that well anymore, HCPs are getting used to content finding them as opposed them searching for the content  (“if you watched this you may want to watch that” or “based on your preferences, you may be interested in…”)

Educational: HCPs want a mix of disease and product related content, that’s educational in nature. Seeing a talking head of a trusted KOL that talks about a relevant topic signals educational nature and drives higher click-rate.

If you want to learn how to have your own Netflix-like content hub for HCPs, click here.


HCPs’ preferences have permanently shifted towards on-demand, short-form video content.

This change creates an opportunity for content-focused pharma executives.

And an opportunity for you to launch your own, Netflix-like content hub and engage HCPs within 30-90 days using trusted, peer-to-peer, on-demand, educational content.

By taking an enabler position, you can leverage both the trust that exists between HCPs in peer-to-peer settings, as well as technological advances that make it easier to create modern, Netflix-like user interfaces.

Next Steps For You

If you want to learn how to have your own Netflix-like content hub for HCPs, click the button below to find out how.  FIND OUT HOW

References from this article:

* Veeva Pulse Field Trends Report 2Q22

* MailChimp Benchmarks for Email Newsletters per Industry

* EPG Health report