Is anyone busier than doctors these days? We bet if you ask anybody in Marketing Communications or Sales Management; their answer would be an enthusiastic, “No!”

In addition to a doctor’s primary passion of caring for patients, he or she must also supervise staff, juggle changing fee structures, deal with new insurance policies stemming from the Affordable Care Act, and manage electronic medical records (EMRs). Physicians also must make time to read medical journal reports pertinent to their specialty, exchange information with their peers, attend medical conferences and sometimes conduct research studies of their own.

It’s no wonder that the doctor’s door is closed more often today to marketing representatives. They simply have less time. And in the biotechnology, molecular genetics and genomic fields, the information you need in HCP education changes often and is complex, requiring more time.

Doctors with less time vs. communication that takes more time? That’s a no-win situation in HCP marketing, you say. And it leaves you with the less dynamic text-only options of email and PDFs.

But there’s a way around it: Video.

Video Increases Retention and Inspires Action

Think about it: Videos can be easily customized, and they save valuable time. Information retention is greater than with text alone. Physicians can watch videos at their own convenience, stopping, starting and rewinding for greater comprehension of complicated topics. A video is shorter than an in-person conversation, more to the point than text, and more oriented to quick bursts of important information, which busy physicians appreciate. Well-done video used in HCP education also opens the door to other communication down the line.

A report by David Daniels, previously the principal analyst at Forrester Research and currently the principal analyst at Relevancy Group, shows that video embedded in an email can improve the click-through rate by up to 300 percent. And the Online Publisher’s Association found that .

But that includes all kinds of internet viewers, you might say. What about movers and shakers?

The same holds true there as well. In a Forbes-Google survey of more than 300 top executives at U.S. companies, more than 80 percent said they watch more online video today than they did a year ago. More than 50 percent said they watch work-related videos at least weekly. And 65 percent say they have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.

Your Video Can Help Doctors Explain Complex Topics to Their Patients

The fields of genomic medicine, molecular diagnostics and biotechnology are constantly undergoing dramatic change. Advances in tests, medicines and protocols require doctors to invest time trying to keep up with the evolving technology, which makes it difficult for sales or HCP marketing representatives to call on them.

In a terrific example of how visuals and sound can make a complex topic accessible, Foundation Medicine created a video with animation and graphics that explains its new test in the immunotherapy field. In just over 3½ minutes, the video explains how Foundation’s Comprehensive Genomic Profiling Assay test can spot certain cells called “neoantigens” in a cancer patient’s tissue, which can help predict how immunotherapy may work in that patient.

There is no doctor or patient in the video; rather, a woman’s voice narrates step-by-step animated illustrations that help the viewer understand the subject. A viewer can take notes, rewind and rewatch certain areas for greater levels of understanding. A physician could watch the video for his or her own education about the test, and could even use the video to help a patient understand the subject at hand in layman’s terms.

Genomics Doctors Agree on the Need for HCP Education

In 2014, Michael F. Murray, MD, Director of Clinical Genomics at the Genomic Medicine Institute of Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, wrote an article for the National Library of Medicine about the critical need for HCP education in genomics.

“Since this is new territory for most providers, and it competes with many other topics for the limited professional time that physicians can set aside for education, strategies for genomics education have to be integrated with other priorities in order to really gain significant uptake,” Murray writes. He mentions continuing medical education and point-of-prescription educational opportunities.

The Personalized Medical Coalition is dedicated to helping physicians learn about genomics and immunotherapy, with information on its website, education initiatives and a newsletter, Personalized Medicine in Brief.

And the gap in physician education was the topic of a letter to the editor published in Genetics in Medicine, the journal of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Written by three genomic experts at the Cleveland Clinic, the letter explained how the hospital offered anonymous personal genomic testing to its professional staff in order to help physicians better understand the tests and their results. Of the 137 physicians who accepted the offer and completed a survey afterward, 84 percent agreed that new findings in genetics were changing their clinical practice and 97 percent agreed that knowing more about genetics would benefit their patients. Only 36 percent said that felt competent enough in the area of genetics to answer their patients’ questions.

How to Make a Good HCP Marketing Video Great

A few tips will help you create more successful HCP marketing videos from the beginning:

  1. Edit your information and plan how to use it

    What are the key takeaways or learning goals you want to accomplish with this video? Figure out the information points that are most critical to your goal and plan your video around them.

  2. Make sure you write a clear script

    Use language that is logical and easy to understand. Don’t use overly scholastic language; this is about communication, not impressing someone.

  3. When you have your script, visualize

    How can you use motion graphics and animation to teach and help reinforce your key information?

  4. Find an expert

    Unless you are an expert in your topic, find a person who can help you plan the content. They might even spend a little time in front of the camera in the video.

  5. Use quality equipment

    Make sure to use quality cameras, sound and lighting equipment. Although this is educational content, you want to make sure to keep your audience engaged. Multiple camera angles and motion graphics are more engaging than talking heads.

  6. Customize

    If your audience of physicians have different specialties, consider customizing your video to each one. This is especially helpful if there are sizeable differences in language or approach, such as an oncologist vs. a pathologist. This can be done cost-effectively by creating different scripts and filming all versions during one film day.

  7. Use the easiest tools

    Don’t feel like you have to understand every technological bell and whistle in order to create an effective HCP marketing video. In a video from Promega about its NanoBRET™ test, much of the information about a very complicated topic is given using a whiteboard and simple motion graphics.

  8. Too much information? Break it up

    Your video should be between 2 and 7 minutes long. If it’s longer than that, consider breaking it up into shorter videos, concentrating each one on a single part of the topic.


According to the Invodo statistics for 2014 report, almost 52 percent of marketing professionals worldwide say video is now the type of content with the best return on investment (ROI). That’s a number that’s only going to grow.

Along with many others in marketing and communications, we have found video marketing to be an effective way to educate and communicate with HCPS. So much so, that we built out a 6-day email series that can help you launch your video marketing strategy. We would love to hear if you have other great ideas for educating and marketing to HCPs.


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