Philadelphia, PA — Chantal Kolber, Director of Digital Sales and Strategy at Wolters Kluwer, said that pharmaceutical brands are the original content marketers. Our clinical studies are the basis of our relationships with professionals and are richer content than most industries could even imagine.

How do clinicians access that rich data? They often start with a clinical challenge: A patient isn’t responding. Or, they’re having trouble with a differential diagnosis.

They’ll use search to find new solutions to the challenge. According to Wolters Kluwer’s data, clinicians perform clinical searches that lead to journal content over 10x / week. Most (59%) of traffic comes from outside searches (Google, Medline) and 21% comes to a journal directly. Most of those who go to the journal directly will start with an on-site search.

Physicians are using the journal content online much more than in paper:

  • Looking up information: 71% computer, 42% mobile, 16% print
  • Professional advancement: 72% computer, 37% mobile, 24% print
  • Proactive reading: 73% computer, 52% mobile, 39% print
The amount of information available to them can be overwhelming. Kolber explained that 1800 peer reviewed articles are published every day – that’s a 44% leap in 10 years. A cardiologist, for example, has over 160 new articles published every day. For many, it’s impossible to stay up to date with all the information. And, when it comes to new clinical data, doctors don’t trust the abstract or the headline, they need to read the full data

Clinicians say they actively engage with an average of five journals, accessing them 8x / month. They’re not waiting for the new issue to come out. Because of the continuous publishing environment online, they’re getting alerts as new content is published online – sometimes daily.

More journal articles are including more media – that could be images and illustrations designed to support the story, but also usable independently in a gallery. Or, embedded video that demonstrates a technique or shares additional context.

Advertisers are using more kinds of media and content, too. Kolber explained, “the best way to increase engagement in content-rich environments is with content.” Digital journal ads that include video have a 450% increase in engagement and a 50% increase in time spent. Journal ads that offer reprints earn a 180% increase in engagement and 100% increase in time spent.

Kolber shared a few examples of best practices:

In-Ad Gaming: Acorda created a contextually-relevant game. Acorda treats some of the ambulatory symptoms of MS. To educate physicians about a treatment for that specific symptom, they created a game around getting the patient out of the house and to the store. Doctors played by answering a series of multiple choice questions. With each right answer, the patient got one step closer to the store or their job or a better quality of life.

Video Modules: Viiv and Tivicay built video modules that featured KOLs. They saw up to a 12x higher click through and engagement rate compared to simple display ads.

KOL-Involved Content Marketing: A blinded brand undertook a much bigger content play. It was a reformulation that was struggling with negative perceptions in the market and inconsistent treatment protocols. Wolters Kluwer worked with the brand to show their new data to a KOL. The KOL said it warranted an update to the leading text book and wrote the new chapter.

The pharma company invested in chapter reprints of the new content and distributed them a major conference. Over 1,000 people came to have the KOL sign their chapter reprint. Their CEO said he’s never seen more people in the booth in the history of the company. They also armed their sales force with 15,000 chapter reprints and worked with Wolters Kluwer to directly promote the the chapter as well. 32,000 healthcare professionals viewed the directly promoted content. And, here’s the big number: 30% script lift among the doctors who were detailed with the reprint vs the doctors who were detailed but did not receive the reprint.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.