HealthJune 27, 2022

Preferred professional content among gastroenterologists today

Healthcare marketers can engage gastroenterologists by aligning value-added promotions with journal content, clinical research, and podcasts.

Today, gastroenterologists are reading more formal, professional content. Recent research from Lippincott® indicates they are also being more conscious of quality and credibility in content. This represents a transition from their mid-pandemic content habits, when interactions with peers and even social media became more popular methods of acquiring and sharing information.

However, their time for absorbing professional content is limited. Gastroenterologists need to maximize the value of their time with more meaningful reading or content consumption. As a result, they prioritize content in terms of its accessibility and positive professional outcomes.

This is a critical period for advertisers hoping to engage gastroenterologists based on their evolving preferences. Using data from a 2021–2022 Lippincott industry study,* this article identifies what types of resources today’s gastroenterologists use to keep up to date on the latest research and information in their field.

Types of content gastroenterologists access to stay current

Gastroenterologists most often use CME/CE activities (67.3%) and print journals (69.2%) to stay up to date on the latest research and information about their specialty. These habits reinforce gastroenterologists’ preference for independent, objective content that helps them fulfill their CME/CE requirements.

Gastroenterologists are pressed for time: 75% claim they do not have enough time to read everything they want. However, 89% of gastroenterologists have some level of interest in an article summary authored by a thought leader — a summary that highlights the main points and discusses the applicability of the topics in the article.

Perhaps that’s why Gastroenterologists are more likely to use podcasts as a medical source than all other physicians in sum — 23.1% versus 21.0%, respectively. Lack of time, convenience, and the growing sophistication of podcasts as a content format are all likely drivers here as well. Although gastroenterologists who are interested in article summaries mostly prefer text-based summaries (97.8%), roughly one-quarter are interested in video (26.8%) and podcasts (24.4%), respectively.

Advertisers hoping to engage gastroenterologists should consider these findings when planning their content and promotional strategies. For example, podcast sponsorships in congruence with print or digital journal advertising may be a more effective way to reach gastroenterologists than relying on one channel alone.

Content that influences treatment options and patient outcomes

Gastroenterologists also have unique content preferences when seeking out guidance on treatment options and improving patient outcomes. For example, like most other physicians, most gastroenterologists rank peer-reviewed journal content as their #1 most influential content type (52%). However, most gastroenterologists also consider practical guidelines either their most influential (32%) or their second-most influential (32%) content type.

Indeed, practical instruction is a top priority when they seek out content related to their work — content that helps them understand the latest procedures, improve patient outcomes, and select treatment options. Gastroenterologists also prefer clinical reviews, clinical opinions, and free clinical summaries to a greater degree than all physicians in sum, in each case.

Gastroenterologists’ perceptions of promotional content

With the right advertising approach, gastroenterologists are often more open to promotional materials than physicians in other fields. Nearly half of gastroenterologists (47.1%) believe industry-sponsored messages offer some value, depending on the topics each of them covers. Most gastroenterologists (51.9%) “expect” to see advertisements in the resources they use as well.

Gastroenterologists also may perceive promotions as valuable in and of themselves. Some see promotions as opportunities to inform themselves about new treatments or products that interested them; some find them useful if they prevent a statement about “treatment techniques and data-backed outcomes” rather than simply promoting a product, according to one respondent.

But gastroenterologists are more discerning in terms of what promotions they find credible compared to all other physicians in sum. In terms of results for advertisers, promotions drive different actions depending on the content type in which they are placed.

For example, gastroenterologists are more likely to visit a company’s website (19.6%) or contact a company rep (11.8%) as their “next action” if they see that company’s promotion on an online medical journal site. Gastroenterologists are less likely to take these actions when encountering promotions on WebMD, Medscape, Doximity, Sermo, and ResearchGate.

Value for value’s sake

Advertisers’ best bet is to develop value-added content across the publications and channels that gastroenterologists prefer most. Value-added promotions may include real clinical results or peer-reviewed research, the latter of which most gastroenterologists (52.0%) believe can support or substantiate claims in an advertisement. Building credibility in these ways enables advertisers to reach gastroenterologists with more impactful content that can drive better business outcomes.

Partner with Lippincott® HCP Access

The experts at Lippincott® HCP Access ensure your brand is delivering the right message, in the right format, at the right time. Contact an expert when you’re ready for personalized advice on a successful gastroenterology content strategy.

*From October 2021 to January 2022, Lippincott managed a survey blinded under the “HealthMedResearch” moniker to 1,013 qualified healthcare practitioners. This article highlights data about gastroenterologists, which were part of that sample.

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