What neurologists want from promotional content in their field
In 2022, neurologists have developed new expectations in terms of what they consider compelling professional content. For example, neurologists are increasingly accessing content that has been validated with direct clinical applications, as opposed to casual sources that became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also distinctions as to what neurologists consider compelling content compared to other physicians.
Neurologists' content preferences apply to promotional materials within those resources as well. In fact, neurologists are accustomed to seeing or even expect to see promotions and advertisements in the specialty resources they use. There are distinctions as to what types of promotional content and what contexts for promotions are more successful than others as well.
Advertisers can use neurologists’ unique preferences to their advantage. Let’s explore the different types of promotional content, placements, and contexts advertisers can use to engage neurologists successfully.
Key insights from our research
Featuring data from our Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 survey,* key insights include:
- 65.4% of neurologists believe having independent peer-reviewed research supporting or substantiating sponsored content increases its credibility.
- 46.2% of neurologists believe clinical data in advertisements adds credibility.
- Neurologists are more likely to find credibility in sponsored messages that call out the value, rather than the features, of the products being advertised.
Neurologists continue to prefer peer-reviewed content
While peer-reviewed content remains the most influential content across most specialties it is more important to neurologists than others. Specifically, neurologists consider peer-reviewed content to be more influential on treatment options and improving patient outcomes.
Even so, neurologists have a hard time finding relevant articles at greater rates than other specialists. Nearly half of neurologists (46%) believe this, whereas only one-third of all physicians (33.4%) claim this is the case. As a result, neurologists may be more open to engaging with sponsored content that includes peer-reviewed material.
That preference extends to peer-reviewed content in promotions
Indeed, neurologists see an opportunity in promotional materials to inform themselves about potential new products or treatments — so long as the content is presented in a peer-reviewed format that reinforces the credibility of the product. In this way, promotions can be valuable way to inform neurologists even if it does not lead to immediate adaptation of the product into their practices.
Most neurologists (57.7%) believe a promotion or advertisement can offer some value in and of itself, depending on the topic it covers. What’s more, most neurologists (65.4%) believe having independent peer-reviewed research supporting or substantiating sponsored content increases its credibility — a greater share than other specialists.
Clinical data is the key to credibility
In addition to peer-reviewed content, neurologists find the most impactful industry sponsorships highlight research data that validate a promotion's messaging in a helpful and nonintrusive way. Nearly half of neurologists (46.2% versus 41.2% of all physicians) believe having clinical data listed in advertisements adds credibility.
As one practitioner describes, promotions are “useful only if presenting a statement about treatment technique and data-backed outcomes rather than the pure promotion of a specific product.”
In fact, neurologists are more likely to find credibility in sponsored messages that demonstrate the value of the product being advertised in general — 25.0% of neurologists versus 16.9% of all other physicians. The survey results imply clinical data only reinforces this perception of credibility.
Promotions with inherent value build your brand
Advertisers that tailor their promotional content strategy for neurologists by featuring peer-reviewed content and clinical data are more likely to achieve long-term success. Although your end goal as an advertiser is the sale of your product to neurologists, providing them with inherent value and positioning your brand as an asset and genuine partner to their professional efforts is an important and effective steppingstone on the path to greater ROI. Building credibility and trust in these ways is more likely to reinforce brand recognition and appreciation, which can lead to even more robust sales compared to product evangelism alone.
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* 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 neurologists, which were part of that sample.