The stakeholder group of doctors, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians focused on cross-national product-specific topics, including information and awareness-raising measures provided both on digital channels and on location in doctors’ practices and pharmacies. In addition, issues related to Bionorica training offers were of interest, such as their content, channels and frequency, as well as visits by sales representatives.
Bionorica responded to the concerns and issues addressed in the individual countries in consideration of their different market conditions and legal requirements.
Bionorica engages the important stakeholder group of doctors and pharmacists in several ways, both analogue and digital. These include field visits to doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies, which take place several times per week. The frequency of visits can vary according to the country. Digital communication with this stakeholder group takes place in our home market of Germany as well as in our international markets, mainly with the help of a customer relationship management system (CRM), which Bionorica already rolled out worldwide prior to the coronavirus pandemic. This would prove to be very useful, as communication increasingly shifted to the online world due to the pandemic. In the 2021 reporting year, the CRM system was also actively used by our sales representatives.
The key issues and concerns that doctors, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Germany raised with Bionorica were primarily product-specific in nature, with the vast majority of them very specifically related to the use of the preparations. Due to their good tolerability, healthcare professionals frequently asked the question of whether it was possible to use them over a longer period of time. Other important topics concern usage among sensitive patient groups, such as children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and patients treated with multiple medications. Bionorica answers these questions in close coordination with the specialist departments involved.
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians also strongly emphasized the formats of Bionorica’s training courses, which are offered several times a year:
- Online training in the form of small e-learning courses for self-study
- Web seminars with experienced speakers
- A special training programme exclusively for Phytothek pharmacies
All training formats include a final evaluation to allow the continuous improvement of the training offered to the different target groups. In the 2021 reporting year, for example, the participants expressed a desire to increase the interactivity of the training courses, to implement digital training courses and to receive more consulting expertise, e.g. on the topic of phytotherapy or also on special topics like telephone consultation. Bionorica implemented this accordingly.
Bionorica also rolled out the “Phytothek Concept 2.0” in the reporting year of 2021. The Phytothek is a consulting area that offers pharmacies a general opportunity to position themselves and set themselves apart from the competition through a focus on herbal medicinal products. The Phytothek makes it clear to patients that only pharmacies can offer the combination of effective herbal medicines (evidence-based phytopharmaceuticals) and expert consulting. Bionorica offers Phytothek pharmacies extensive marketing measures to reach regular customers and potential new customers both on site and through digital channels.
Bionorica has intensified its efforts to boost digital marketing, especially with its “Phytothek Concept 2.0”, which also incorporated many suggestions from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians: including, among other things, online marketing measures such as the year-round local placement of SEA ads and banner campaigns for the Phytothek pharmacies.
In 2021 a focus group survey conducted in Germany showed that digital marketing support is highly relevant for Phytothek pharmacies. All respondents welcome the approach that Bionorica follows by offering support in this area. The fact that Bionorica is taking the needs of the target group into consideration in this regard is also indicated by a pharmacy study carried out in Germany in March 2022, in which two-thirds of the respondents voiced the need to further promote digitalisation in their pharmacy due to the Covid-19 crisis.
In our international markets, doctors and pharmacists addressed two topics in particular in the 2021 reporting year: conventional in-person training, or training as a hybrid event or webinar. Bionorica implemented these in the desired formats according to customer wishes. In addition, after a long period of contact restrictions due to the pandemic, virtually 100% of doctors and pharmacists in all Bionorica markets expressed a desire in 2021 for face-to-face discussions with our sales force. Bionorica met this demand accordingly.