Mastering Healthcare Professional (HCP) Segmentation for Pharma

Marketing pharmaceutical products to healthcare professionals requires a tailored approach for maximum success. Each healthcare provider class has distinct qualities that guide their interaction approach with sales representatives. 

What the doctor values and considers first may differ from what the pharmacist considers primarily. Additionally, the channels to reach healthcare providers differ significantly and are sometimes specific to their specialties. 

Essentially, you must be skilled at HCP segmentation to carefully craft marketing strategies that deliver results. 

This guide provides a comprehensive approach to segmenting healthcare professionals and developing a marketing strategy to reach the target audience effectively. 

Table of Contents

Defining Healthcare Professional Segmentation

Healthcare professional segmentation involves categorizing healthcare providers based on a specific list of criteria. You can classify HCPs based on their title, practice setting, specialty, patient population, or geographical location. 

A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing your pharmaceutical services or products may not yield sales. This is because your product may not be a good fit for most of the audience you’re reaching. To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, you should customize your approach to appeal to specific healthcare providers.

Here are three reasons to invest in market segmentation:

  1. To determine the right target audience: The segmentation process allows the sales team to create criteria for the target audience based on the business’s products, services, brand, and objectives.
  2. To identify the best marketing approach: Proper market segmentation enables pharmaceutical companies to identify the most effective marketing tactics for a category of HCPs.
  3. For proper resource management: Precise market segmentation allows the sales team to focus on generating leads that can easily convert. These leads are more likely to perceive the product’s value and become customers. 

If you’re ready to save costs, build better engagement with your brand, and drive sales, investing in market segmentation is key.

How to Perform HCP Segmentation

Market segmentation begins with choosing the classification system to categorize your target audience. The first step to creating a comprehensive pharmaceutical market segmentation is data collection.

Data collection is the first step to designing a fail-proof marketing strategy to target HCPs. Knowing how to clean the data and identify trends is essential to narrow down on the professionals that matter most. 

Look out for keywords that relate to the product you’re selling. For example, if you’re a sales representative for a business specializing in dermatological creams, focusing on dermatologists, skin care specialists, plastic surgeons, etc. is a more specialized approach to client acquisition.

Here are important data and considerations necessary for an effective segmentation process:

  1. Demographic data such as age, gender, and location.
  2. Business data such as industry, company size, and number of patients.
  3. Behavioral data like channels of interaction and purchasing habits.
  4. Career data such as specialty and practice setting.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, it becomes easier to allocate resources more effectively. You can customize your sales approach to the specialty of the physicians, nurses, or pharmacists. 

You can further narrow your market segment by filtering your potential customers based on location. For example, your marketing ad campaign can be to reach dermatologists in the American region. 

This will reduce the ad’s target locations but increase your reach in the focus area. Ultimately, you’ll get better engagement because your target audience will find your product valuable and accessible. 

So, while it may not be feasible to sell a product to a dermatologist in the Asian region, you can secure a good market reach in the US through a focused advertising strategy. 

Creating Personalized Content for Healthcare Professionals

First impressions are critical to the commercial success of your product. Whether you’re leading various sales teams or a brand campaign manager, delivering exceptional content about your products is important.

When dealing with professionals with medical expertise, you should be aware that there is likely a standard treatment for what your product addresses. You aim to convince the physicians or pharmacists to switch to your offer.

To do this, you must communicate what makes your product stand out from current medicines or products. Identify the leading product for what your product addresses and state how what you’re offering outshines it. 

Does it require lesser doses? Does it provide better relief in less time? Are there fewer side effects? The best way for pharmaceutical companies to sell to healthcare providers is to state how the product benefits patients and how it can help to achieve better health outcomes.

Pharma Marketing Strategies for Reaching Segmented HCPs

You’ve used a good segmentation method for HCP targeting, and you have concise and punchy educational content about your product. The next step is to extend your marketing campaigns to reach your audience. 

You can connect with your ideal customers using traditional means like print and direct mail. While traditional advertising is not dead, digital channels are more productive.

To choose an effective platform for outreach, consider an ideal HCP persona, stating their preferences, behavior, interests, and lifestyle. This will help you find which platforms will reach your desired HCPs most successfully. 

The best advertising approach combines multiple channels for HCP targeting. Some of the popular digital channels to consider include:

  1. Email
  2. Social media such as LinkedIn, X, and Facebook.
  3. Webinars
  4. Virtual events 
  5. Blogs
  6. Websites

Your advertising strategy aims to place your ads where HCPs spend the most time researching medical content. Whether that’s digital clinical journals or medical websites, a well-planned digital advertising strategy is more effective when placed where your target HCPs hang out. 

An omnichannel marketing approach guarantees that customers can access your products regardless of the communication channel they prefer, physical or digital. 

CRM for Pharmaceutical Market Segmentation 

Managing your campaign activities can be difficult if you lack a system to monitor the different segments. 

However, customer relationship management software makes the job easier by providing a platform to classify and interact with various HCPs based on customized segments. Here are five ways CRM makes HCP marketing easier:

Data Collection and Storage 

You can use CRM software to collect and store data on HCPs based on their specialty, level of training, practice setting, patient population, and location. 

By accessing this valuable information, pharma companies can gain insights into the healthcare landscape, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions that can improve campaign outcomes. 

Deeper Customer Understanding

CRM systems can help pharmaceutical companies better understand their customers, including their needs, preferences, and prescribing habits. 

The marketing team’s leads can use this information to develop more effective marketing strategies and to design better products and services.

Instant Communication 

Modern CRM software allows pharmaceutical companies to disseminate information to a large number of HCPs instantly. You can also use CRM to deliver bulk emails containing relevant information and updates about your products and services. 

Better Engagement

One way CRM can help promote better brand engagement is via video marketing. Sales teams can use videos to create more personalized content to enhance communication with customers more interactively. 

Personalized video ads are also more engaging than other forms of content, making them an effective way to capture customers’ attention and create a lasting impression.

Improved Customer Retention

Pharmaceutical companies can build stronger relationships with their customers by providing healthcare professionals (HCPs) with personalized and relevant information. 

When HCPs receive tailored information specific to their needs, they are more likely to remain loyal to a particular brand or company. This can lead to increased sales, improved brand reputation, and a competitive edge in the market. 

Challenges and Considerations in HCP Segmentation Process

hcp segmentation

HCP market segmentation has a couple of challenges, including the following:

Data Availability and Quality

Obtaining data about HCPs can be time-consuming, and trying to align with all the ethical guidelines can be challenging. Another common problem is getting access to up-to-date, accurate data. 

Market Complexity

The pharmaceutical industry changes rapidly, as do the peculiarities of healthcare providers. Keeping up with the latest trends in the industry while trying to scout new HCPs can be difficult. 

Resource Constraints

Resources are expensive. And that’s why appropriate resource management is important during the segmentation process. Wasting resources causes delays in segmentation implementation, which can stall marketing efforts. 

Some of the important considerations to make for effective segmentation include: 

  1. Criteria: When segmenting HCPs, it is important to choose the right criteria. The criteria should be relevant to the company’s marketing and sales goals. 
  2. Methodology: There are several different segmentation methodologies available. Choose a methodology that fits the company’s needs and resources.
  3. Implementation: Once the company has segmented its HCP database, it needs to design the right marketing strategies for the HCP segments.

Overcoming challenges is a survival skill every business must possess. And for pharma companies, that means navigating the complicated terrain of data collection, market complexity, and resource constraints. 

Successful pharma companies use a carefully curated checklist to design effective segmentation plans. This becomes the edge that allows them to get a good market share and sets them apart. 


Marketing tailored to your ideal target audience is always more effective than a broad-spectrum marketing approach. This is why HCP segmentation offers a strategic way to streamline ad campaigns that target the desired audience.

The segmentation involves gathering HCP data and using data analysis to find unique patterns to categorize healthcare professionals accordingly. This approach is important to make informed decisions about campaign strategies based on their HCP segments.

Our Pharma CRM software offers a dashboard that helps you design and structure your ad campaigns, send bulk emails, and communicate with your target audience in real time. It’s an effective HCP marketing approach unlike any other. Additionally, you can use the CRM software for HCP data collection, analysis, and segmentation.

Overall, Platforce provides all the resources for everything you need from start to finish for an effective pharmaceutical market segmentation. Discover how it works here!