How programmatic is helping Doceree efficiently connect pharmaceutical brands and digital platforms
Harshit Jain, Founder and CEO, Doceree
Doceree that currently targets 300,000 physicians in India currently aims is to take the count to over 450,000
ad-tech

How programmatic is helping Doceree efficiently connect pharmaceutical brands and digital platforms

Doceree that currently targets 300,000 physicians in India currently aims is to take the count to over 450,000
  • US-based physician engagement platform Doceree is trying to address the problem of rising costs in healthcare by bringing efficiency and effectiveness to physician engagement by using data and creativity.
  • The platform has been using programmatic which ensures that an ad which is meant for physicians of a particular specialty is seen by them only, thereby reducing inefficiencies.
  • We speak to Harshit Jain, Founder and CEO, Doceree who walks us through all that has been happening at Doceree, how programmatic is helping them in their efforts and how they plan to expand their presence in India.
The year 2020, while bringing with it major challenges, also brought a few good things and digital adoption across sectors tops that list. For years, the pharma world has operated with drug representatives marketing particular drugs to doctors, which brings with it a lot of inefficiencies, both in terms of the time and money spent.

It is these inefficiencies that US-based physician engagement platform Doceree is trying to minimise, and interestingly, it is using programmatic to make it happen.

Launched in 2019 by Harshit Jain and Daleep Manhas, the platform aims at addressing the problem of rising costs in healthcare by bringing efficiency and effectiveness to physician engagement by using data and creativity.

With the help of its proprietary AI engine, Espyian, Doceree already targets over 1 million physicians across the US and close to 300,000 in India.

We recently had the opportunity of catching up with Jain, who walked us through all that has been happening at Doceree, how programmatic is helping them in their efforts and how they plan to expand their presence in India.

Excerpts:

Q) Doceree was founded in 2019 but was launched in India right before the lockdown. How did you fare in a year which has been very challenging for most businesses across the world?
The year definitely was rough for businesses across the world as no one could have anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic and its veracity. The initial period was harrowing when lockdowns were imposed in almost every part of the world. As was it for any other business, we also find ourselves in a spot, all the more because we had just set our foot in the Indian market. However, in the unprecedented COVID-19 scenario, a new picture emerged as traditional marketing investments got halted during this time. Pharmaceutical brands woke up to the new reality that digital was the only way forward. They saw huge opportunity in platforms like Doceree which had the potential to make their marketing efforts effective and efficient, and even cut costs. In a way, coronavirus outbreak has accelerated adoption of digital in the healthcare sector. Prior to COVID-19, we hadn’t seen conversions happening so fast in the healthcare industry. At Doceree, we made the most of the situation and the pandemic turned out to be favourable for us as it has been for all the other digital businesses globally.

Q) How has programmatic helped you connect brands to physicians effectively?
The core of our business is programmatic and the platform is first-of-its-kind in India for physician marketing. Doceree is the first global network of physician-only platforms for programmatic marketing which is an automated mode of buying and selling an ad inventory. Individual digital healthcare platforms follow the approach of carpet bombing where messages are platform dependent. In this case, a display ad can be seen by physicians of any specialty which may not be relevant for them. Our programmatic platform by being audience dependent ensures that an ad which is meant for physicians of a particular specialty is seen by them only. Now, clients only pay for messaging seen by physicians for whom they are meant for. It significantly cuts the marketing cost while optimising the outcomes for Pharmaceutical brands.

Q) What kind of growth did you see in 2020, considering it was been difficult for businesses?
The year 2020 brought a perception shift in the way Pharma brands thought of digital – earlier just a checkbox activity. In the current circumstances in which activities of sales representatives is still limited, the digital medium has become an important component of marketing efforts for pharmaceutical brands. Currently, we are working with top 8 out of 10 pharmaceutical brands and over 50 digital platforms in India have partnered with us. In the year gone by, we spread our footprint to an important pharmaceutical market – India to have presence in two location besides the US. We are working with the most specialist agency networks in the US. We are hopeful to build on the initial traction as Pharmaceutical brands and digital platforms have got a fair taste of how Doceree can positively impact their businesses and revenues. The focus is not just to gain from the situation right now, but to make our clients see value and worth in Doceree.

Q) How are you marketing yourself? Do you anticipate spending more on marketing in the upcoming year?
Our focus right now is on building our product as we are committed to driving effectiveness and efficiency in physician marketing. We are of the firm belief that when the product is great, the word spreads itself. The partners you work with play a big role by speaking good about the product. There is no marketing as good as word-of-mouth and our goal right now is to introduce new features that further makes physician marketing effective and efficient.

The awareness about Doceree is rising significantly. The objective is to take the category of digital physician marketing forward and marketing spends would accordingly be decided depending upon how we move ahead.

Q) You currently target 300,000 physicians in India. Where do you want to take this number within the next year and what do you think are the factors that will help you reach there?
The aim is to take the physician count to over 450,000 in India. As our physician reach is through our publisher partners, we will be looking at partnering with more Point of Care (telehealth and EHR) and HIS platforms. At present, we have partnerships with over 40 digital healthcare platforms and we are aiming to take the count to 200 by the end of 2021.
Additionally, we are looking at global partnerships with medical journals and education sites of which Indian physicians are frequent visitors.

Q) Where do you think your next phase of growth will come from?
Going forward, the growth will come from global expansions and enterprise-level partnerships. Besides, we will also be focussing on FMHG (fast-moving healthcare goods) and OTC products.

Q) What are your expansion plans in India?
The focus is on partnering with large-scale Indian MNCs in the FMHG and OTC categories. We will also be strengthening out foothold in Mumbai, which is the Pharmaceutical hub, and then expand to Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad.