In many ways, a consistent, strategic and scalable approach towards digital marketing strategy remains elusive, isolated and mostly contextual in many pharma companies’ daily agenda. Despite the implementation of technologies and tools, somehow, marketing budgets end up dissipated, teams get misaligned, tasks are mismanaged and customers’ needs remain unsatisfied. How do pharma marketers figure out the digital content production + distribution mix and end up implementing a successful digital content strategy? Let’s unpack every single one of content strategy improvement tactics marketers can apply – from its very creation stage, following through its proper use and finishing with its assessment/optimization. All this, keeping in mind that the multichannel nature of pharma’s digital content strategy has become more or less its default option. So, let’s dig in!
Create and change confidently
The “devil” of digital content creation still prefers to live in details, as it seems. Those details can and should become automated. Coordinating and being a part of global scale marketing campaigns is certainly a tough task, but there a lot of spots where the process of content creation can become automated: templates, for example.
Indeed, the widely known 2017 Accenture study on digital content showcased that templates take up as much as 72% among content creation practices. This confirms the rule-of-thumb for generating content among pharma marketers and their agency mates – creating content with and for pharma, be it eDetailing for face-to-face or remote meetings, content for digital libraries or web portals, or just branded email templates – requires a globally approved template. More details on master templates 101 you may discover in our earlier publications. But long story short: let a global content template be the base, and multichannel intricacies – the stuff you fill it up with.
Store and search smartly
Second thing: misalignment of teams (especially sales and marketing) often results into a scattered brand impression (as confirmed by 21% surveyed in CMI’s polls) because of the disjointed brand story the customer ends up with. Moreover, poor alignment often correlates with lower revenues. And what about that myriad of approval (or rather, disapproval) stages? Time+effort+budget wasting is not a part of the digital content strategy. This has a direct connection with the nature of the digital content strategy nowadays. Since if the content creation teams are not aligned, what are the chances of creating a cohesive story to the customer? Considering how many actors are involved in content creation stage, it seems questionable to state that there’s a plenty of ways to get out of the generated content tornado. So, at the keep in mind that this all should be built around a variety of actions that indicate potential interest or readiness to hear the brand story. And implementing a common digital content creation platform could be that alignment point across that exponential increase in dozens of HQ’s content, hundreds of local content and thousands of external agencies’ content.
So now that we know that sharing is caring, how much time should it take to find a needed specific piece of content? If there’s a consolidated ecosystem of content vendors in place, with content stored in brand packs and various taxonomy filters available to accelerate browsing – it should be a matter of minutes.
Distribute and demonstrate dynamically
Now that our content is ready for distribution, here comes the tricky part: pharma has to find ways to unlearn its classic ‘sales push’ strategies. All of them. Seriously, the proverbial pushiness of pharma’s selling strategy has spilled into the digital content strategies. And it shouldn’t have, because that’s where it’s least expected by the customers, who want to be in control of their time and engaged by interesting content instead of having a personal “infomercial session”. Here are 2 ways out of this loop: email and remote communication.
Most (73%) physicians prefer email for industry news, product updates and information about research and educational opportunities, beating out options like face-to-face visits with representatives, direct mail or exhibits at professional conferences. And for a digital strategy, there’s no better starting point to start telling your brand story than an actionable email. Whether you use Veeva Approved Email or Compliant Field Email from IQVIA, its unified recognizable look makes that first impression of your brand and things it has to say. And that’s where we come back to the templating approach, which has been working out for emails just as perfect as it works for eDetailing creation.
Another way how to pull instead of push is – remote detailing. CMI’s recent study states that around half (53%) of your prospective customers find that going online and researching is superior to interacting with a salesperson and 90% won’t take a cold call for similar reasons. That said, it should come as no surprise that only 12% want to meet in-person with a sales rep, talking to a pharma rep by phone or online chat only when needed. It seems like physicians want contextual interactions with both human and digital assets across a holistic, but non-linear journey.
In today’s always-on world, embrace that your HCP customers have the freedom to enjoy exploring your brand story at their own pace and in their own time.
– Rich Patterson from BioPharm Communications
Some parts of customer’s journey can be controlled, but much of it can not. In order to get your brand story across effectively, it has to be available whenever and wherever the HCP is ready to engage. This means repeating the story across multiple channels, including pharma website, email, face-to-face meetings and the most time-efficient in this context channel – remote detailing. Last but not least, UX of your content. Is it optimized for mobile devices? Since half of physicians primarily read email from their smartphones and 33% cited a tablet or laptop computer as their main way of checking their inboxes. To be honest, adapting to different screens shouldn’t even be a question in 2018.
Repurpose and reuse readily
Never ending quest of delivering relevant content should not mean taking up approach of creating new content from scratch over and over. The widely known 2017 Accenture study on digital content across industries proved that templates take a second place after leveraging existing content (72% following 74% of survey’s inputs) in content creation practices. So, if leveraging existing content in content creation is the best and most sustainable practice that can happen to a digital asset, feel free to reuse and repurpose your content. Avoiding creating new content also counts as reusing – so how about PDF documents being converted into HTML5 (CLM-ready) format? This approach also includes templates, components and overall modular approach to content creation. Embrace the sustainable!
Analyze and assess actively
And to state the obvious, bonus tactics: optimize your strategy. Strange as it may seem, but after all the work on leading a multichannel campaign, for some reason, 65% content marketing strategists don’t measure their content marketing ROI. Which is why it’s so hard to find a well-documented content marketing strategy – really, how do you build a strategy without clear indicators of successful and failing (or rather, insightful) tactics? Without ROI and KPI’s set specifically and joined to available CRM, marketers can’t build a business case for content marketing and can’t reach deep understanding of their multichannel campaign’s effectiveness.
This comes as a very illogical move, since analytical indicators themselves is the ultimate way you integrate all of your channels. By using the feedback they give from email communication, from face-to-face, remote meetings, website and landing page visits – all this mass of data shapes the ultimate fundament for further decision-making and optimization. This is why, in order to understand where to optimize and make well-grounded strategic decisions, it’s crucial to have both a helicopter view and a very granular view of things. This is something customized Veeva CRM MyInsights dashboards can help out with, more on which you can read here.