How to create eDetailing

How to Create eDetailing Without an HTML5 GURU in Your Agency?

For a digital content guru agency, providing HTML5 presentations can be quite a lucrative business. Pharma presentations are big projects, and the industry takes them seriously enough to invest. Further, having successfully created e-detailing apps for a major brand is pretty much likely to result in a long-term collaboration. It’s not like they are going to order a large interactive presentation from your competitors when you’ve just proven you can do the job. Besides, not many agencies actually create them.

Which seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Numbers are stubborn, though: according to recent market research, only 45% agencies produce any interactive/video content – where eDetailing only takes a fraction of that percentage. The reason is, e-detailing is not just written and designed visually – since these presentations incorporate most types of content in an interactive form, they need to be programmed, most commonly (now almost exclusively) in HTML5.

This means, to create HTML5 presentation, the agency has to rely on professionals who do the coding. This job is as crucial as it can be tedious. True HTML5 gurus are priceless, and they know it.

Stuck? There can be plenty of reasons why your regular HTML5 development agency does not keep a know-it-all full-stack developer at hand – it would take ages to read through the list of them. Maybe there are only junior devs, maybe it’s difficult to find a team lead. Maybe they’re on vacation. You name it. However, what if someone told you it’s possible to skip that part? That an agency can develop presentations with a couple of junior developers in-house, and still be up to the competition? Of course, no one will promise you magic. Here, however, we’ll analyze the issue and go through several practices that allow agencies to “cheat” a little – all the while maintaining quality.

Why e-detailing is So Special?

To understand where you’ll need a replacement for some almighty presentation guru, let’s first look at why you need them in the first place. In other words, the points that make edetailers unlike the other types of content.

What is edetailing, really? It’s obvious that HTML5 presentations are not static images, and they may consist of practically every content type you could think of. However, that alone doesn’t explain why edetails are still different from, say, websites. Thing is, this “genre” has its very own peculiar features that need consideration.

1. Pharma Content = Special Responsibility

Since everything here revolves around medical subjects, the content has to be taken seriously. Doctors who watch the presentations in detailing sessions need verified and relevant information to make “pro” decisions. In fact, the quality of pharma content has been a discussed issue for a while, with 2/3 doctors being skeptical about the information they get. For an agency, this has an unexpected result. If you’re dealing with pharma edetailing, be prepared for a lot of participation from liaisons and tons of counseling. In practice, this increases the chances that some corrections will have to be made at different parts of the development process. This, in turn, means that the agency doesn’t get as much time as it seems at first. In the process of (re)coding, there can emerge new issues – a popup is no longer sufficient in size; the layout needs to be altered to make place for a new button, etc.

2. Presentations are more “Integrated” Than Websites

The whole concept of edetailing in pharma was once designed because doctors didn’t have enough time to engage with representatives. The numerous interactive elements and complex navigation are there not just to show off. Using them is crucial because it allows to present information more efficiently. In an often cited survey, 75% of general marketing respondents said they would increase their utilization of interactive content during 2017. For retail, this spells opportunity. For pharma, necessity. That’s why HTML5 presentations are so important.

On the other hand, for example, websites also have interactive features like checkboxes, flipping card quizzes and so on. The difference is, websites are normally navigated in more relaxed settings. An HTML5 presentation, however, needs to incorporate different types of content so that they are most accessible at any second. This means a lot of work needs to be done to ensure the different elements on the same slide look and work well together.

3. eDetailing Content Needs to be CLM-compatible

Perhaps the most concerning moment about these presentations is that they don’t function in isolation. edetailing software is a hard nut to crack, every content manager knows that. An eloquent edetailing example is the fact that as the presentation unfolds, the data received from the doctor needs to be captured by the CLM system that the company uses. To address the CLM, the code needs to rely on the corresponding API. As you might have known (or guessed), different CLM systems use different API sets, so a programming guru typically needs to adjust the code accordingly. This can be an infuriatingly meticulous work to do, so – extra bit of attention here.

Now that we have these 3 decisive points, let’s look at how guru-less agencies handle them.

How to Get Away with Modest Workforce?

Let’s be precise here: the agency will still need at least several junior developers to make good interactive edetailing. There are edetailing platforms that allow to work with HTML5 presentations without ever looking at the code, and yes, non-IT specialists use them heavily. Sometimes they even create content from scratch, but they are mostly marketers who repurpose existent content. The trick is, these same platforms can yield results proportional to the developers’ skill. A more or less experienced developer can create presentations using templates in little to no time. The secret?


First of all, you can use a content development platform with predesigned templates. This saves time and effort – one thing is struggling to code something like a carousel, quite another is purchasing these blocks of professionally written code together with the platform. All that is left is to customize them to match the edetailer. This way, the developers don’t get too deep into the HTML, and the time spared can be used for actual design.


Secondly, the API. Typically, a guru needs time to study them all if you want the content to run properly. However, this can be avoided, too. It’s been several years since the first calls to “break the silos”, and today you can benefit from an engine with universal API to be used. This way, an agency can put less effort into establishing navigation, data collection, etc.


You’ve been thinking about outsourcing, right? After all, if some of the tasks are too complicated for a team, why not have them done somewhere else? This is rational sometimes. We live in the era of microservices, and can purchase narrowly defined “things”. Even if they are lines of HTML5.

The thing to take care of here is that the code should be intelligible and easy to work with. This will provide you quicker intermediate results since that other team will have to work as part of the whole project. To ensure this, again, you can select a development standard with clear guidelines and well-written documentation, so that if you have to redirect pieces of work they come to you as quick as possible.

Start Now

You can try these practices right away if you want – all you need is to settle upon a good development standard/engine and a number of useful tools. By making junior developers use ready-made blocks of code, you win time and flawless functioning. It would be reasonable to use elements designed specifically for edetailer as it is unique in many ways. Additionally, by using universally functional API, you can be on the safe side when it comes to what CLM presentation is designed for. To make the necessary step, you can order a free demo here.