This information is then absorbed online. It’s good when a rep’s visit is followed up; it’s bad that it’s followed up by just another brief episode. At the same time, pharmaceutical detailing is more educational by nature than any type of marketing imaginable. As we know, learning requires consistency. Not the bits and pieces of a marketing funnel. Especially not several completely different funnels from a number of brands.
That’s why doctors sometimes prefer searching for information online over rep visits – and at the same time, they still want live talk with reps as part of their learning experience. If you try to represent this informational “ambient” graphically (as we did on the right), you will get a stable flow of guidelines/legal information, a big, turbulent but customizable stream of different content available online – and the scattered visits, occasionally provoking interest for websites, and sometimes followed up.
Now, here’s the future of this ambient when the visits shrink in time as they do. Note that the value provided by one single visit is not even enough to incite further engagement; the bit of information provided by reps are more easily lost when surrounded by competing companies’ bits and scraps – and the role of online learning increases to fill the space.
Now, if you want to steer the general flow of interest, you will want to come up with something to glue together the scattered experiences – including the online ones (i.e., outside the doctor’s working hours). This “something” must be clearly related to the rep visits, but also provide more substantial information than can be given in 6 minutes or so. A virtual platform is exactly the name given to this “something”. The idea is, this single major hub unites the different types of engagement and different formats of content in a single, customizable funnel.