Pharma communications are, at their current state, largely digitalized. The effort was definitely worth the disruption: besides the fact that tablets in reps’ hand have provided something of a counter-measure to the shrinking admission rates, the very processes are now assisted by powerful CRM/CLM. In skilful hands, a well-constructed CRM system can work like a stirring wheel, helping the marketer decide what reps should greet physicians with next week.

On the other hand, the overall situation, when analyzed in numbers, gives some food for thought. For example, the recent research done by DRG Digital, revealed that while 60% doctors actually do want to meet reps in the future (phew!), about the same percentage of the respondents (62-68%) claimed that reps frequently show materials that were previously seen. Translating into plain text: failed to provide value, postponing the promised “education” till the next visit.

Negligence? Hardly ever. These cases and the like illustrate one important tendency: while pharma marketing analytics are thriving on CRM’s, when it comes to taking action, content production lags behind the brisk decision-making. Because everyone in the audience wants personalized experience (and with life sciences it isn’t about as easy as in retail), the amount of content pharma is supposed to produce is skyrocketing out of sight.

That is why content reuse strategies are being introduced. We’ll discuss them right here, but first, let’s see what issues you can expect such strategies to solve.

Why simply creating content is not enough anymore

Yes, exactly. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”@Viseven_CLM”]The days of content creation from scratch whenever needed are becoming a “forgotten golden age” of HTML design[/inlinetweet], overshadowed by the whirlpool of “micro-experiences” – even in the world of eDetailing and medical content. Enterprises are fighting heroically (the stoutest of them, that is), with 93% in pharma/biotech admitting the volume of digital content is higher today than even 2 years ago. Employing a team just because one KOL wants to see real value? Possibly worth it. Doable? Painfully so.

There’s a reason why real value is highlighted above. It has become both a prerequisite and a buzzword in medical marketing, so what makes it?

If you split this notion into three components the way we did, remembering the previous experiences creating it, these components are more or less as follows:

  1. The WOW-effect of perfect interactive design.
  2. Information.
  3. Convenience.

Starting with the first – the wow effect is aging by now when not revived by some genius designer. Interactive content, like CLM-oriented presentations, has become more of a must than an exciting novelty in many places, whereas the pure entertainment of new tech has migrated to the VR/AR domain. Those doctors who have already seen the potential of eDetailing are now waiting for when it starts providing benefits.

Thus, information. To be valuable, of course it should be more or less unique, not the variety you can find using any search engine. 74% of doctors actually use these on at least a weekly basis. Websites, independent and branded sources, pharma portals… In the U.S., members of P&T committee spend 3+ hours a day using digital resources – more than double the time on printouts, etc. In Europe, the situation is not much different – 13-19 hours/week spent by doctors on digital resources on average. In practice, this means when a rep comes (or they get an email), they expect to find something different from what they looked up, something unique. For example, something they didn’t find on the portal.

doctors expect to find something unique on the portal

Which brings us directly to convenience. With the overflow of medical information, the real value lies with whoever can structure that information in the most actionable way. Actionable to the audience. Of course. This requires a deep understanding of doctors’ everyday needs, but also a way to assemble the necessary content for almost each type of interaction anew from preexisting blocks.

While not overlooking branding and message consistency, of course.

This is why the companies that provide the most powerful CRM systems are the ones who also start providing solutions for content management. Take the introduction of Orchestrated Customer Engagement solution by IQVIA: this is a direct step to organize (orchestrate) what happens before CLM.

vendors need to align with changes

Now, imagine you could also plug content creation into this scheme. In this way, the “loop” will  be closed from content concept right until KPIs collection, whereas feasible ways to reduce content production costs can be thought of.

This is the task that templating is devised to solve: provide the ideal content for different occasions, while reducing the costs by means of asset reuse. How does it look from the inside?

Templating: how it works

First of all, who performs the content tasks in your organization? In-house teams? Occasional content vendors contracted by affiliates? Long-term collaborators? There turn out to be two common paths, one with multiple agencies who get sporadic contracts (leading almost always to fractured key messages); the other – an attempt at a more scalable approach. In this second variant, the manager first looks at how much work is to be done. Is it minor changes? Is it layout? Picture swap? Text? Or something more substantial? On the basis of this, the task is assigned to those who are capable of doing it.

Of course, this capability varies a lot. One thing is changing something, quite another making a different piece of content altogether. However, there always is something that any content inherits from preexistent assets. At least the brand logo. At most – everything except [this, this and this].

Now, in templating, a master template is created and thoroughly tested by the original content vendor. This may include interactive elements, general designs, preferred layouts, color schemes, etc. Out of this master template, this very same vendor, or others, when needed, can, at request, create different variants of presentations. These, in turn, can be slightly modified again, so that with each round of reuse, less actual time and effort is needed.

templating approach

Now, of course, this requires a kind of editing tool that allows to access and edit the interactive content on different levels. At the same time, everything happens on the background of a global storage (cloud-based) to provide access to the content variants.

At the same time, no product manager will suffer everyone with corporate credentials doing whatever they want with the content, so there also needs to be sort of revision/validation/approval mechanism. This ensures that only the reviewed materials can be published into the CRM (to which all this should be plugged).

editing platform

So there we have it: templating is based on reusing the existing, perfectly developed master templates across a common editing platform; it requires a cloud storage, various editing functionalities, and a (let’s call it like this) pre-CRM content review mechanism. This will plug the content creation processes into content distribution and serve as a firm ground for multichannel orchestration.

If you are wondering whether these solutions exist, they do. The features and capacities we described here are based on the model that is currently in use by some major life sciences companies; you can see the detailed description of its structure on this website. At the core of this solution, the Digital Content Factory, is the eWizard platform, allowing content reuse (editing via handy UI), which is also compatible with systems like IQVIA, where it has also very well served as a global Store for content. To see the platform in action, you can access a free demo right here, – and make your content supply as powerful as distribution for excellent customer experience.