2017 was the year of moving the needle, in the digital marketing sense of things, for both pharma and healthcare industries. The obvious evidence of progressive tendencies is the fact that raising budget allocations for digital was a priority and it remains relevant for pharma companies this year as well. What did these allocations mean to complete – was it the new digital marketing strategy? New marketing tools? New human resources? Whatever it was, it resulted in creating a bulk of digital content. And that surely meant a lot of work to handle for the agencies’ ecosystem. As marketers are looking for new ways to drive digital content evolution in 2018, it is wise to try to reconceptualize marketing—agency relationship requirements with accordance to the new content realities.
In defenсe of the streamlined content workflows
Demands towards the content vendors are now more versatile and individualistic than ever. The rise of ever-available ‘Internet citizen’ customer, who presents pharma marketers a billion of opportunities to be reached through various channels, has become a new reality. With this type of customer came the need to tailor and personalize communications as much as possible. However, it added complications for the produced content to be distinguishable in web space – hence, the recent acute urge for brand awareness. It is predicted that by 2020, the pharmaceutical marketing and sales function will be organized around brands. Brand consistency, as well as the huge volumes of data (which is estimated to double every two years to 2020) in its turn, prompted the need for being picky in content strategy priorities. This way, categorizing and templating approaches were engrained into content production workflows. Was this transition a smooth one for the agencies—marketers relationships?
The recent changes of content workflows have resulted into a diverse mash-up of agencies that all deliver a different level of specialization, value and expertise. Managing such a wide-ranging network of agencies has obviously come along with challenges. More than a third of organizations (36%) are not effective when it comes to collaborating with brand/agency counterparts to translate a marketing vision into a targeted, cross-channel program. Moreover, a great majority of both agency CEOs (68%) and brand CMOs (72%) agree that current agency structures, processes and pace of delivery are not evolving at the same pace as a brand’s needs.
So, in order to deal with different ways of collaborating with agencies across a range of content channels, innumerable methods of measuring their outputs impartially, as well as the changing digital landscape, transparency and communication have to remain at the core of the common marketing—agency work ethics. To be able to create the content pharma needs, agencies need to become a built-in gear-wheel of the content creation ecosystem.
Localization as a guideline example
Resonating with local expectations is one of the biggest challenges global offices face, especially the life sciences organizations. Thus, localization is one of the key skills the agencies can offer on the market: as agreed upon in 71% of cases, it pumps up sales in target markets and 80% of organizations confirmed that this activity is becoming increasingly important to their businesses.
Companies now not only expect localization per se – coincidentally, it is usually the most time-consuming part of the content adaptation process. So the idea that global offices are currently nursing is to speed up time-to-market, avoiding the ‘translating and adapting images’ bottleneck. Instead of translating, the best deal on the market offers that local offices would be ‘trans-creating‘ content: given content elements, templates and the strategy, local offices (and agencies) would now use global media assets to create their own content. All this happening in single unified workspace! It would be of great benefit for pharma to take advantage of agencies’ collaborative attitude to create partnerships that will be paying off for years to come. More on the nuances of localization, you can read here.
Automate for scaling up
It is not an easy task to find an agency ecosystem that would cover the new demands of digital marketing mix without function overlaps, redundancies, or skill gaps. Marketers spend much of their efforts and time orchestrating their agency ecosystem, trying to manage a huge number of content vendors. Unsurprisingly, agencies can make it easier to be found and hired with clearly defined roles, skills and responsibilities at hand. An outlined agency certification is the best indicator available to help big pharma navigate in search for new content production partners. Drop our certification experts a line and find out more about Viseven Certification program for agencies.