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The Complete Guide to Pharmaceutical Detailing

pharmaceutical detailing

Pharmaceutical detailing is the most time-tested marketing format in the medical content world. Old-timer sales reps should remember how pharmaceutical companies reckoned face-to-face (F2F) visits with doctors as the most effective approach to achieving their sales targets.

With the advent of digital marketing, plenty of new forms of online communication emerged and eventually superseded detailing that turned from the most fundamental method of engagement into one of many.

But as it turned out, the power of engagement doesn’t depend on the number of sources.

On the contrary, search engines and social media provided healthcare professionals (HCPs) with more information about products and trends in the pharmaceutical industry and made them fastidious.

HCPs’ constantly increasing demand for personalized experiences encouraged pharma companies to refresh their marketing strategies and use pharmaceutical detailing in a new electronic way.

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to define the main differences between detailing and e-detailing, discover the benefits of this content format in the context of innovation, and understand how to leverage its efficiency with other marketing channels.

The guide will be equally helpful to experienced pharma representatives who want to revise their knowledge of detailing and specialists who joined the pharma sales force not long ago.

Read it till the end to download a case study that contains professional content tips on presenting your pharma company and products with an engaging e-detailer.

What is Pharmaceutical Detailing?

Pharmaceutical detailing is a marketing technique that allows sales representatives of a pharmaceutical company to promote products and services to healthcare professionals (HCPs) using a detailed presentation.

The Main Types of Detailing in the Pharmaceutical Industry

There are several types of pharmaceutical detailing.

Academic detailing is a non-commercial face-to-face demonstration of new prescription drugs by healthcare professionals to their colleagues or patients in academic medical centers.

Academic detailing has educational value. The goal of conducting academic detailing is to improve the quality and results of clinical trials, patient care, prescribing patterns, and prescribing behavior.

Traditional detailing is a face-to-face demonstration of pharmaceutical products and services by sales representatives to healthcare professionals. The goal of conducting detailing is to provide doctors with all the necessary information on new drugs and their effectiveness.

E-detailing is a digital marketing practice used by pharmaceutical sales representatives to present a company’s products and services to healthcare professionals online with an interactive presentation called e-detailer.

Depending on the marketing approach, some pharma marketing specialists divide e-detailing into two categories: self-detailing and remote detailing.

pharma detailing

In the process of self-detailing, an HCP reviews an e-detailer alone without the guidance of a pharmaceutical representative. Remote detailing is an online one-in-one demonstration of an e-detailer by a pharmaceutical representative to an HCP during a video call or webinar.

There are also at least five types of e-detailing, subject to the purpose of HCP engagement.

The Benefits of E-Detailing for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

According to a survey by BCG, 84% of physicians want to maintain or increase online interactions with pharmaceutical companies.

Interestingly, the same report showed that 60% of HCPs prefer to learn more about new prescription products during an in-person visit by a pharmaceutical sales representative.

In such a hybrid communication environment, detailing is a perfect way to engage with HCPs.

Let’s find out why.

Benefit 1. Full Accessibility and Increased Engagement

Typically, HCPs are very busy and don’t want to change their overloaded schedules or be interrupted because a sales rep needs to sell a new drug. E-detailers changed the way direct-to-consumer advertising works in the pharma industry.

The high level of e-detailing accessibility multiplies the level of HCP engagement. E-detailing creates human-oriented experiences for HCPs, eliminating sales representative obtrusiveness that might have turned many health professionals off in the past.

Now it’s up to a health professional to decide how, where, and when to access information provided by pharmaceutical and life science companies.

An HCP, who for some reason can’t attend one-on-one meetings, can use an e-detailer anytime via any device they want, a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and via any preferred channel like email or social media. An HCP, who doesn’t mind meeting with a sales rep, can view an e-detailer during a video call or after a live webinar.

Pharma sales reps can attract HCPs’ attention and create the feeling of total control over the situation thanks to e-detailing rich functionality:

  • Media. Images, video, and audio help sales reps engage HCPs with an engaging story.

  • Animation. Animated content looks way more attractive and engaging.

  • Navigation Menu. HCPs can instantly jump to slides they like.

  • References & Resources. All sources mentioned in an e-detailer are near at hand, which allows HCPs to check the authenticity of data presented in an e-detailer.

Benefit 2. Detailed Analytics

One of the greatest benefits of electronic pharmaceutical detailing is that drug companies don’t have to meet HCPs personally to understand the overall impact of e-detailers on their decisions.

Being integrated with in-depth analytics in a customer relationship management (CRM) system, an e-detailer contains key performance indicators (KPIs) to collect real-time data about HCPs’ interactions.

There are several types of KPIs pharma companies can use:

  • Quantitative KPIs: time per slide, the number of demonstrated slides, the order of slide demonstration, attitude towards the slide, and beyond.
  • Qualitative KPIs: prescriptions, interactive surveys, and beyond.

KPIs allow companies to track any HCPs’ actions on e-detailers depending on their business goals and the software they use. Performance metrics are crucial because they help sales representatives find inefficiencies in their pharmaceutical detailing strategies and improve them.

e-detailing pharma

Benefit 3. HCP Feedback and Better Customer Experience

Along with information received with performance metrics, one more thing that can improve pharmaceutical detailing strategies in particular and pharma marketing as a whole is direct feedback from health professionals.

One more slide with a simple feedback form added to the end of an e-detailer can dramatically increase customer experience in the future. By providing unique insights, HCPs can expand the knowledge of pharmaceutical companies about:

  • The Subject of an E-Detailer. HCPs can share their professional and personal opinions on the brand, products, or any other e-detailing topic with a drug company.
  • Quality of E-detailing. HCPs can recommend pharmaceutical representatives to improve the content and its appearance and find possible mistakes and inconsistencies.
  • Target Audience. HCPs can tell about their colleges’ needs, preferences, interests, competence, expertise, and beyond.
  • Pharma Industry and Market. Even if HCPs can say nothing about the industry and market, they may say something that would pull some suggestions out of the minds of pharmaceutical representatives.

A pharma company can also create an interactive slide for conducting a survey based on multiple-choice questions as an alternative to a feedback form. In pharma marketing, such content has enormous potential for creating more effective means of HCP engagement.

Benefit 4. Omnichannel Versatility

As one of the top healthcare marketing trends, omnichannel marketing is the future of communication between pharmaceutical representatives and HCPs.

In an omnichannel environment, pharmaceutical companies combine e-detailing with other channels to create personalized customer journeys and engage with different groups of HCPs based on data analytics.

To leverage the effectiveness of the e-detailing process for an HCP or a group of HCPs with the same characteristics, pharmaceutical sales representatives and marketers identify the most preferred combination of communication channels and use them as touchpoints in a customer journey at the right time.

In such a way, e-detailing becomes human-centered, looks professional, and feels natural.

E-Detailing Case Study for Pharmaceutical Companies

Read how we assisted a top 50 pharmaceutical enterprise in transforming complicated descriptive materials into an easy-to-understand interactive e-detailer. 

Download a concise case study to learn some of e-detailing best practices, present your pharmaceutical product at its best, and successfully engage with HCPs.

Professional E-Detailers for a Pharmaceutical Company Made Easy

Want to create next-generation interactive presentations with top-notch design and tailor them to the current needs of HCPs in personalized customer journeys?

eWizard, a content experience platform, enables top pharma and life sciences companies with everything needed to leverage pharmaceutical detailing in omnichannel marketing:

  • Intuitive Creation. Thanks to a diverse collection of pre-built templates and easy-to-use tools, pharmaceutical representatives can create interactive e-detailers without professional coding and design skills.
  • Accelerated MLR Review and Approval. Powered by modular content, eWizard allows your company to reuse pre-approved content blocks and tremendously simplify medical, legal, and regulatory affairs for e-detailing.
  • Integrations for Any Purpose and KPI tracking. Your team can integrate eWizard with any popular system or platform to thoroughly analyze the effectiveness of e-detailing by tracking HCP behavior on an advanced level.

Please complete the form below, and our specialists will get to you shortly with a professional e-detailing consultation.

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