The Evolution of E-detailing & the Interactive Visaid

Interactive-Vis-AidsWhen multi-channel closed-loop marketing began to embed itself in pharmaceutical advertising, marketers were fascinated. And why not? It’s an amazing concept. Content is distributed through various channels to reach HCPs, patients, and consumers via their preferred communication method. This can include print, direct mail, web, e-mail, interactive visual aids, etc. Metrics are collected along the way. All the information is aggregated into a central database system. The data that’s provided back to marketing “closes the loop” on the entire sales process. By taking advantage of the latest innovations in e-detailing, companies can tell who’s using their product, who’s asking about it, and who’s prescribing it– along with how, when, where and why.

But somewhere along the way we got distracted by shiny objects. New hardware and technology, implementation challenges, and high development costs made us lose sight of what we were trying to accomplish. Tactics were inappropriately executed. Companies were measuring either the wrong metrics or none at all. A lack of education around big data stalled progress. The manpower and training necessary to implement a successful e-detailing program were too costly. In short– something so simple became too complicated.

A whole new playing field

Over the past few years, e-detailing has taken a proper foothold in the marketing landscape. Interactive visaids have found a new home on the iPad and the KISS principle has been applied. We’re still working toward the closed-loop marketing goals. We have just redefined them so they are more attainable. We’ve identified the right channels on which to focus our efforts (rather than every channel). The development process has been simplified to cut costs. (Goodbye Flash!) And we now know what metrics we should be tracking and when.

But time is still at a premium. Reps are only getting 2-5 minutes of face time with an HCP (if they are lucky). They rely on digital tools now more than ever to relay information faster to the HCP. When it comes to Interactive Visaids, the time is ripe for creativity and innovation.

What features do sales reps and HCPs find most beneficial in an Interactive Visaid?

  • Up-to-date content. The ultimate goal of any sales call is to win the sale. The best way to do this in the healthcare field is to provide the HCP with some piece of information that they don’t already have. Up-to-date formulary information and new product data can be game winners. An Interactive Visaid provides the perfect playing field for dynamic charts and graphs that can be updated with new data with the push of a button

  • Strategy. Tie your Interactive Visaid into other digital promotion platforms. HCPs are very IT-oriented. In between patient visits and meetings, they are pulling their mobile devices out of their pockets to go online. The rep isn’t handing out patient brochures anymore. They are directing HCPs to their company’s informative online resources. Websites, mobile apps, and other non-personal promotion take the sales call the rest of the way. So make sure that your Interactive Visaid ties into those other resources either through links or CRM functionality. The most popular features are electronic signatures for samples. Easy sharing of patient materials is a close second. With automated e-mail functionality that ties right into the CRM platform, reps can send materials to the physician with the click of a button.

How do I make a great Interactive Visaid?

  • Keep it simple. Navigation should be quick and intuitive. Users should be able to find what they are looking for in 2 clicks or less. Content should be streamlined. The delivery method may be different, but standard presentation rules still apply. Show it, don’t say it. The more visuals the better.

  • Use the platform to your advantage. Interactive Visaids allow you to present content that a traditional print piece cannot. Rich media like video, animation, and dynamic data engage viewers, while polling and surveys involve the audience in the presentation, gaining their interest.

  • Train. Train. Train. Training is the key to successful rollout. It’s not only important for your sales force to know the new content, but also to understand how to use the Interactive Visaid. Staging is critical. An Interactive Visaid supports the sales process– it doesn’t replace it. A sales rep needs to understand how to gauge their audience before using an Interactive Visaid to drive the interaction.

Your reps’ time in front of HCPs has never been at more of a premium. Interactive Visaids allow you to extend your sales call past the initial face-to-face meeting. With automated e-mail functionality, you can send additional information with the push of a button right from the HCP’s office. Dynamic charts and graphs, polling, metrics and tracking allow you to analyze your interaction in a way that yields direct results on marketing efforts and future sales calls.

Parting Thoughts

Implementation is the most important key to the success of any project. But more so for digital assets. If sales reps find the tool difficult to use or functionality is missing, you will never accomplish your goals. It is important to partner with an agency that understands the healthcare space and has experience converting print pieces to interactive digital assets. Creative MediaWorks has over a decade of experience supporting our healthcare and medical communication clients with cutting-edge multimedia solutions. If you need some big ideas for your next Interactive Visaid, contact us today to speak to our Multimedia Manager. We have the experience and the expertise that you need to make your next project a success.

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