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Are Your iPad Detail Aids Working Hard Enough?

by Neil Follet - November 16, 2016

This is an excerpt from a Brightworks whitepaper that outlines what pharma marketers can do to get the most out of their interactive visual aids (iVAs). You can access the free whitepaper here.

Make that magic intersection of marketing and usability a reality

There was a time when pharma detailing was all about the flipcharts and sell sheets. Now it’s all iPads and CLM. Is there really a difference?

Well, there should be! There’s been a seismic shift between the old days of well-referenced, linear story flows and today’s iPad detailing experiences.

Today, “key messages” should really just be jumping-off points for deeper conversations with audiences. Attention spans are shorter and content standards are higher. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) want reps to keep them up-to-date on the latest clinical information and engage them during their busy days.

In other words, the rep call should be a conversation, not a speech.

Given more and more physicians are limiting rep access, the need to make the most of those few precious minutes with an HCP is greater now than it’s ever been.

Do more with your iPad detail aids: 3 key strategies

Staying true to the following three elements will help you create better detailing experiences.

1. Focus on storytelling

The interactive detail has to support the rep. It isn’t a webpage, so it shouldn’t have navigation that mimics a traditional website. It also isn’t a sell sheet or a PDF, so it shouldn’t be a static linear set of content. The iPad can deliver so much more than just standard, passive media.

As a marketer, you should be asking yourself “what would I lose if this was just presented on paper?”. If the answer is “not much”, then it’s time to rethink your detail.

iPad detail aids should be used to capture the attention of an HCP, demonstrate the unique benefits of your product and collect valuable information. With the iPad, your brand story can start focused, but it should also have the opportunity to branch off organically. Fewer messages per screen and layered content will help the rep focus the conversation and build on (rather than abandon) the starting point.

With iPad detail aids you can give your rep full control over how they tailor a story to the specific needs of each HCP.

2. Leverage the technology

The iPad is a powerful device and allows a marketer to think both strategically and creatively to bring a product story to life. Why limit audiences to passively watching videos and clicking “Next” when you can engage them in a conversation?

Consider the iPad’s features (and its limitations!). Don’t go crazy with fancy animations just because you can. Too much interactive content gets distracting. Reps need a tool that can enhance the story they’re trying to tell while they focus on the HCP conversation. They don’t have time to turn their attention to the device every few minutes or wait for animations to build.

Look at ways you can leverage the iPad to engage your audience. Features such as geo-location allow your reps to tell the local story, be it regional nuances in coverage, competition or HCP preferences. Live polling and other interactive features are also useful for starting new discussions and are a huge differentiation over traditional detailing experiences.

3. Remember the sales setting

To create an effective iPad detailing experience, you need to keep the physical realities of the rep-HCP sales setting top-of-mind. Most detailing conversations are happening on the fly at desks, in hallways or over coffee. So why do most details look like a traditional web experience?

The traditional web experience is one where an individual is engaging with the content for their own use and looking straight at a device—not trying to squeeze in a few precious minutes with a customer (who should always be their primary focus). Fonts have to be larger and messaging shorter, and your reps need to be able to detail dynamically from anywhere—no navigating back and forth.

Experiencing your iPad details the way your audience does will give you a whole new perspective on their design.

Given most agencies still present creative on a big screen and completely out of context, ask your agency to present on an iPad. Have them show you they can keep your attention and be navigating content on the side at the same time. If the people who design the experience can’t use it to tell a story, how can we expect the reps to?

You can do so much more…

If your sales force is using iPads as little more than e-readers, you are at best ignoring a powerful resource and wasting time and money, and at worst, alienating your sales force. Set your reps up for success with iPad detail aids that work harder.

Want to learn more about Brightworks and what we do for our US pharma clients? Don’t hesitate to get in touch. We always love meeting new people!

This is an excerpt from a Brightworks whitepaper that outlines what pharma marketers can do to get the most out of their interactive visual aids (iVAs). You can access the free whitepaper here.

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