RETHINKING DIGITAL SELLING

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1 RETHINKING DIGITAL SELLING BEST PRACTICES FOR MAXIMIZING RESULTS AND ROI Guiding Principles For Rethinking Your Digital Selling Strategy It s been nearly four years since reps started using tablet-based details. While most agree that digital selling initiatives do indeed improve physician detailing, there is a lot marketers can do to get greater payback from investments in these kinds of programs. Marketers who take a more holistic and integrated approach can dramatically improve the effectiveness, and ROI, of their digital selling programs by delivering content and information in more relevant, compelling and impactful ways. Potential benefits of rethinking your digital selling programs include: Longer, more effective sales calls Greater HCP interest in rep follow up Increase in branded online research by HCPs post sales call More sample requests Increased intent to prescribe

2 THE CURRENT STATE OF DIGITAL SELLING: Lack of Custom Content, and Imagination, Underwhelms While many pharma brands have fielded a tablet-based digital selling program, all too often the content is not custom created, or even optimized, for a tablet interface. Instead, content is frequently repurposed ( lifted and shifted, if you will) from a print detail aid. The result is a detailing experience that woefully fails to leverage the intrinsic ability of tablets to visually present content in a way that excites and intrigues. Fielding effective digital selling programs is becoming more important than ever. Ten guiding principles are proposed for brand teams and agency partners alike to get more out of this critical channel by rethinking their digital selling strategy: 1. Understand the Brand s Strategy and Marketing Environment 2. Clearly Define What Success Looks Like 3. Don t Lose Sight of the Bigger Picture 4. Engage All Key Stakeholders 5. Don t Adapt Rethink! 6. Intrigue HCPs Through Storytelling and Engaging Content 7. Plan for CLM Integration 8. Rapid Prototype and Test to Validate Without Losing Speed to Market 9. Keep the Field Engaged 10. Measure, Test, Learn and Optimize

3 1. UNDERSTAND THE BRAND S STRATEGY AND THE MARKETING ENVIRONMENT Sounds obvious, but it is easy to lose the forest through the trees once in the midst of planning a digital selling program. Tightly aligning the program with a brand s strategic imperatives will not only ensure consistency with the overall marketing plan, but also increases the odds the program will provide measurable commercial value and deliver the health outcomes the brand seeks. Adding insights into the overall marketing environment will inform a solution that effectively addresses barriers that can derail a sales call such as competitor advantages (whether real or perceived), predictable HCP objections or pricing and payer hurdles. Do your homework. Start by asking some in depth questions about the brand s strategic plan. Then, determine which imperatives digital selling can further. Is it helping to grow market share by educating HCPs on a new indication? Is it highlighting new efficacy or safety data? Or, is it differentiating the brand from a competitor by showcasing a unique MOA or treatment pathway? Either way, be clear on which imperative you re supporting to ensure internal support and relevancy once it s in market.

4 2. CLEARLY DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE Marketing accountability has become more important than ever. This is especially true for pharmaceutical sales where dramatic changes driven by a shift to smaller field forces, less physician access and more emphasis on specialty therapies place greater demands on the channel. Defining and aligning on KPIs early on that ladder up to a brand s strategic imperatives, therefore, is critical. In this way, all internal stakeholders will be clear on what to expect once the program is launched. Start by defining KPIs that are accurate proxies for specific performance targets whether they relate to unit sales, unaided awareness or intent to prescribe, to name a few. Then specify and benchmark metrics for each KPI based on brand, therapeutic area or industry standards. Finally, create a simple reporting dashboard format that makes it easy for all stakeholders to understand how the program integrates with the overall management of the brand this is especially important for stakeholders from senior management.

5 3. DON T LOSE SIGHT OF THE BIGGER PICTURE All too often digital selling programs are planned in a silo and with limited insight into the myriad factors that can make or break an effective tablet solution. Understanding the elements across multiple dimensions that influence how the tablet detail will be used and received once in market will help drive solutions that better meet the needs of sales reps, while delivering a brand s key messages and content in a way that is relevant, impactful and effective. When planning a digital selling program consider all the factors that play a role in whether, or not, a detail will add significant value to the sales rep/hcp interaction. Examples include: clinical context, product MOA, competitive MOA and positioning, current HCP perceptions, sales objectives and sales cycle and likely conversation points and objection to occur during a sales call.

6 4. ENGAGE ALL KEY STAKEHOLDERS Getting input, and buy in, from all key stakeholders is another critical driver of successful digital selling programs. Sales reps are clearly the most important stakeholder group since ultimate success hinges on how well they adopt and use the tablet solution. But don t stop there; other important stakeholders include HCPs who will be detailed, members of the brand team at all levels, as well as members of the technology and MLR teams. Start every initiative with interviews of all key stakeholders. Then conduct ride alongs with reps to determine how they want to use the detail on sales calls. Pay attention for discrepancies or divergent expectations among the stakeholders if these are not reconciled early on later success might be hard to attain. And don t stop once the program kicks off collecting ongoing feedback, especially from reps, is crucial to ensuring high levels of adoption and ongoing satisfaction.

7 5. DON T ADAPT RETHINK! As noted, all too often the content used for tablet details is directly picked up from a print core sales aid with little or no reformatting, let alone re-envisioning. The problem with this approach is that a print aid is created as a book, and is intended to be read in a linear manner from beginning to end. Hardly an ideal approach for a tablet based detail that offers so much more flexibility in how information and data are presented. Resist the temptation to directly lift detail content from a print piece and dropping verbatim into a tablet. Instead, start by mapping out a typical sales call in a linear fashion. Then consider likely detours that may occur during the call whether related to, for example, HCP queries or objections. Finally, use a non-linear design approach that uses and branching logic to give reps the flexibility to quickly adapt the detail presentation to these detours in a meaningful way.

8 6. INTRIGUE HCPS THROUGH STORYTELLING AND ENGAGING CONTENT The best tablet details are planned around narratives that simultaneously convey key brand messages while creating interest and curiosity. They make full use of native tablet functions, like tap- and orientation-based navigation, to craft a compelling story flow, while giving reps the flexibility to change course when needed to respond to questions or objections. They include highly engaging features that draw in HCPs. And, they present content in an easy to view layout since, after all, less is more when a rep has a matter of minutes to present highly complex information to a time constrained HCP. First, start by answering a few critical questions that can go a long way to informing a compelling edetail narrative, for example: What key brand messages need to be conveyed? What are current HCP perceptions about the brand/disease state? Where are the opportunities for important HCP discovery moments? Then, be sure to intrigue HCPs through engaging features. Finally, avoid the temptation to put too much on the screen; opt, instead, for a layout that is simple, clean and compelling.

9 7. PLAN FOR CLM INTEGRATION Tablet-based details provide an excellent opportunity to better integrate field sales activities with a brand s closed-loop marketing (CLM) program. By capturing and integrating tablet usage data and rep insights from the field with other customer data, brands are able to analyze physician preferences and optimize their sales tactics to deliver more relevant sales and marketing programs. Integrating a tablet-based program with CLM requires considerable planning and coordination. Start by setting clear expectations with reps that use of the tablet detail as often as possible is critical to inform ongoing improvements. Then, ensure that usage data from the tablet is delivered to the CLM program on an ongoing basis for integration and correlation with other customer data. This information can be used to inform detail updates or more sophisticated sales segmentation strategies.

10 8. RAPID PROTOTYPE AND VALIDATE WITHOUT LOSING SPEED TO MARKET Testing an application before launch is not just best practice, it just makes good sense. Unfortunately, due to timing and budget constraints, testing of tablet-based details using traditional methods is frequently not an option. An alternative approach is using rapid prototyping tools and nimble testing methods to get enough of the right feedback quickly that can make the difference between a mediocre and an excellent detailing app. Start by creating high or low fidelity prototypes (depending on time and budget) using approved creative comps. A test plan should then be developed that addresses the critical factors that will drive program success. Key testing areas include how well the detail meets sales call objectives, call flow, common rep and HCP information needs, and how well the detail helps reps handle likely HCP objections. The plan should also test for how well the prototype meets requirements in the areas of user experience design, visual design, content and navigation.

11 9. KEEP THE FIELD ENGAGED Effectively planning and designing a tablet-based detail is only part of the challenge. Once the detail is developed it is critical to get the commitment of the reps to adopt it and use it on an ongoing basis. This is not always easy. Many reps are resistant to using tablet details because they re not used to the technology. Others are hesitant out of reluctance at having an electronic record of their sales call activity. Maintaining an effective digital selling program takes a sustained effort. Before launch it is important to give reps a stake in the program by involving them in the planning and design process. It is also critical to build internal awareness of the program before launch so it gives reps a chance to prepare for the changes digital selling entail. Rep training and ongoing support are also valuable tools to keep reps engaged. Self-directed interactive training tools and sales call role-play modules can be effective at driving initial adoption. To drive sustained adoption, consider product refreshers and an ongoing and SMS program to keep reps informed of updates and progress against goals.

12 10. MEASURE, TEST, LEARN AND OPTIMIZE Optimizing a digital selling program starts with welldefined success criteria, KPIs and performance metrics as noted above. Once the program is launched, ongoing measurement and analysis can help identify opportunities to improve the detail whether related to the detail s story flow, content, navigation, animations, etc. The addition of testing of various detail elements can also help identify which elements are most or least effective at driving results against the objectives of the program. Data is the key ingredient for any optimization program. Inputs from multiple sources will be required in order to get a complete view of how well the digital selling program is working. Start by creating a digital selling data repository (ideally, this should be integrated with any CLM database). Then ensure data is captured from all relevant sources. In addition to a direct feed from the tablet analytics platform, other data examples include: self-reported rep reactions during sales calls, rep survey responses and HCP survey or poll responses.

13 ABOUT EVEO Eveo Communication Group, Inc., established in 1999, is a leading full-service digital healthcare marketing communication agency rooted in innovation and technology. Ranked by Advertising Age as the #1 Independent Digital Healthcare Agency in the U.S. for three years in a row, Eveo partners with some of the world s largest health brands to build multi-faceted marketing campaigns using mobile, social, web, video, and gaming solutions. Eveo s innovations are focused to achieve one goal: client success. Eveo has offices in San Francisco, New York and London. Visit to learn more.

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