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Effective content factory integration and automation for life sciences

27 Feb 2024
The need for efficient, automated, and compliant content factories
Over recent years, life sciences governing bodies around the world h­ave introduced stringent regulatory laws related to the content factories that drive promotions for prescription drugs and medical devices.
In 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration issued new guidelines on the promotion of medical products using online platforms, wherein the key focus was in the area related to accuracy of information used in promotions to prevent the spreading of misleading information to patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs). Similarly in 2020, the European Medicines Agency introduced a new bill to increase the transparency and traceability of promotions related to medical devices throughout their life cycle.
In addition to the core legal and regulatory compliance, research by the Content Management Institute has highlighted additional challenges faced by current content management systems.
Siloed systems and processes resulting in manual intervention and resource-intensive workloads
Data inaccuracies, such as missing metadata, which can leave organizations open to legal and financial risks if expired or noncompliant assets are distributed to end users
These challenges necessitate the integration and automation of the entire content management ecosystem to ensure efficient management, enforcement, and implementation across the content supply chain.
This integration and automation will ensure that marketing teams are empowered to effectively reach their target audience, build brand awareness, and ultimately increase sales. Integrating content factories with other systems that comprise the marketing technology (MarTech) stack will also ensure that all content remains updated and compliant with the latest relevant information before being distributed through downstream customer engagement systems and platform.
Key benefits of content factory integration and automation
Improved efficiency: Effective automation with creative tools can help improve efficiency by centralizing the creation and management of content
Improved quality: Well-planned content factory integration can help improve the quality of content by providing a single source of fact across all channels. This can help ensure that content is consistent across all channels
Increased compliance: Content factory integrations and automation can help identify unapproved or expired assets, ensuring compliance
Improved visibility: Content factory automation helps stakeholders, such as the project owner, digital content factory owner, and the brand manager, stay informed on the latest status of the asset and general life cycle of any document in the system
Automated metadata sync: Effective integration can automate the syncing of metadata to systems across the ecosystem as well as reducing the probability of errors
Increased reach: Content factory automation can help increase the reach by delivering the content across multiple channels, helping organizations reach a wider audience with critical health information
Getting started
Life sciences organizations must work with technical and domain experts who can both design life sciences-specific, enterprise-grade content factory integration/automation solutions and maintain templatized solutions that are built on the best practices of industry. These templatized solutions must contain custom APIs and readily available connectors that enable rapid implementation and launch.
These solutions must also cover the entirety of the MarTech ecosystem, including customer relationship management systems (CRMs), digital asset management (DAM) tools, marketing automation platforms (MAPs), and more to enable seamless creation, review, approval, and distribution of the content across channels.
An example would involve using content management tools such as Veeva Vault PromoMats (VVPM) to enable workflows for the creation, review, and approval of the content. These systems can then be integrated with a downstream MAP such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) to drive compliant communication.
As depicted in Figure 1, a typical content factory stack involves CRMs, DAM tools, and MAPs. Life sciences content is usually authored and stored in the DAM system. In general, content creation (1) is manually managed via creative agencies or is templatized for reuse. Digital content, created in (1), must also go through a review and approval process in the vault (2).  
In order to distribute content, a CRM or MAP system is required to facilitate the availability and outreach to end users such as sales representatives. For example, a sales representative can trigger the approved contract lifecycle management (CLM) presentations from the CRM system (4) to their assigned HCPs, and similarly, mass emailers can be triggered from the MAP system (3). The API integration and configured automation help connect these systems, and the approved content is now made readily available for distribution when required.
Use case deep dive: Configuring email automation in a content factory
Let us examine how this solution can help life sciences organizations enable advanced use cases. The integration of VVPM and SFMC can help automate the creation of email messages and update the process in SFMC as a response to any status changes in the corresponding VVPM document.
Middleware can also be chosen and customized to organizational requirements. For instance, if we consider Azure Data Factory (ADF) as the platform to automate all integration, appropriate pipelines can be built in ADF to automate each stage of the process – for example, draft approved for production, approved for distribution, and so on. The chart below (Figure 2) shows a logical, automated workflow that is seamlessly triggered across a set of integrated systems.
Essential considerations for optimizing your content factory implementation
Now that we have taken a closer look at an integrated and automated architecture and a workflow, let us explore some of the crucial steps that organizations need to follow for a thorough implementation.
Understand and set up business critical goals: Organize requirement gathering sessions involving the appropriate stakeholders to ascertain the goals, such as enhancing efficiency, improving asset quality, expanding reach, boosting engagement, or increasing sales
Choose the right systems: With the abundance of tools available in the market, it becomes especially important to architect the best possible fit with existing systems in the organization. This includes assessing and reviewing systems such as
Content management system
Workflow management system
Marketing automation platforms
Customer relationship systems
Overall, the customized components of the techno-functional solution will depend on the specific needs of the life sciences organization and their content production process. It is important to carefully evaluate all available options and choose a solution that best meets the needs and goals of the organization.
With the right experts and tools, life sciences organizations can create custom solutions to streamline their content processes, including the creation, review, approval, and distribution of the content across various channels. By ensuring effective integration and automating your life sciences content factory, several important benefits can be obtained such as improving workflow efficiency, ensuring higher content quality, and adhering with compliance. Moreover, it ensures better visibility and reach, in addition to keeping your content organized. Contact us today to learn how you can uplift content workflows at your life sciences organization.


Rajeev Mishra
Rajeev Mishra
Sandeep Komandury
Sandeep Komandury