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Busted! 5 myths about life sciences content that just aren't true

Executive Summary

Content is a contentious topic in life sciences commercial operations cubicles. It is replete with myths about data usability, personalization scalability, global and local operating models’ agility, agency effectiveness, and content reusability. Not all of them are true. We bust some of them here!

1. Branded content builds brand affinity

Only branded content, no! Together with unbranded content, yes! Our survey of nearly 1,000 Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) around the world revealed that 62% of HCPs feel overwhelmed by the product-related promotional content they receive from pharma companies. Further, 62% of HCPs indicated that they want reps to share only relevant content that matches their areas of interest.

Branded content builds brand affinity

Here’s a case in point. A global, life sciences company wanted to engage, protect and maintain existing HCP writers for its mature brand. The brand’s revenue and market share were declining as its field reps were reassigned to new brands.

We segmented HCPs using our IP and the life sciences company’s data and identified over 9,000 HCPs as engagement targets for the indication. We also conducted studies on mitigation and containment of side effects based on clinical data. Our medical writers created campaigns on efficacy, safety, early diagnosis, and patient profiles. And we deployed a mix of Virtual Sales Reps (VSRs), Rep Triggered Emails (RTE), Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), and programmatic advertising through an omnichannel approach, leveraging our inhouse platform to optimize HCP journeys.

As a result, we engaged 212 dormant HCP writers and 417 inactive ones. Together, they wrote over 1,700 prescriptions.

$9.4 million
Incremental sales from dormant writers
$19 million
Incremental sales from new writers
629
HCPs activated

2. MLR is the holy cow that moves at its own pace

No! A global, life sciences company with presence in medical devices, nutrition and branded generic pharmaceuticals had long review and approval processes with complex interdependencies. Its manual review process had inconsistencies as it was dependent on Medical, Legal, Regulatory (MLR) reviewers’ bandwidth and the quality of commercial content’s submission.

We applied our MLR review automation platform to automate its learning process to reduce the cycle time of content rejection before formal submission. By leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), the platform improved MLR reviewer’s experience. The machine-assisted review helped to better track content versions, and highlight and annotate incorrect and missing ISI statements. It improved process efficiency by incorporating spell check for US English, linked to the medical and brand dictionary.

By performing first-level checks for claims and context through a platform, the company improved content quality upstream, reduced back-and-forth cycles, and improved compliance.

30%
Faster turnaround time
95%
Machine capability to identify spelling errors
85%
Accuracy to identify claims and extract references

3. Too many vendors create chaos in the commercial operations kitchen

Not really! Commercial operations teams use multiple vendors - from creative agencies to digital ones, agencies of record to production houses, and design studios to campaign operations. It is difficult to standardize content in this multi-vendor ecosystem, but it is not impossible for them to coexist.

A German life sciences company wanted to set up a global design system to reduce its time to market and bring consistency in its web experience across geographies. Its design operations were siloed as they were driven by local agencies in different geographies and resulted in an inconsistent web experience. The slow, fragmented design compliance and audit process delayed its time-to-market as a large volume of existing, non-compliant, multilingual websites engaged a diverse audience.

We set up a centralized digital factory model to standardize, scale and accelerate design and development efforts. We onboarded over 30 agencies globally and collaborated to standardize the design process and identify inconsistencies that could extend the development process. Finally, we leveraged systems design to drive the verification and compliance of agency design efforts.

As a result, the company scaled its design efforts, improved design efficiency, and expedited compliance clearance. It accelerated the time-to-market and ensured the delivery of a consistent web experience across geographies.

40%
Less time for design
80%
Fewer custom design components
85%
Adherence to design system framework SLAs

4. Life sciences marketers’ and HCPs’ channel preferences are aligned

Not true! A study by DT Consulting, an Indegene company of over 4,000 interactions between HCPs and pharma companies revealed a big disconnect between the channels HCPs preferred versus the ones used by pharma companies to engage them.

Pharma companies often used face-to-face sales reps, medical reps and small, in-person, company-sponsored events to engage HCPs. But HCPs rated their preference for these channels lower. They preferred to engage with pharma companies through sales and medical reps’ emails, online (video) conferences with medical reps, live, company-sponsored online or virtual meetings and videos of recorded webcasts, webinars or congresses.

What kind of interaction do you most prefer to have with pharmaceutical firms, and what kind of interaction do you actually have most often?

 What kind of interaction do you most prefer to have with pharmaceutical firms, and what kind of interaction do you actually have most often?

Base: 4,000 interactions between global healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical firms

© 2022 DT Consulting (an Indegene company)

5. Integrated systems are a must for a seamless omnichannel experience

Not really! While omnichannel engagement is more effective with interoperable systems, processes and teams, life sciences companies can still personalize HCP experience despite limited integration.

Two life sciences companies shared a licensing agreement to develop and co-commercialize an oncology drug within and outside the United States. However, its field force lacked key insights on customer digital engagements and preferences due to siloed systems for HCP data. The one-size-fits-all marketing approach and lack of a content strategy resulted in minimal content variety and volume for the brand launch and disconnected HCP experiences through multiple channels and partners.

We leveraged our commercial data warehouse to create a comprehensive view of HCPs by unifying data across multiple, siloed systems. We devised a personalized content strategy based on HCP personas and recommended third-party channel adoption by analyzing channel constraints and HCP affinity. We designed an omnichannel marketing plan with personalized engagement journeys to move HCPs across the adoption funnel.

The brand realized a higher conversion across various stages of the HCP journey from this personalized, omnichannel approach while driving higher adoption across the field force.

75,000
HCP profiles unified
12%
Higher engagement
20%
Higher next best action adoption

6. Bonus! Marketing operations’ juice is not worth the squeeze

Think again! One of the world’s largest biotech companies had fragmented marketing operations across markets and brands. Its marketing campaigns were non-dynamic and unscalable. It lacked capabilities to track metrics, hurting its ability to personalize campaigns. And its approach to engaging HCPs was not standardized and varied in maturity across regions.

We established a multi-channel service center for this company for end-to-end marketing operations. It spanned content production, cross channel orchestration and activation, digital enablement and automation. The operation was modular to help roll-out capabilities across markets. We scaled it up by leveraging fit-for-purpose technology. Our content collaboration platform enabled collaboration through the digital asset lifecycle. We deployed a campaign management platform to help build, launch, manage and optimize campaigns. We leveraged NLP to automate content creation. And we adopted AI and ML-based next best action for HCP engagement.

As a result, the company transformed its marketing operations into a standardized, insights-driven, self-service-based model. It established a joint incubation center and drove adoption across 31 markets. It scaled from 700 to 2,100 assets in a year with solution accelerators, increased content reuse by 56% and realized a 33% faster time to market, while saving 26% agency cost, 50% lower data enablement licensing cost and an 86% reduction in campaign cost per touch point.

The operation realized a 95% review accuracy, freed marketers’ bandwidth by 18% and reduced project management cycle time by 30%. The company also benefitted from a permanent increase in share of voice of customers, employees and business.

56%
Higher global content reuse
33%
Faster time-to-market
86%
Lower campaign cost per touchpoint

Bust the myths before they become folklore

It does not take too long for myths to permeate across the organization and become commonly-accepted truths. With the right technology, partner and now these case studies, you have the resources at your disposal to challenge them and set your content operations on the path to be future ready.

Authors

Milesh Gogad
Milesh Gogad
Milesh Gogad
Anant Puranik
Anant Puranik
Anant Puranik

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