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Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools

iPad detailing: still room for pharma to improve

Doctors want to be 'wowed', and video is where iPads shine, says Manhattan Research

Pharma iPad detailing doctors physicians 

Although iPads are firmly in the mainstream when it comes to pharma detailing, they could be used more effectively, according to a new study.

Manhattan Research says that having embarked on massive technology roll-out programmes, the challenge the industry now faces is how to use the technology in a way that engages doctors and adds value to sales reps' detailing time.

Manhattan Research's VP of research Monique Levy said: “In the three years since the iPad's debut, pharmaceutical firms have put tablets in the hands of nearly all of their sales representatives.

“The challenge now lies in creating compelling content and crystalising learning moments that physicians expect and the devices excel at.”

The analysts' new ePharma Physician 2013 study highlighted using animations and video to illustrate a novel mechanism of action (MOA) or treatment pathway as particular areas where the industry can provide 'Ah-hah!' moments.

“Physicians expect to be wowed, and where tablets are merely replacing printed materials, content must be crisp, with intuitive navigation, responsive design, and attention to basics like appropriate fonts and the distance from eye to screen,” Manhattan's Technology and Touchpoints white paper said.

The ePharma Physician 2013 study was fielded online between April and June this year and involved 1,831 physicians who Mahattan terms 'ePharma Physicians' (those who already interact with pharma through digital channels), or who use digital channels for pharma resources and connect with reps.

Fifty four per cent of physicians participating in the ePharma Physician 2013 study agreed tablets make meetings with company representatives more valuable than those without the devices.

But Manhattan warned that detailing shouldn't just be about the technology - “printed visual aids may be more appropriate for some brands”, such as those with a well-understood mechanism of action.

“Many physicians find print leave-behinds useful, saying they share them with patients and peers and that they help them pay attention to the topic,” the white paper went on to say.

It also suggested risk-averse firms that concentrate their digital investment in brand.com type product sites and other company-run websites could be limiting their opportunities to engage with healthcare professionals.

The ePharma Physicians surveyed by Manhattan said their use of pharma's own sites is limited by concerns about bias and because they aren't sure they'll find the information they need. Improvements to site navigability and searchability, as well as fresher content, were all suggested as areas that could be improved.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of those accessing pharma web sites and online promotion programmes hadn't specifically sought them out, a finding that points toward the importance of search and advertising alongside relevant content, Manhattan concluded.

1st August 2013

From: Sales, Marketing

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