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What did the iPad ever do for us?

Tablets are here to stay, but capitalising on them requires moments of ‘wow’
What did the iPad ever do for us?

“All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” Monty Python's The Life of Brian. 

In the three short years since its launch, the iPad seems to get an almost Roman like credit for transforming every part of modern society. A recent Ofcom report even claimed that tablets where responsible for the recreation of 1950s style family values. Family members are now spending their evenings together united, in the living room (albeit, a multi-screened digitally enabled living room). Criminologists have also claimed that tablets and smart phones are responsible for the recent falls in crime rates, as bored teenagers now actually do have better things to do with their time.

But what of our industry? While it's true that pharma has embraced tablets, it is worth asking whether they have had the same transformational impact on the humble detail. In short what have iPads ever done for pharma?

The recent Manhattan Research white paper Technology and TouchPoints for Physician Engagement in a Time of Change provides some answers. It starts with a clear statement that tablets enhance details, with 54 per cent of US Physicians stating it makes meetings more valuable. I can't help but think, only 54 per cent? Nearly half our audience feels that tablets don't add any value! The white paper identifies the problem, while clinicians like tablets, they are underwhelmed by the content pharma puts on them. They are expecting more 'wow'.

So how can we get this 'wow' into our iPad detailing? Here are my top Dos and Don'ts. 

Don't start here
Often the starting point for an e-detail is the paper detail aid or a graph-heavy PowerPoint presentation. While this seems logical, in reality it only acts to limit the potential of the technology to create an engaging interactive experience. Why not try putting the traditional detail aid to one side both physically and mentally and instead go back to the communication objectives, clinical data, and the imagination of your agency.

Don't get tempted by templates
Pharma loves a good template. Often a templated approach is applied to e-details, with the argument that it is better (cheaper) from a procurement point of view, or easier to train representatives as they move from one product to another. The problem with a template approach is that they result in everything looking pretty much the same. Vanilla! If we are going to create the 'wow' that our audience demand then we must have the freedom to think outside the template.  

Do let them touch 
So desperate to get its four key messages across, pharma has forgotten that the iPad is about creating two-way engagement, rather than delivering a one-way monologue. One of the keys to engagement is to let clinicians join in, which at times may mean letting them touch the screen!

Allowing clinicians to input is, as Manhattan Research calls it, 'learning how to master the dance'. Real-time polls, quizzes and prescribing pathways can all be used to gain input and compare responses on a local, national and global level, and they're all great ways to create the 'wow'.

The iPad is about creating two-way engagement, rather than delivering a one-way monologue

Do animate, beyond just the MOA
Animation and video are where the iPad comes into its own. Unfortunately in our industry you mention video and the first, and often the last, thought is mode of action. So much more can be animated - patient experience, disease impact, drug benefit and the prescribing pathway - you name it, it can be animated. Even a small production budget, coupled with a strong creative idea, can bring it to life.

Tablets and the multi-channel opportunities they create are here to stay, but right now it feels like we have only just scratched their transformational surface. If we can focus on content that moves from traditional detail aid to engaging moments of wow then they could be as important as the Romans.

Article by
Jon Lee

is managing director of CDM London jlee@cdmworldagency.com

23rd September 2013

From: Marketing

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