Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Create an Effective Interactive Marketing Program

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Today's guest post comes from Noël Ashekian, Marketing Communications Manager at Viscira. She can be reached at

Dynamic interactive and new-media solutions are a way for pharmaceutical companies to get physicians’ attention and to have their product messages stand out in an increasingly crowded space.

 There are many different types of solutions, including interactive sales aids which provide a way to blend scientific imagery, video, and interactivity that visually illustrate and support key selling messages. Interactive case studies can incorporate a range of new-media content such as video segments, animation clips, and actual patient scans, as well as high-end graphics.

Even 3D disease state and mechanism of action (MOA) animation development has become so advanced that some of the leading interactive companies are using Hollywood special effects which resemble those seen in a Pixar production.

Not only are there myriad new-media tools being used, but there are also multiple delivery channels. Gone are the days when direct mail was the primary option for reaching a healthcare practitioner. Product information is being delivered via the web, email, smart phones, and iPads.
Some Guidelines – The Do’s and Dont's 

Clearly, there are many possible tactics, and sorting through them can be daunting. While the entertainment factor is critical, there are many other factors that should be considered when developing and deploying an interactive program.

1. Understand your audience –It sounds basic, but all good presentations start with a thorough understanding of the target audience and their information needs. It is unfortunate that too many presentations violate this basic principle with regard to content focus, level of clinical sophistication, and overall tonality.

2. Deliver an important medical message of interest – Content is king. No matter what solution you use or how it is delivered, make sure that the medical information is something that HCPs want instead of just communicating what you think is important. Start by asking yourself, “What value can we bring physicians and how can we help them be more successful?”

 3. Strive for scientific accuracy - While nobody really knows with 100% certainty what an apoptosing tumor cell looks like, it is critical to get as close as possible to the real thing. This can only happen through a rigorous process of research to understand what is happening, not only in the disease state but also at the cellular and molecular level.

4. Balance the clinical with the creative - You never want the “bells and whistles” to become distracting to the viewer to the point where your overall messages are diluted. There are certainly instances where it’s possible to take more license with various interactive elements and other instances where restraint is appropriate based on the audience or the disease state. It’s very important to recognize and respect these differences.

5. Keep it short – Brevity is the soul of wit and also often vital to an effective presentation. As we all know, physicians have a limited and shrinking amount of time. It is important that your key messages are delivered quickly and succinctly. At Viscira, we recommend to clients that we keep the full run time length of any interactive module to 15 minutes or less.

6. Provide navigation options – Related to the previous point, users typically value the ability to jump quickly to points of interest in an interactive program or presentation. Similarly, sales reps also need the flexibility to respond rapidly to audience questions by quickly moving to a relevant section. Allowing the user to have some control of the presentation will help increase overall satisfaction.

7. Track success – Tracking is critical to understanding what programs are working and what messages are resonating with your target audience. Through closed-loop platforms and other mechanisms, you can assess and refine your initiative to maximize ROI. 

Want to learn more about effective marketing programs? Our media partners, Viscira will be joining us next month at the ePharma Summit March New York, and you can to! To view our full program, download our brochure.

Have you heard about or exclusive promotion? To celebrate Valentine’s Day and President’s day we're offering a discount for as a member of our ePharma Summit digital community. Register online anytime between now and Wednesday, February 20, mention code LOVEABE and receive 25% off the standard ePharma Summit Registration rate.*

*This discount is only valid for online registrations made between Thursday, February 14 and Wednesday, February 20.
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