e-Detailing is often used as a blanket term for various online physician marketing, promotional and communication activities. With sales reps finding it increasingly difficult to spend quality time with Physicians, alternate communications channels like e-Detailing ( in all its many formats) is proving to be an ideal solution to the declining physician marketing ROI.
Amongst non-IT professionals in India, Doctors may be the most frequent community using internet for professional enrichment. In the US, 67% of physicians surveyed have a positive overall attitude toward e-Promotion, according to SDI’s new e-Promotion Annual Study 2008. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of physicians surveyed said they considered electronic promotion by pharmaceutical companies to be equal or superior to face-to-face promotion.
Broadly, e-Detailing can be taken to include;
* Virtual Details – Web or CD-based self-guided informational programs with no live communication
* Video Details – Online, live, or phone assisted browsing through virtual sales presentations
* Other activities – Electronically enabled promotional or educational efforts (Portals, digital signage, etc)
* Online Events – Online seminar, CME events, Key opinion leader event, or web conference
A few of the important steps in formulating an effective e-Detailing strategy include ;
- Target and Segment the audience
- Develop the e-Detailing Program for your target audience
- Choose your channels
- Obtain all legal and procedural approvals
- Design / create the Virtual Message
- Invite physicians by email newsletters/ emails/ sales rep visits/ Phone/ Fax/ Social media tools etc.
- Engage and involve the physicians online in a suitable environment. This could include community portals, discussion forums, video channel etc.
- Provide online Information/ other support to physicians
- Take feedback and improve the message
Such focused approach to medical communications are essential to achieve the best return on investment in this field. With rapidly changing trends in communication technology and number of channels available for media dispersal, it is imperative that Indian Pharma take a holistic look at medical communication and plan all informational activities as an integral part of an offline-online experience for Physicians.