It’s no secret that the popularity of apps is skyrocketing. But in order for marketers to truly take advantage of this channel they need to deliver simple to use and easy to digest apps.

Reaching and satisfying customers is the goal of all good marketers. Doing that in today’s market requires the savvy use of technology across multiple platforms, and in many instances, an engaging app is just the ticket to reaching healthcare practitioners (HCPs). The popularity of mobile technology is certainly fueling the development of apps as a critical component of outreach strategies, both in non-personal and personal promotion channels.

To this end, the pharmaceutical industry has pushed forward to create a wide variety of apps for sales teams, HCPs and consumers. All have a specific purpose, and some deliver results better than others.

Why? When it comes to promoting a brand, an app has a matter of seconds to engage and deliver a tantalizing glimpse of a brand’s efficacy. To do this, one needs to create apps that are meaningful and interactive, and do so in small, “munchable” bites.

 Engaging Your Audience

Above all else, marketers want to deliver a superior customer experience. This means the app’s functionality should be intuitive to the user and deliver value. It should have no learning curve, ideally be interactive on a compelling topic, and take only a few clicks to complete. Apps function in an “on-the-go” mobile environment. Messaging must be quick, to the point and memorable. Drawing upon the principles of adult learning—in which adults learn better with interactive material—to build a creative platform will lead to an engaged and satisfied customer.

Although many consider the app as a way to offer the standard detail aid in a mobile platform, we need to break out of that thinking and build an app that takes advantage of the mobile platform’s features. We should build it from the ground up; not retrofit existing material to this new medium. We also need to consider the delivery of that app. Will it be self-driven, or will the sales rep use it to demonstrate a key brand feature? Does it need to integrate with other technical functionalities?

 Will The “i’s” Have It?

Discussion abounds as to who will win the mobile platform war, or if indeed, there will be a winner. Currently we see the iOS platform as the one most used by HCPs and increasingly by rep teams. However, the Android platform is surging and the new BlackBerry may make a comeback. This means all apps should be specifically built to take advantage of the platform on which they will be used in order to deliver a truly compelling experience. Once the basic creative objective of the app is established, its functionality must be driven by the underlying technology of its platform.

Tapping The Power

All engagements are an opportunity to sell the brand. Apps certainly offer a powerful tool to take advantage of mobile engagements whether through reps or by our customers directly. Designing apps that truly tap the power of that medium while creating munchable content bites to deliver key brand messaging within the context of our overall branding communication will lead to greater use and return on investment.


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