Marketing Effectiveness for Rich Digital Media in a Compliant Culture

Today healthcare professionals, patients and general consumers demand access to health information on the Internet and in the doctor’s office that is both engaging and also interactive. So promotional and educational materials for professional or consumer product launches and campaigns must use a vast array of digital content in multiple formats.

Thanks to advanced technology such as streaming video, flash animation and downloaded programs that interact instantly with the user, digital assets can be incorporated into nearly every marketing communications from product images, promotional video clips, advertising, white papers, abstracts, presentations, posters, multimedia graphics and more.

As a result, drug and device marketers and their promotional agencies cannot just live in a world where rich digital media content and imagery reign supreme—they must understand and control it.

The question is: How do companies maximize the effectiveness and compliance of rich digital media? Let’s first discuss five executional “musts” for these assets and then describe how to achieve the ideal scenario.

MUST:  Share

An individual global brand must share digital assets with multiple creative and channel agencies in markets around the world. Because of this, a complex web of agencies, partners, internal departments and affiliates involved in the development of promotional and educational content all require access to digital assets for use in marketing collateral relating to a particular brand.

“Some companies may have literally 20-50-100 agencies across all of their brands,” according to Cognizant partner, Drew Isaacs, who focuses his time enabling biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies to assess, develop and implement transformational initiatives.

MUST:  Localize

Local market affiliates must have access to digital assets that can be regionalized and translated to address local language, nuance and regulatory compliance requirements. These digital assets need to be disassembled and re-assembled to accommodate these changes.

MUST:  Safeguard

Companies must safeguard digital assets—they are expensive to create, and even more expensive to re-create if the content can’t be located for a new piece or project.

MUST:  Comply

Every digital asset must be reviewed for compliance in every market. This requires a well-oiled promotional review process in which companies take practical steps to deliver compliant and compelling promotional materials and campaigns in different markets. Professionals using digital media must have a baseline of regulatory competency and the ability to filter out noncompliant, non-negotiable elements from originated content and prevent any uncleared materials from ever being published.

MUST:  Centralize

To optimize the use of rich digital media, companies must control the content centrally while making these assets available across their global organizations and with promotional agencies. Controlling digital assets centrally means they can be accessed quickly and efficiently.

HOW:  Cloud-Based Control

To facilitate the central control of assets, companies are adding a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform to their digital marketing toolbox for efficiency and cost-saving benefits. These enterprise-wide digital repositories live in the cloud, allowing anyone, any division, anywhere in the world to access these assets when needed. A cloud-based DAM ecosystem can become the anchor of a digital content ecosystem.

A DAM platform helps global marketing departments automate the review and approval process to compress approval timelines and ensure effective version control and rights management. It provides one central place to store all marketing assets, providing the most current versions of assets to teams globally.

This efficient sharing of rich media assets and careful adherence to compliance guidelines can result in tremendous savings by avoiding unnecessary duplication that results when assets are misplaced or lost.

Companies realize these savings because a DAM provides control and oversight of rich media assets on a global scale. All of the marketing content and data can be structured to map against key words, categories and media type in the form of metadata. By using this approach, the DAM becomes a powerful tool to simplify complex filter searches and identify the search topic at the asset level.

Global Sharing, Local Compliance

A DAM provides a permanent record and audit history of projects and interactions using rich digital media to ensure compliance with regulatory mandates across countries and regions. It also protects version control, allowing marketers to keep track of which digital media is incorporated into which collateral—and by whom.

This is essential in the global pharmaceutical environment—regional regulatory differences require localized marketing materials that comply with the therapy’s label and indication.

Choosing Housing in the Cloud

Companies can choose to house their DAM on public (multi-tenant) or private (single tenant) cloud computing system. Public clouds (multi-tenant) are owned, managed, and operated by a cloud provider and all users’ data reside in the same environment without physical segregation. Private clouds (single-tenant) are provisioned for a single organization comprising multiple clients.

“In a private cloud environment, explains David Bennett, President, Global and Marketing, Zinc Ahead, “clients and the cloud vendor can choose when to deploy patches and upgrades and work together to plan compliance with FDA requirements for computer systems validation.”

Companies must always ensure the security of their software by protecting servers and applications. Processes such as user authentications and access restrictions, and intrusion prevention security systems are critical to ensuring secure systems.

Only owners can use private cloud systems. In multi-tenant systems, space is shared with other companies.

Step Changing In Marketing

Cloud software systems incorporating DAM solutions provide step changes in digital pharmaceutical marketing. They offer a method to simplify and accelerate critical time-to-market processes; comply with regulation; improve productivity and efficiency; and ultimately, the ability to be more creative in marketing strategies.

“Promotional agencies that have a deep understanding of the DAM dynamics will help clients become digital media leaders,” claims Bennett. A centralized DAM facilitates the use of real-life execution of digital campaigns, making it possible for marketers to adopt this patient-centric methodology while directly challenging the perception that pharmaceutical creativity is stifled by regulation.

Ultimately, cloud-based DAMs help pharmaceutical companies become significantly more agile, enabling a tremendous time-to-market and commercial advantage. Marketers can engage with a wider range of audiences and provide the information they desire, when they want it, how they want it—and use their consumers’ preferred communication channel. And, as global compliance mandates, companies can also ensure transparency and auditability.

  • Ilyssa Levins

    Ilyssa Levins is President and Founder of Center for Communication Compliance (CCC). Ilyssa helps manufacturers and their promotional agencies save time, money and manage risk, when promoting drugs and devices. She combines her regulatory compliance, marketing communications, and change management expertise to help clients achieve their goals.

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