No matter where we turn, we cannot help but read, post, tweet or otherwise participate in conversations on how to best reach and engage our targets to support our brands. With all the technology venues at our fingertips, it is hard to avoid getting caught up in their inherent bells and whistles and losing sight of what I believe to be the three critical layers of successful outreach:
1. Access to Audience
2. The Technology Platform
3. Great Content
If any of these are wrong, you will be sure to suffer lackluster results.
Layer 1: Access to Audience
Suffice to say, access does not mean “I have their email.” Successful access will depend on the physician’s preference for learning. Results from a recent CMI survey unsurprisingly show that these preferences vary by physician specialty as well as by brand position in the lifecycle. The survey goes on to indicate physicians seem to favor seeing reps for new product information but are content with email on formulary changes.1 One thing is for sure, time is a precious commodity for physicians, and successful access needs to take into account how, when and where each target learns best. Using the personal relationship to drive how and when digital content is delivered, based on preference, will lead to better access and data for improved analytics.
Layer 2: The Technology Platform
Speaking of data, creating successful cross-channel interaction requires a technology platform to support all outreach efforts. Ideally, this is one where the rep can trigger email invitations to online presentations, send approved content and monitor physician interaction with all digital promotion within a single interface. Integrating the data from these multiple channels to support such a platform has been challenging, but the time for this challenge has come. Tremendous resources are being devoted to software platform development supporting better coordination and breaking down our data silos. As a result, the opportunity to connect personal selling efforts with non-personal marketing is on the rise. Certainly the device of choice needs to be taken into consideration, be it laptop, notebook and/or smartphone, and these choices present their own unique set of complications. However, regardless of the specific delivery device, choosing a platform that can manage the restrictions for delivering compliant content is essential. This leads us to my final layer in creating superior customer engagement.
Layer 3: Great Content
I think it’s safe to say that if the content is not engaging, you will be disappointed in the results. Captivating users with great content is the key driver for a long-term relationship with your customer. There are many theories on what creates engrossing content, but I believe that a good place to start is to stay within active learning approaches that draw upon experiential learning and cognitive load theory to create design-optimizing intellectual performance.
Today, creating a superior customer experience is more than just the highway to better brand performance. It is a way to differentiate yourself and truly leverage the power of mobile technology to unite the personal and digital selling and solidify your relationships for years to come.
1. Weinstein, Deborah. “A Varied Environment for Reps: Study,” Medical Marketing & Media, November 2013, page 15.