In creating the visual aid, brand managers were consistently encouraged to “keep it sharp.” However, the ever-present comments from brand managers such as “this point is significant,” “that graph originated from recent research,” and “this has been our primary line since-long” meant that there was often an unnecessary build-up of information in our simple visual aid, making it resemble a brochure or a menu card. Not to mention that these “visual aids” frequently neglected the most important aspect, a strong visual – to effectively capture the message for which they were created.
Ask a doctor, and it is evident that they wish they had a “SKIP-AD” icon to avoid listening to the detailing of the products by medical representatives. In addition, the doctors feel overwhelmed by the amount of content they encounter from these reps which often irritates them more than engaging. To develop a more engaging approach, tablets such as iPads are a great way to break away from uninspiring, clinical language and really speak to the intended audience. Furthermore, creativity is essential for crafting persuasive sales pitches or informative scientific material on pharma brands. Exploring the much-neglected “thought journey” of doctors is also critical for success in content marketing, as focusing on patient benefits will have a great impact on your efforts.
Traditionally, in print Visual aid, the focus more was on “copy” and now on iPads, the need is not a just copy but a story and narrative that needs to be focussed upon. Using active voice statements in the story and copy will help you ensure that your sentences focus on what the patient will experience because of taking the medication. For example, “The medication will help your patients walk better.” Focus on the positive outcomes of the medication or the narratives of the brand persona rather than any other aspects. For example, “The medication/brand is shown to improve quality of life for patients with osteoarthritis/ rheumatoid arthritis.”
Get to the point clearly: Your audience wants to know the benefits of medications and treatments, not poetry. Don’t be too creative or flowery. A well-written or well-shaped visual aid or LBL (leave behind literature) copy may be memorable, but if it does not convey the key points clearly and quickly, it won’t be effective. You’ll be able to accomplish your goal in less time if you keep your copy straightforward and to the point. Hence the need is to reduce the complexities that create stress on the readers to comprehend.
Be clear on the brand’s intent: To be a successful brand manager, copywriting is essential and in the pharmaceutical sector it demands clarity of purpose. Take time to consider questions such as “Why does this brand exist?”. It is paramount to have an in-depth knowledge of the brand, therapies & associated treatments, customers, and desired outcomes. It is important to be aware of any potential risks that come with promoting pharmaceuticals and make sure your writing adheres to applicable rules.
Be clear in iPads: There is a good old saying by Antoine de Saint-Exupe that says, ‘Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.’ Soft copies of creative can be less than effective when transferred to an iPad: much of the content is barely discernible from four feet away. Clarity is essential when writing for an iPad; the message should be clear, concise, and free of industry-specific terminology. By taking advantage of this personal medium, brand managers have a great opportunity to engage with healthcare professionals through well-crafted pieces that captivate the viewer by making it easy for the sales representatives.
Don’t let “The Jargons” kill your strategy: Jargons can be strategy-killers. Thus, it is crucial for medical representatives to have the latest knowledge about their product and communicate it effectively. To help them out, brand managers should make sure that their copy is easily interpretable for quick referencing by reps; use succinct sentences and bullet points instead of fancy words, as well as provide a call-to-action or summary at the end to give reps guidance on how to close the sale successfully.
Don’t forget to look into the doctor’s thought processes: Pharma marketers have an important task: to break through the din and reach their target audience. To get to them, it’s best to remember that “less is more” and produce quality content that is concise and easy to digest. Aim for one point per page or platform, such as VA, iPad, LBLs, or even digital banner ads, with apt elaboration. It also pays to segment your material by indication or specialty. This approach allows each piece of content to serve a purpose and offer value to the reader. In addition, planned messaging for each brand based on its lifecycle — from pre-launch awareness efforts leading up all the way through the decision-making stage with eBooks/monographs/LBLs — will help keep your brand top-of-mind for physicians and guide them along their designated thought journey in relation to therapy selection.
In pharma, iPad has made its own space. However, seldom used to its full potential of storytelling. When used well, it can add excitement and personality to an otherwise serious clinical topic. However, it’s important to use animation wisely and in the right context. Too much animation can be overwhelming or even off-putting, so it’s important to use it sparingly and only when it genuinely adds to the user experience.
In conclusion, creating effective copy and content in pharmaceutical marketing requires a focus on clarity, simplicity, a deep understanding of the therapy, and the target audience. By utilizing tools like iPads and segmenting content by indication or specialty, marketers can engage with healthcare professionals in a more personalized and meaningful way. It’s essential to keep the patient benefits at the forefront and to avoid using jargon or overly complicated language. With a clear brand intent and a thoughtful approach to messaging, pharmaceutical marketers can break through the noise and guide physicians along their thought journey, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.