What will the future eDetailing efforts need?

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The rule of eDetailing has arrived. Yet researches and studies are still pouring in about its true impact in the market, versus the fear that it may just be a fad that will fizzle out. eDetailing is the use of electronic media and interfaces such as tablets to transmit critical information about a drug to the customer (doctor/provider) in an engaging manner to influence sales and prescription writing. The use of eDetailing began in the 90s in primitive form. Now, this is an essential part of the strategic marketing efforts of any multinational pharmaceutical company. But pharma is not the only beneficiary here. Medical institutes, medical educational systems, learning aids, physician portals and patient education websites, all are using eDetailing in one form or the other.


Initial researches in eDetailing were able to identify the level of engagement of doctors with eDetailing versus traditional detailing methods. It received mixed reviews from customers during the last decade. However, as smartphones and online information seeking behavior among physicians became ever more common, the use also increased. The preference also increased as physicians started to feel the pressure of time constraints while managing several responsibilities, including data management for patients.

So how much has eDetailing and digital changed in the last year? Numbers show that digital marketing activities have increased engagement towards providers up to 68%. The same has increased to 14% for medical device manufacturers, 71% in case of payors and over 85% in biopharma manufacturing. The integration of digital as essential part of closed loop.

marketing and linking up with big data has shifted the game of digital engagement in the pharma sector. Worthy of mention is the gamification industry flexing its wrists for the next great arena of pharma.

And what else is partner to this crime of pharma entering digital age? It’s the embracing of digital virtual, with virtual conferences taking up a bigger chunk of marketing budgets. Social media engagement with providers and even patients (under ethical limits) is another frontier. Mobile web becomes the next go to front for providers, which pharma is eager to take up. Finally, visual content, animations and modes of action take up more content than reams of papers that once were the hallmark of pharma detailing.

There is much information out there to only prove that eDetailing is the next most significant influencer of pharma marketing success. However, the purpose is not to create a new parade of flashy messages or using new medium to wow the provider. Indeed the core of the entire exercise remains the same, to create content that is authentic, verifiable, timely and accurate. The digital media should provide an additional conceptual window for information dissemination. Indeed there is no point of having an eDetailing platform if the information provided is outdated, unengaging, or not catered to the specific information needs of the provider.

eDetailing therefore is on the rise, and is the key future development. However, only those eDetailing efforts will pay off that bring quality with flashy gadgets.