We all know that pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars and commit significant planning and execution resources to their marketing campaigns. A key component of those campaigns is peer-to-peer education. That requires a close partnership between the sales force and the brand team. For a programming campaign to be successful, effective communication and implementation support are critical.
This partnership does not always operate smoothly, which can create a less than stellar experience for all involved—most importantly, the HCP customer and KOL faculty members. So, let’s take a look at this from a few perspectives: the brand team, the sales force, and the agency partner.
Let’s face it, marketing campaigns take a lot of work. There are hundreds of moving parts and little details to consider at every step. And introducing new approaches along with ever-changing compliance and regulatory guidelines only complicates that further. So, it’s not easy. That said, it is incredibly important to ensure alignment and effective programming campaign rollout to the field for all of this effort to deliver the intended results. Details matter along with a comprehensive playbook. The nice thing is that there are experts out there who can help so you don’t have to do it all yourself. Set the strategic play, then lean on your partners. That way, you can focus on personal interactions with the sales force to provide the committed support they need to make all of your hard work a success with your shared customers. Then, be sure you listen as the campaign gets underway. Nothing builds trust more effectively than listening and appropriately responding to those who are charged with delivering.
And now for the “no duh” moment of this blog—the sales force remains a very important channel for direct communications with HCP customers. To best optimize their time and efforts, support and clear guidance are key. It’s not enough to scratch together a logistical implementation guide and have a quick conference call to explain. The “whys” are just as important as the “whats” to gain emotional buy-in and clear understanding of the motivators behind the activities. To make this really sing, the field needs to be engaged in the planning and rollout phases. The more they understand and can influence the real-world impact of the campaign, the better. This marriage of the big picture with a detailed (but not overly complicated) implementation plan can yield exceptional results and strengthen the partnership between field and brand by forming a trusting relationship.
A good medical communications agency can serve as the bridge between the brand team and the field. There are best practices to lean on, resources to support the planning process, and an overall strategic mindset related to the experience of all stakeholders. A well-designed approach that incorporates intimate strategic understanding and ground-level expertise in all of the details required to make these programs a success is invaluable. The best agency experience begins with a foundational seat at the table during the kickoff and planning phases. Intimate strategic understanding allows for consistent development and implementation that link back to the overarching campaign and brand objectives. Knowing what questions to ask and arming brand and field teams with the right tools and feedback mechanisms makes for a truly integrated experience that creates shared ownership of the results.
So, what does all of this mean? Not surprisingly, operating as an integrated team is the secret sauce. It’s not magic—just practical and incredibly effective when done well. Let your guard down, reach across the aisle, and partner with each other to leverage all of the expertise available to deliver on your shared goals.
And if you need some help, give us a call here at Avant Healthcare. We would love to share what we’ve learned over the past 21 years.