The Advantages of Being Single: Simple Choices

Have you ever been on vacation, in a remote spot with a little grocery store that only has a couple of kinds of bread or orange juice? Isn’t it sort of nice you don’t have to think too hard about which brand to buy?

The store owner—with or without knowing it—has created a single-focused marketing appeal. Only offering one or two brands makes it easy for customers to make a decision. The same principle should be applied to peer-to-peer medical marketing and storytelling.

Simple and single-focused is the key.
Why? Busy healthcare professionals (HCPs) just don’t have time to tease out the salient point from a long, data-packed, didactic presentation. A 2014 Physicians Foundation survey showed:

  • 81% of physicians were overextended or at full capacity
  • Physicians spend 20% of their time on nonclinical paperwork

Of course, rigor rules.
You can’t tell a good medical story if you don’t have thorough, vetted, compelling data and patient experiences to fuel the story. Graphs, statistics, literature support, clinical trial results, drug interactions, case studies—these form the infrastructure of a strong pharmaceutical presentation.

There’s a reason they call it a “brief.”
Every medical marketing presentation should include a Creative Brief. The purpose of a Creative Brief is to determine the most important thing you want to say to your healthcare audience. The most elegant creative briefs are simple and single-focused. Of course, there can be secondary points, but it’s important to be brave and declare one point “the winner” over others.

Advice on being single.
Decide the main point you want to make (Creative Brief). Make your call-to-action crystal clear (determine desired behaviors). Create a memorable theme (medical and creative team collaboration). Make every slide count (edit, shorten, eliminate slides). Here are some suggestions for creating engaging, single-focused medical presentations. Consider using:

  • Thematic colors
  • Visual theme (eg, dramatic black and white photos of women reflecting on the burden of enduring fibroid tumors)
  • Tagline (the consistent “signature” line that summarizes the content/marketing—eg, “Bringing the BRAND/DISEASE story to life”)
  • Simple explanatory mechanism of action (MOA) illustrations
  • Engaging photos of patients, HCPs, family members, etc, to help create an emotional connection
  • Simplified, benefit-oriented headlines (instead of “Posttreatment Relapse and On-Treatment Failure Rates in Patients Receiving the Recommended Regimen in Phase III Trials” try “High Rate of Cure, Low Rate of Relapse and Failure”)
  • Intro and Outro Sections to set the stage and seed the main idea
    • Like a movie trailer or book jacket, this piece of communication tells the audience what they’re going to see
    • “Bookend” videos are also effective in establishing the most important point in a memorable way

Be brief. Be bright. Be gone.
This is the title of a well-known book on pharmaceutical and biotechnology sales—and great advice. Be brief: Keep your presentations short and to the point. Be bright: Understand your product and its clinical context. Be gone: Respect your customer’s time.

Sentenced to being single.
Finally, consider the “Dizzy Awards,” the annual recognition of comically confusing medical writing. Here’s an example of why it’s also important to be clear and single-focused in every sentence you write:

The “Slow Roller” Award
“If therapeutic anticoagulation can be safely begun in patients with IVC filters inserted after venous thromboembolism, further management with clinical surveillance including ultrasound examination of the IVC filter and graded degrees of anticoagulation therapy if filter clot is detected, has a favorable prognosis.” –Huh?

When planning your next peer-to-peer content, remember the advantages of being single. It can give your programming and audience just the juice it needs.