Simple steps to get started in Digital Marketing

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With so much being written and talked about in the media it can sometimes be overwhelming on what to do and where to start with digital marketing. Many conversations with Pharma marketers in particular quickly lead to compliance and ADR and regulations and before long the digital project is put back on the shelf. So, here are a few simple ideas to get started.

1. Listen, and start building digital profiles

The first step is simply to look online, find your customers and see what they are talking about. Most of the top doctors for example are on social media using Twitter and LinkedIn and more and more health professionals are joining them. What are they saying? What are their concerns?

It is very easy to build up a digital profile of many of your customers simply by listening. Freely available and easy to use tools like Google Alerts and HootSuite can do a lot of the work for you, and information can be systematically incorporated into existing CRM systems for analysis.

2. Build your audience – and ask them what they want

Before venturing online you will need to build your audience or in other words, tell your customers that you will be using digital channels and see if they would like to communicate with you via these digital channels. The simplest way is to simply ask them – Email is still the most effective tool so ask them for their email address (you probably have them already) and then ask them what they want? Invariably they want information – not marketing and promotional material but good product information, clinical trial data, studies, educational aids.

Transparency is critical with all this communication. Every email should contain clear links to enable the doctor to UNSUBSCRIBE or RESPOND to anything. Also make sure everything works in a responsive way – i.e. on their laptop, tablet or smart-phone.

The email should also include all manner of links to further information like ordering samples and requesting further information. Make it easy for them.

3. Enable all content to be digital

Try to ensure that all your content can be distributed and provided digitally. Sales reps in the field are almost certainly using tablets to e-detail. These e-detailers should be interactive; i.e. you should aim to have the e-detailer capable of being handed to the doctor to use. Whereas complex interactive e-detailers and CLM systems can be deployed, even a simply PDF with a first page of links to appropriate topics encourages the doctor to explore more.

If the doctor wants more information or samples or follow-up actions, then everything should be connected back through the reps iPad, there and then. The sales rep should ideally be able to hand the iPad to the doctor and let them select and order samples or further information. All this digital communications can be easily tracked and then added to their profiles.

Try also to personalise all content as much as is possible. Tempting as it seems to send out bulk information, try and personalise the contact, not just in making sure the personal details are correct, but based on their preferences. There is some effort required here but again this can be setup and run in a systematic way.

The great thing with digital is that you can segment and try it with target groups. Monitor measure and review how you are getting on and then plan to roll it out to a larger audience.


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