Figures from a 2009 survey of physicians suggests that might be the case. Just 17 percent of doctors say they want traditional, linear contact from sales reps. Not surprisingly, the industry is responding, cutting sales rep numbers to an expected 75,000 by 2012, from 102,000 in 2007.
Instead of reps, 43 percent of physicians favour e-detailing. Another 23 percent would like to replace some sales calls with e-detailing. As more and more doctors migrate to physician-only websites, online sources of information and interactive formats, the use of e-detailing in marketing plans is expected to rise over the next two years.
“We have moved into a post-marketing age,” observes Alex Butler, strategic marketing manager at Janssen stressing that the web is changing how physicians want to communicate, interact and conduct business with pharma sales.
“Doctor’s don’t want messages as such,” he adds. “they want the opportunity to comment, to have dialogue, to share their thoughts.” In E-Detailing Trends, FirstWord examines the critical role of e-detailing in the pharma marketing lexicon. Based on interviews with five industry leaders and key experts, the dossier reviews the latest e-detailing developments. From the importance of delivering tangible intelligence and embedding e-details into physicians’ mobiles to the use of a broader e-detailing environments and the need for analytics to determine digital channel effectiveness, the report offers up-to-the-minute insight into an emerging movement. Concise, reliable and authoritatively researched, the report is a critical guide to a marketing industry in flux.
The report offers insight into:
- E-Detailing Trends
- The blending of traditional sales and e-detailing in marketing
- Breakdown of pharma spending on e-detailing and factors shaping its use
- Discussion of the types of e-detailing, including directed versus self-directed online sessions
- Overview of the importance of content and how to customize messages
- Use of new e-detailing environments such as physician-only online communities
- Insights into the timing—and future—of e-detailing
From the experts
"There should be a strategy behind each e-detailing campaign, which is part of the e-marketing strategy. Then it has to be studied in such a way that it leads to learning that can subsequently improve the strategy. But what I see is more of a focus on projects. It is OK to do projects, to put an e-detail on your website but that alone won't draw any conclusions. You can't learn anything from it. It is an isolated or a satellite solution." Christoph Ferse, Senior Director of Marketing at Grünenthal.
- Decline of the sales rep
- Rise of the e-physician
- Doctors on the move
Pharma spending on new media
- Pharma spending on e-detailing
Factors shaping the e-detailing market
Types of e-detail
- Directed virtual online session
- Via video
- Self-directed sessions
- The detailing mix
- Value conversion
Content is all important
- What physicians want?
- Incentives for physicians
- Customising messages
- Understanding the medium
- The importance of a good brand
- Key opinion leaders
E-detailing and sales reps
- Can the e-detail replace the rep? No
- Can the e-detail replace the rep? Yes
- Improving rep performance
Timing of e-details
- Best product life stage for e-detailing
Know where your physicians are
- Physician online communities
- Enclosed digital environments
- New online solutions
- Case study: Boehringer Ingelheim
Future of e-detailing
- More interaction
- Concept of e-detail changing
- Getting the message right