Multichannel: which channels do you actually need?
With ever-growing options, pharma and medical device companies are increasingly asking: “Which channels do we actually need?” It's a very good question and one that deserves a serious answer.
Focus on the result you want
Understanding which channels you need, first requires knowing what you want to do. A mobile application, website or social media platform are all potential answers to specific problems. They are not answers in themselves.
Yet things can get difficult when you are investing in a digital communications system that will be used by your whole company. There are many different needs. On a really basic level, some colleagues liaise with GPs; others will focus on specialists or payers. Or want to engage patients. They will all work in different ways. What to do?
Get the flexibility you need
At Agnitio we’ve been working to solve this problem by providing our partners with more flexibility.
Take edetailing. Obviously this started as an update to paper detailing materials for dialogue with general practitioners. It’s called edetailing but really this should be understood as a ‘face-to-face’ communication tool. It’s just as useful for engaging with specialists or payers – but only if it has the flexibility to enable you to address each audience’s specific needs.
Likewise ‘mobile’ doesn’t simple mean portable, it also means an always-available service that’s in your pocket. That can be a reminder to a patient to take their medication, or a weekly educational course on the latest diabetes research for general practitioners. Same technology, different uses.
How it works in Agnitio’s solutions
We’ve applied this thinking to our own work. Our solution was to take an ‘open’ approach that doesn’t dictate or restrict creativity, but rather allows people to meet the needs of each specific situation. This means being able to provide whatever channel your audiences want. And do this easily while maintaining control of your communications.
We’ve also provided more options by increasing the number of channels. Some of these are to meet our partners’ needs like Rainmaker’s new approved email channel, which puts the content in the email rather than access exclusively via links (providing a better user experience). We’ve also recently introduced a unique and very flexible tool called Sharedoc that, again, can be used in multiple ways.
The ability to create specific channel mixes for each audience is also key. That’s why we’re enabling our partners to switch channels on and off at will. Sharedoc is a standalone product but we also built it into our main Rainmaker solution. If you need it, switch it on. Likewise email, microsites, one-to-one conferencing, webinars and all the other channels are there when you need them.
Keep asking the question
As we move to a service-based model and outcomes focus, we need to be always thinking about the kind of product support that is required – and which channels will help us deliver it. So it’s vital that we have the flexibility to match our growing ambitions.
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