Global pharma communications: The big challenge for Pharma HQ marketers

20151202_0.blogiconproblem_HQcampaignThere are good reasons for wanting to centralize and control marketing content: it reduces duplication of work, saves money and time, and also ensures a consistent level of quality. With such good incentives, it is no wonder that there is a strong trend for working more centrally throughout the industry.

More efficient but less effective?

Yet the benefits come at a cost too. Increased centralization often results in low usage of marketing materials locally and generally poor affiliate engagement. People can feel disempowered by ‘fixed’ materials that do not reflect their specific local conditions or allow them to match the needs of their customers.

Put bluntly: centralization can create communication that is more efficient to produce but less effective once delivered because it is less relevant to local or individual needs.

Supporting local needs

In order to be customer-relevant, decisions about what and how content is delivered need to be taken as close to the healthcare professional as possible. In other words, local affiliates, and even individual reps, need the ability to shape initiatives coming from HQ.

Centralization is clearly valuable but it doesn’t have to be in opposition to local needs – rather it can support them.

Digital content that empowers

Working to solve this issue with clients around the world, Anthill has developed strategies and content that enable HQ to keep control over marketing and sales materials, while empowering countries and reps to individualize them to fit regional, local and even individual needs. This not only maximizes the value for the customer but leads to improved relationships between HQ and local affiliates, with increased use of local materials.

To achieve this, there are four things that must be in place:

  • Data collection & usage – understanding needs, both on a country level and to enable content to be made relevant
  • Flexible content – the ability to adjust content to meet different needs
  • Training – involving internal stakeholders (reps & local affiliates) to understand the content
  • Localization – a fast and simple process that enables local action

If each of these is effectively dealt with, it is possible to realize all the savings and achieve consistent quality, while giving enough power to reps and local affiliates to use the content in an engaging way.

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