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tdurbin

iPad Launch to the Sales Force | Digital Pharma West

April 3, 2010.

Can you name the significance of that date?

That’s when the first iPad went on sale in the US and start a ripple effect of major shifts in how we take in content. The pharma marketing industry, first thought not right for the ipad, became quick adopters of the iPad in detailing situation.

Just over 2 years later, it seems that the iPad is a necessity for reps who want to remain relevant and valuable for prescribers.

36% of ePharma physicians reported seeing an iPad rep in 2011.

36% of ePharma physicians who saw an iPad rep report overall satisfaction was higher than with reps using other sales aids.

59% of ePharma physicians who touched the iPad were significantly more likely to say their experience was more satisfactory than with other sales aids. Also, they were 4x more likely to say their experience influenced their clinical decisions.

61% of physicians have or are interest in obtaining patient education materials from sales reps.

Source: Manhattan Research: iPad Reps: Evaluating the Success of Early Initiatives & Identifying Strategic Opportunities

10 Steps to Introduce an eDetailing Platform in Your Enterprise

1) In Scope, out of scope, and funding

  • Determine what you are doing and with whom
  • Your costs can capitalized for heardware platform

2) Create an RFI, then an RFP

  • There are an assortment of companies creating apps, but not many creating platforms
  • Ask questions regarding the version of the platform they are on and what percentage of R&D is dedicated to their solution
  • RFI will help develop the scope of your project

3) Establish a project approach

  • Adopt a phased approach to app/platform deployment
  • Do not expect perfection…updates and upgrades can be made in future releases
  • Create a RACI (identify:

4) Get strategic or tactical

  • You should always think strategically, but you may find yourself getting project-focused
  • Remember strategy and road maps take time

5) Identify key stakeholders

iPads will change your selling model…be prepared. You must engage stakeholders early on:

  • Brand marketing
  • Sales Training
  • Sales Communications
  • IT
  • Customers

6) Form a cross-fucntional team

  • Collaborate and communicate with senior leadership and pertinent stakeholders
  • Create a mobile innovation team: a centralized body to approve or align on organizational platforms

7) Schedule a project kick-off meeting

  • Invite agencies, suppliers, cross-functional teams
  • Set a clear direction for launch

8) Choose your hardware

  • Apple or other?
  • Which version of that product?
  • WiFi or MiFi?

9) Get acclimated

  • Have your Reps get acclimated to the iPad
  • Launch it prior to deploying apps (recommended 2-3 months)

10) Measurement: Ask yourself 3 questions

In order to collect both quantitative and qualitative data, encourage open communication from the field and then determine what’s essential to measure.

  • What do you want to measure?
  • How will you measure it?
  • Are you measuring something that can be actionable?

2 Responses to “iPad Launch to the Sales Force | Digital Pharma West”


  • Hi Tyler, some very interesting points. The iPad has certainly seen a huge uptake within sales and I think this is only the start. In our line of work we see a wide range of companies from different vertical sectors wishing to move their sales force towards using mobile devices, especially the iPad. There are of course many different reasons for this move but generally it comes down to accessibility of the content and to allow further engagement with the rep. The main decisions therefore have to be put into what goes on the iPad rather than the hardware itself.

    It would be interesting to hear from you why you think pharma marketing industry has now become such quick adopters?

  • tdurbin Tyler Durbin, Marketing Manager

    Hi Tim, it’s really tough to say why Pharma was such a quick (and early adopter) of the iPad. With the iPad, though, reps and brand managers are finding that the physicians enjoy and want to engage with a rep using an iPad. It’s a new experience for them that is proving to be more beneficial than the previous details they received.

    The future seems to be equipping reps with more tools on their iPad. The tools that can completely streamline a rep’s workflow with one device will have an advantage. We’re also thinking beyond the iPad now (think: remote detailing)

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