Strategies for Delivering High-Impact Medical Content

With the life sciences industry’s shift to digital and more remote engagement, medical teams are doubling down on creating compelling digital content to better inform and educate HCPs. But finding the right balance between creating memorable scientific narratives and scalable, easily distributed content for field teams can be challenging. Do you opt for more dynamic, interactive content? Or stick with a more straightforward approach that can be quickly replicated?

As many medical leaders are learning, there are ways to ensure both are happening. Here are key strategies for creating and distributing impactful content, as shared by the speakers at Veeva’s Commercial Summit, NA.

Keep it simple

With the focus on cross-functional omnichannel engagement, some medical teams have been under pressure to emulate some of the more “dynamic” materials commercial teams create, such as animated infographics. HCPs and KOLs look to MSLs for scientific exchange; if the presented content is too graphical, animated, or entertaining, it may come across as promotional. “Doctors are looking for real scientific exchange,” says one medical leader. “Doing something cool doesn’t necessarily work for medical.”

This approach does not mean the end of innovation in medical content, but teams must test and learn before diving in headfirst. As this medical leader continued, “Don’t forget our goal is to enable MSLs to have compelling conversations with HCPs. Sometimes a well-executed slide deck can be just as effective as dynamic, agency-created content.”

Set clear standards and create global templates

Standardization is critical in helping medical teams in scaling their content. For one company, global teams were able to quickly get content to local markets by developing templates and standards. Initially, every therapeutic area within every market created its content, resulting in many one-off activities and budget constraints hindering some countries.

By standardizing the templates and process, they now have one centralized group that creates content for all the therapeutic areas globally. Then, a central localization group localizes the materials upon request, streamlining the process.

This approach allows consistent messaging and templates that provide global therapeutic areas with flexibility and usability for MSLs. It also reduces the cost of hiring an agency for each region and streamlines the local approval time.

Make it easy to find

Capabilities within Veeva Vault MedComms to help with content search

(Defined by Medical Communications Teams)

  • Keywords: Manage searchable words such as study names, study numbers, conferences, names, years
  • Directories: Content organized into a logical nesting of folders and sub-folders (for example by country) that are displayed as labels in CRM
  • Filters: Search criteria such as therapeutic area, product, disease state intended use, proactive vs reactive
  • Auto-Publish: Fully automated process to quickly share content with Veeva CRM

Medical engagement is unique from commercial because it is often reactive and requires greater content flexibility. For example, an MSL may go into a discussion with an HCP with a prepared presentation; however, during their conversation, the doctor asks several questions outside the planned content. In this case, the MSL has only seconds to find and share the information before losing the HCP’s attention.

Medical communications teams can play an essential role in making this situation less daunting by defining an intentional and consistent content management strategy.

Rather than having MSLs type in the correct phrases in a search bar and expecting a deep understanding of the search logic, medical teams can make documents easier to find by taking the time to be more intentional in the taxonomy and metadata in Veeva Vault MedComms. This method includes being thoughtful and precise in how things are named and ensuring that things like directories, keywords, and filter fields exist at the right document level and are consistent in how MSLs search. A visual, click-based approach for the MSL allows them to browse the entire library and progressively narrow their search using a graphical user interface.

“The intentionality of Vault MedComm’s search features really help dictate what you want the MSL experience to be,” states one medical leader.

Capabilities within Veeva CRM to help with content search

(Defined by MSLs)

  • Favorites: List of favorite decks
  • Personal Labels: Custom lists of decks commonly used (for example, “Decks for post-ASCO meetings”)
  • Filters: Attributes to narrow content, set up by medical communications and applied by MSLs (e.g., product, intended use, document type, country, language)

With Veeva Medical CRM, MSLs can now use Full-Text Advanced Search to help locate a presentation slide containing the searched text. The best use of full-text search is when planning for an interaction. MSLs can use advanced search to quickly comb through an extensive library for a narrow list of slides and selectively choose which to include in their presentation.

When planning for an engagement, it is also helpful for the MSL to anticipate the slides they will need based on how they believe the conversation might progress. They can add these to the planned deck, create a label and group them, or mark the presentations as favorites and/or label them.

Enable cross-medical collaboration

The key to optimizing content distribution is a tight collaboration between medical communications and field medical. Application and document owners must understand how field medical thinks about finding content and set up the taxonomy with that in mind.

Of course, collaboration can only happen when everyone is consistently using the same tools. When MSLs present slide decks saved to their drives instead of Veeva Medical CRM, medical teams lose traceability and important insights. One leader is increasing adoption by helping the field team understand how they benefit from the metrics and insights. For example, medical communications teams can use metrics to streamline and consolidate the content library and focus their efforts on updating the most frequently used pieces. This helps MSLs with leaner search results and updated content.

To learn more about best practices for creating and distributing medical content, visit the Medical Innovation & Education Hub.

Interested in learning more about how Veeva can help?