Flex your iPad: flexibility versus control in iPad e-details
A recurrent question from our clients is whether to create e-detail aids that are "linear" (no possibility to create customized presentations) versus allowing sales reps to customize their presentations according to physician profiles.
Creating "linear" detail aids does not fully harness the power of the iPad, namely being able to target different customers with different messages. It is not, however, the same as simply putting a PDF on the iPad, since a linear detail aid can still incorporate interactivity and animation which render key messages more impactful. On the other hand, linear sales aids permit marketing to better control messaging in the field.
Fully flexible platforms can better harness the promise of the iPad to render physician detailing much more targeted. This flexibility however, comes at a cost; marketing can lose control over messaging as sales reps can build their own story flow
Two factors to take into account when assessing the trade-off between linearity and flexibility are the product's stage in its lifecycle and the maturity of the sales force. At product launch, physician segmentation is not needed, as all customers are by definition "low adopters" of the drug. In this case, linear detail aids (one size fits all) are the logical choice. Later in the lifecycle, growth may depend on penetrating niche market segments and in-depth segmentation of physicians (and therefore customization of messaging) is required. In this case, a large degree of flexibility in the field may be permitted, as long as customers are clearly segmented. The latter scenario also requires a well-experienced sales force, as flexibility requires "juggling" key messages and the accompanying evidence. An experienced rep who knows both his product and his customers will can do this; a beginner rep cannot.
A third option is what we'd call "controlled flexibility" or "controlled customization". Controlled flexibility means pre-defining 3 or 4 sequences of the detail aid, but not allowing the sales rep to create a new sequence from scratch. In this case, each sequence is matched to a pre-defined physician profile.
To summarize, the choice between a linear, partially flexible and fully flexible e-detail aid depends on the product's lifecycle and the level of experience of the sales force. Our e-detailing platform iDialog allows you to do just that.
Khaled Frad, CEO nostatiK media