Beating the ‘brainstorms’ with content opportunism

The second article in a series of three on harnessing a data-driven digital strategy, this piece from Nick Woolnough looks at how opportunism in content marketing can be just as powerful – if not more so – than the considered outputs of the traditional ‘brainstorming’ or planning sessions that are the mainstay of content strategy.

Based on a talk that Nick – Head of Marketing Operations at StrategiQ – gave at the Pharma Multichannel Marketing Meetup in December 2018, this series looks at the concepts and approaches applied in mainstream marketing that can be adapted and moulded to fit the pharma sector.

“It’s not all creativity clubs, workshops & brainstorming”

creativity club

There’s a bit of a misconception that many hands can make light work when it comes to content ideation (the process of conjuring up and refining content ideas). The thought of gathering people from different areas of the business together in a boardroom with a whiteboard and a marker pen to brainstorm feels collaborative and diverse, but it still doesn’t directly address the main purpose of content marketing as a principle.

To be useful and therefore successful, content needs to directly address the needs of the target audience and have a means for getting in front of that audience.

A room full of experienced people in their field will likely come up with some great ideas, but they will be ideas restricted to their wingspan of knowledge. Is it still current? Is the competition too great? This is research and ideally data that will have to be backfilled to validate the ideas. When you start with data, the opinions of the six people in the boardroom become less important, their time can be saved and the actual needs of the target audience can be addressed with relevant content. Effective content needs to plug a gap, not add to the white noise around a subject area.

Find it, fill it

While not alone in any respect, the pharma industry can be guilty of publishing content to the web that fails to give consideration to what search engines – and their users – want and need. To be useful, digital content needs to ultimately be the answer to a question. While the way in which we frame our search queries to Google has changed as the intuitiveness of its algorithms continues to evolve, they are still ‘queries’. Ask Jeeves may not be the search engine of choice these days but the common principles still remain in that we request information and a search engine returns the most relevant results.

You don’t have to be an SEO ‘Guru’ or ‘Ninja’ to find opportunities to generate search engine traffic, in fact a member of our team at StrategiQ wrote a detailed blog on how you can use tools to hunt down opportunities. A few key points though:

Find a niche within a niche

If your businesses niche is pharmaceutical device manufacturing, don’t saturate your website with thematically similar content on device manufacture. Dig into the detail and expand on the detail – the people you want to talk to online are likely to already understand what you do and be craving more depth. Cover a particular component of a device in depth or a patent – whatever it is, sense check it against the search results for relevant terms to see whether it has been done to death by competitors. If it has, then make sure your content is more detailed and better structured. If it hasn’t, great!

Hunt down the PDFs

The pharma industry is chock full of whitepapers and other pieces of content that have been consigned to PDFs. Google doesn’t ignore PDFs in the way that some may suggest, however it will naturally prioritise content on webpages as they are easier to crawl and index and provide a continuation of the user experience, rather than an isolated document. Have a look at detailed search queries that you may want to target (such as the below example) and find opportunities to publish content that others have covered in a PDF – in these search verticals you’ll have a higher chance of success.

Don’t wait

This one can be tricky in pharma, but if you can launch some content earlier than the competition, regardless of whether you have access to all the information you need, you can secure prominent Google rankings. The timeliness of content is key – there is no harm in pushing something out as a placeholder and then evolving it over time – Google loves content that has been refreshed and updated.

Think about your end game

What role do you want content to play not just in your marketing strategy, but also your business strategy? Content and social media marketing can be perceived as being light years away from the coalface of a business; directly generating revenue or converting customers. In some respects that is true, but both are great tools for nurture, particularly in B2B sectors.

Consider what you want people to find you business for or associate your business with. It’s important to accept that these people won’t always be your potential customers or end users, but are relevant enough that they may share your content or your brand message to others that might be. By broadening your target audience for content beyond your typical target audience for acquisition, you may well find that the overall impact on your brand is far stronger.

The next article in this three-part series will explore the user experience principles that can be adopted by keeping an eye on the silent majority of website visitors. Sign up for the twentyeightb newsletter to keep yourself abreast of all our latest content.

Capturing and converting traffic – mainstream UX principles for pharma [VIDEO]

If you missed ‘Capturing and converting traffic – applying mainstream content and UX principles to pharma’ at December’s Pharma Multichannel Marketing Meetup, you’re in luck. Nick Woolnough’s talk is featured below, along with three key takeaways if you don’t have a spare 20 minutes right now.

The second event of its kind organised by our Director James Harper and three other prominent voices in pharma marketing – Rich Brassett, Nick Saalfeld and Christine Mackay – the MCM meetup was held on 11th December, themed around content marketing principles in pharma.

Nick, who is Head of Marketing Operations at digital marketing agency StrategiQ, outlined within his talk the content marketing and UX principles his team utilise, with the aim of exploring how mainstream approaches could be rolled out in the pharma world. Have a watch below or take a read of the key takeaways, some of which are covered in the first of his series of resources.

Captivating your audience with content

Content ideation can’t start in the boardroom

By limiting yourselves to ‘creativity clubs’ and brainstorming sessions, you may be tapping into the potentially expansive industry experience of your team or agency, but they’re not your target audience. Can they think like them? Do they empathise with and understand their requirements? Research around what people are searching for is far more powerful than boardroom creativity.

Most of your best content won’t directly impact your bottom line

Your marketing material has to be helpful, but this can go against the business needs of results, leads and revenue. By accepting that your most successful content will likely be a few steps departed from your core products or solutions, you’ll free your team up to produce more engaging resources such as tools, calculators and advice articles. It won’t necessarily be consumed by your direct target audience, but these people could be influencers that will help to naturally expand the reach.

Put metrics in place for measuring the silent majority

The web visitors you most need feedback from are the ones who kept quiet. People who visit your site but leave because it failed to fulfil their needs will never volunteer information as to why, so the importance of user journey tracking tools such as Hotjar is significant. Discipline your analysis to key pages on your website and hone in on where their journeys were breaking down in order to take action by finding a way to listen.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Pharma Multichannel Marketing group and future meetups, you can read more here. Interesting in finding out more about digital content for pharma? Get in touch using our quick question form.

Augmented reality – presenting the next level

In an industry where standing out can be tough, technology that aids the presentation of information can be incredibly fruitful for early adopters. Augmented reality may be a phrase that most are now familiar with, however has it yet found its way into the presentation toolkit of pharma reps?

How could pharma benefit from AR?

We recently collaborated with the team at Veeva on a whitepaper outlining the ways in which augmented reality is currently utilised, but more importantly the potential use cases within Veeva. You can visit the Veeva website to download a copy of the whitepaper or read our top takeaways below.

AR development in Veeva is about to get easier

Veeva is expecting to release later this year a new Augmented Reality extension to its existing iPad based eDetailing tool, leveraging Apple’s latest ARKit release. This aims to make it easier for developers to deliver immersive Augmented Reality experiences for reps and HCPs. This could be the innovation to finally kick outdated PowerPoint presentations into touch.

There are already some excellent use cases

Beyond Veeva there are a number of superb uses of AR in the pharma and marketing industries from which to draw inspiration. Here are just a few:

  • Field engineers see an exploded diagram of failed equipment, enabling them to see through materials and go right to the component that is broken.
  • Information overlay about products on pharmacy shelves, potentially reducing prescribing errors.
  • Magic fiducial markers can bring a movie poster to life when a user points their smartphone at it – playing a trailer for the movie, or perhaps showing a character’s backstory.

The possibilities of AR within Veeva

Applications are limited slightly by the iPad being handheld, not eye-mounted, however there are still some valuable potential use cases:

  • While static case studies can demonstrate melanomas in the abstract, showing disease progression on the arm of someone in the room brings home the reality of the disease.
  • As already demonstrated at the Veeva Summit vision loss is ideal for the “visual” aspects of augmented reality.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the potential uses of AR as an HCP engagement tool, get in touch with our team today. We recently showcased our AR app development skills at the PM Society Digital Awards and would be happy to talk you through ways in which technology could be harnessed to help you create more impactful and effective digital sales aids.

Pharma web projects – lessons from mainstream acquisition marketing

In the first of a series of three articles on harnessing a data-driven digital strategy, Nick Woolnough looks at the solid foundations on which websites should be built in order to attract and convert visitors in the short, medium and long term.

Based on a talk that Nick – Head of Marketing Operations at StrategiQ – recently delivered at the Pharma Multichannel Marketing Meetup, this series isolates the challenges that may be faced by pharma companies when attempting to adapt their development and marketing methodologies to match their fast-moving, iterative surroundings.

“If you build it they will come”

It might have worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams but this quote is far less relatable in the field of website, app and software development. Brands can fail to recognise that simply being a major player in your space isn’t a guarantee that your website will perform and acquire new visitors.

At times a victim of its regulatory sign-off process, the pharmaceutical industry can be somewhat held back when it comes to creativity, with web development being a prime example of how the end result can suffer as a consequence. However – as contrary as it may sound – the primary factor behind a failed web project is very rarely down to the level of creative input. It comes down to how that creative input is channeled.

Solid foundations – giving consideration to the basics

Common user experience principles and Google’s web development fundamentals exist for a reason. They are not there to stifle creativity, but to provide a framework for success.

“Attempting to produce something truly groundbreaking, innovative or astonishing cannot be a benchmark for project success as it isn’t really measurable and even if it was, what difference does that make to the bottom line of the business?”

First and foremost, any web project needs to harmoniously address both the needs of the end user and the company themselves. If this balance is weighted too far in either direction the site won’t perform against its overall objectives. Create a visually stunning, resource-rich website that provides great value to the user but leaves them confused as to how to get in touch or buy, then the project has failed. Conversely, if you focus too heavily on your own conversion metrics and jam call to action buttons and pop-up contact forms all over every page, regardless of where that page sits in a user journey, the site will fail to perform.

This is where the marriage of creativity and data can be so impactful. Start with a sitemap that is signed off by all stakeholders and reviewed against real examples of how people are using your current site through Google Analytics and UX analysis tools such as Hotjar and ensure this has been used to influence planning your new site. This then provides the framework from which creativity can blossom (within the remit of compliance, anyway!).

Over simplify or over complicate?

A loaded question as clearly, you’d do well to steer clear of both. A stripped back brochure site may simplify the user journey and allow the aesthetic qualities to shine through, however if not carefully targeted, will lack the keyword focus and depth of content to generate organic traffic from search engines. The impact of a large, unwieldy site can be even more difficult to manage, with the prospect of pages within your website competing with one another in the search engines or Google’s crawl bots (their technology for discovering and indexing your pages) getting completely lost within your navigation and overlooking key pages. There’s a middle ground to be found, which again comes back to ensuring the sitemap is signed off by all stakeholders ahead of design and development.

The bad news – your website is never finished

You may have been unfortunate enough to have been part of one of those ‘never-ending’ web projects where milestones shift, deadlines drift and before you know it the website feels outdated before it has even launched. The pursuit of perfection and the ‘cold feet’ that can cause decision paralysis in the final stages of a project have many knock-on effects. One very much stands out though.

“If you never launch the site, how can you measure whether it is working? If you’re not gathering data then you have no basis from which to improve and iterate the website.”

Launching with a minimum viable product and seeing the website as an on-going, iterative process is the best approach and can prolong the shelf life of any platform. The temptation to down tools and claim that the site is ‘done’ when it eventually launches can be overwhelming, but without responding proactively to the way in which actual users are interacting with the site, the platform has a genuinely low chance of success.

Up next

The next article in this three-part series will look at the role of content in acquisition marketing, followed by practical tips on how to listen to the ‘silent majority’ that browse your website in order to noticeably improve your websites user experience. Sign up for the twentyeightb newsletter to stay up to date with these upcoming articles and the other useful resources coming up in 2019.

Unlocking the potential of CRM/CLM – MCM Meetup [Video]

Did you miss ‘Effective storytelling across the pharma multichannel mix’? The first in a series of meetups organised by our Director James Harper and three other prominent voices in pharma marketing – Rich Brassett, Nick Saalfeld and Christine Mackay – the inaugural meeting held on 3rd October explored four key facets of the multichannel mix.

Within his talk, James explored the latent potential that exists within pharma CRM and CLM. Have a watch below or take a read of the key takeaways.

Functional content to unlock potential

Functional content engages reps

Flat, PDF-style edetailing fails to engage the field team in the same way that navigable content design can. If the rep isn’t engaged with what they’re presenting, how can we expect the customer to be?

Functional content gets used more

While the ability to measure interactions lessens with simple content design, interactive capability simply creates more. When you look beyond static design, both the rep and customer will actively seek to use the engaging elements within the presentation.

Functional content increases sales effectiveness

The ratio of desirable sales outcomes increases with interactive content, yet too many companies continue to supply their field teams with e-details made up of flat un-engaging, powerpoint like content. The pharma industry now has access to some incredible sales effectiveness and customer engagement tools and it is our job to help them unlock the potential of these platforms.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Pharma Multichannel Marketing group and future meetups, you can read more here. Got a quick question for James on functional content? Get in touch using our quick question form.

15 key technical considerations for a successful eDetail project

Preparing to kick off an edetailing project? With the level of regulation and often strict brand guidelines within the pharma industry, the smooth progress of a project can often hinge on how much critical information has been sourced and detailed up front. Wherever possible, you should ask your client for their Technical and Operational Guidelines for CLM content creation and deployment. Here are 15 key points you need to know and documents like these should cover:

  • Client/Brand CLM iPad style guide
  • Content design standards
  • Mandatory supporting content
  • Media design, formats and guidelines
  • Presentation design structure
  • Key message slide structure with clickstream objects
  • Html content development approach for slides
  • Text/fonts
  • Functionality and navigation standards
  • Metadata and content utilisation data tracking
  • Naming conventions and standards for files, metadata, and content utilisation tracking
  • Packaging, documentation & deployment
  • Loading content for testing
  • Content files transfer process for content publishing
  • iPad and iOS version specifications

Not everything listed above is absolutely critical to the success of an e-detail or CLM project, but having the right documentation will make everyone’s life that much more simple and help ensure projects are delivered efficiently and on time. Not every client will be able to provide you with a technical and operational guidelines document and many will not have considered all of the points listed, but the more you can gather and extract from your client the better the project will run.

We have been building eDetails for agencies and pharma brand teams for many years and are certified in all the major CLM/CRM platforms, so if you need help getting hold of this sort of information or want to understand more about its importance and how it can impact on the success of a project then please get in touch, we would be happy to help.

If you’re involved in the handover of a project from design to development, you may also find our CLM project handover checklist useful – give it a try!

Measuring up – reference table for iOS device dimensions

We find that when starting a new project it’s best to have as much information to hand as possible – especially if it’s in an unfamiliar sector like designing for mobile devices. With so many nuances and minor differences even between iPhone or iPad models released in the same year, it’s little wonder that design visuals can go awry from one device to another.

To help overcome this, we’ve created an interactive reference table containing screen information for every iOS mobile device so you can keep this data to hand. The table below features some interactive elements to help you sort by device type, orientation and recency. Don’t forget to bookmark this page, share on social media or forward the link to fellow designers, developers and project managers.

iOS device dimensions – reference table

We hope you found this table useful – if you have any feedback or have noticed an error in the data, we’d really appreciate it if you let us know.

Artwork to code: the ultimate checklist for digital CLM project handovers

Planning a new CLM design and development project can be a daunting task – especially when wanting to impress a new client or working in an unfamiliar project area. Our simple checklist contains what we believe to be the key elements for a smooth project handover. We hope this list will boost your confidence and understanding while also reducing pressure so you can focus on the areas where you can add real value to the end client and user.

We also have a downloadable PDF version of the checklist available, should you want to print it out.

Use the RGB colour space for artwork files and in the correct resolution(s) for target devices

Monitors and other device screens work by emitting light, which is why we use the additive RGB colour space. This is the inverse of the CMYK model commonly used for printed materials, where the perceived colour is produced by absorption of light.

It’s important to ensure your design tools are set up to use the correct colour profile from the start, since changing midway through will cause unexpected colour shifts in existing work.

To find the appropriate target resolution, you could use our cheat sheet containing screen resolution information for Apple devices, which is coming soon. Sign up for our resource updates so that you don’t miss out!

Ensure that artwork layers and groups are clearly named

Having layers and groups clearly named makes it easy to locate assets, understand how they should be constructed and helps smooth out the process of exporting files ready for the web. It’s also good practice to reinforce the ‘component’ mindset – meaning elements should be designed for flexibility and reusability in order to give a consistent feel throughout the project.

Guarantee that elements are atomic – not dependent on a specific background colour or other items on the page

Elements should be completely independent and confined to their own layer or group. A great example of this could be a button which is made up of a background layer, a text label and an icon layer – all contained within the button’s group.

Building up elements in this way ensures they are flexible, reusable and contribute towards a consistent feel throughout the finished product.

Additionally, taking the time to prepare an “asset library” for your project will greatly streamline both the design and development processes; reducing the burden of having to make amendments or creating additional page layouts.

Conversely, it’s important to keep in mind that making “quick” changes to shared components could have unforeseen effects elsewhere in the project.

Use pixel values that are a multiple of the target device’s render scale

If an object isn’t aligned to full-number pixel values, it means they won’t map accurately to the device’s screen pixels. Instead, the device must interpret how fractions of a pixel should be drawn to the screen (and isn’t always consistent in doing so). This upsampling effect can cause images to appear blurry or lines to have uneven thickness despite the same weights being set. To avoid this situation, both the physical and logical screen resolutions of your target device(s) need to be taken into account when producing source artwork.

For example, a common target device is the later-generation 9.7” iPad. For these devices, we recommend using positioning and dimension values that are divisible by 2 (this is the render scale value). This ensures logical positions can be cleanly mapped 1:4 with screen pixels, making the final product clear and sharp on-screen.

Confirm that items are aligned to the pixel grid

Following on from the previous point, it’s important to check that your elements are aligned along exact pixel boundaries in the first place. Be aware that this situation usually occurs when drawing new text or vector elements freehand with the mouse. Fortunately, most software packages will have some kind of “snap to pixel grid” option that should be enabled to avoid this problem automatically.

Include additional assets in the artwork package – stock material, videos and fonts etc.

Some software packages such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign have a “linked file” feature, allowing you to update an asset you’re using in your layout just by updating the file. This is extremely helpful, but don’t forget that you need to package up these files along with your main artwork file(s) when you hand them off for development! In the same way, any fonts or other assets will need to be supplied to make sure the developers get an accurate representation of your design when opening the files at their end.

Add notes and other documentation from the design process

The design process is a tricky one, requiring collaboration between multiple different parties and a lot of decision-making. Naturally, we love to be included in this process, but we – as a development partner – understand it’s not always feasible on every project.

As such, the important thing to remember is that every meeting produces ideas, decisions and plans that become indispensable documentation for your project. This often gets overlooked, but it’s essential for bringing people up to speed on the status of the project. Having information like this on-hand, speeds up the onboarding process and ensures your developers will get a complete, rounded view of the challenges and proposed solutions at hand.

Be certain that licensing terms for any third-party assets are met

Licensing for things like fonts can get very tricky, especially when dealing with the issues of embedding them in web content and distributing through a CLM platform such as Veeva. It’s best to check with the license holder to see which licenses they offer that meet your exact needs. Alternatively, if you need a “safe” option, the Google Fonts suite offers a wide variety of typefaces with generous licensing terms suitable for use in CLM or web content.

We hope you find this checklist useful for your own projects. If you’d like to print it out or share it with your co-workers, we have a downloadable PDF file available here. If you’d prefer an interactive digital version of the checklist, tweet us for access!

We’re always on hand for advice on smoothing the transition between design and development on Veeva CLM projects, so if a checklist simply isn’t enough, get in touch with us today to see how we could help.

GDPR – A time to worry, or a time for opportunity?

So you’re a Brand Manager or Creative Director and in the middle of a meeting someone has mentioned ‘GDPR Compliance’. You may know by now that it’s nothing to do with Gross Domestic Product, but is the General Data Protection Regulation something you should be seriously concerned about?

A lot of people might say that “it’s an IT issue” and move on, however the reality is that while the IT guys may have had worried looks on their faces for a while, the GDPR is far more business focussed than the previous Data Protection Act. Which itself was often misunderstood as being primarily IT focussed.

Process, documentation and no silver bullets

In reality, most of the GDPR is centred on processes and documentation. There is no magic IT silver bullet which will make a company compliant. The GDPR comes into force in May 2018 so there is now only a short window of time in which to prepare.

There is currently a significant amount of confusion and scaremongering surrounding GDPR, with consultancy firms bandying around statements such as “non-compliance can result in a fine of either €20 million or 4% of turnover, whichever is higher”. Even a large agency would likely suffer significant financial problems following from a €20 million fine, while 4% of turnover is enough to make any CEO sit up and take notice. However, the UK’s supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, has declared that it does not intend to use the maximum extent of its powers and initially is aiming to guide rather than coerce.

The same consultancy firms who are spreading the word around the scale of fines will, coincidentally, happily send a team in to produce a large quantity of paperwork to assist you in your compliance processes. In fact, many large corporates will have had teams in place for some time, looking at processes and creating documentation to try and ensure compliance with the GDPR.

Is there any guarantee of compliance?

The one thing that seems to be overlooked is that at this point there is no way to guarantee compliance. There’s no certificate, no audit process and no guarantee that what is in place is compliant. Further, from my discussions with former colleagues and customers, many of the current projects are being run as a head-office central IT team operation and the interaction with the wider business is slim to non-existent.

A lot of the guidance from the ICO is still in a state of flux as the ‘Article 29 Working Party’ continues to elaborate on the meaning behind much of the core legislation and how it applies in the real world. There are also, naturally, no existing cases of firms which have failed to comply – since the GDPR does not come into force until May 2018.

However, this doesn’t mean that if things go wrong, fingers won’t be pointed. So, what can you do and what should you know to be informed?

  1. There’s no need to panic. As mentioned, the ICO has suggested that the highest fines are unlikely to be levied and any initial non-compliance is more likely to result in advice than prosecution.
  2. Check what corporate programme is already in place. Everything may already be in hand. If you are reading this, however, that implies there has not yet been any (or sufficient) awareness training. In which case it would be worth asking what is being done and ensuring your enquiry has been recorded – for your own peace of mind if nothing else.
  3. Consider the information you hold in your team or department. The new GDPR definition of ‘personal data’ is somewhat broader than the previous one. If any questions remain then it is worth obtaining some advice. For example there has been discussion in infosec circles around how in Germany, IP addresses are being considered as personal data. The guidance given so far around the definition of personal data means that while the obvious examples (names and addresses) fall inside, so would something such as a list of job titles and salaries. Since there is generally only one CEO or Head of Department it is possible to identify the person via ‘association’ or ‘aggregation’. If you hold the personal data then it’s worth examining whether you really need it. If you do, then consider how to protect it as the GDPR places a requirement on the data controller to ensure “the existence of appropriate safeguards, which may include encryption or pseudonymization” (Article 6(4)(e)).
  4. Examine your current projects. Then attempt to determine whether they will be affected by the GDPR. This is especially important if you have any responsibility for marketing. For example, there is a window of opportunity between now and May to get your contacts database in order without running into the new GDPR ‘consent’ legislative issues. It will be harder to obtain consent for distributing marketing materials after May under the full compliance regime. Taking the time now to clean your mailing lists and contact people regarding their approval to receive communications will pay dividends in the second half of the year when you will able to continue your marketing campaigns unimpeded by compliance issues.
  5. Review your interfaces to other projects, programmes and departments. If you are capturing, transferring or receiving data then you may need to check how it is being used elsewhere. Protection of data is far tougher now so if you have captured the details of a HCP in order to invite them to a specific event, you can’t then pass that on to the central marketing team for sending out any other type of marketing. Equally, if you are receiving data from somewhere else in the company you should be certain that you can use it for the purpose you intend – a mass email to people who only gave their details for use in a clinical trial has more serious consequences now than in the past.
  6. Use the GDPR as an opportunity. It’s a chance to obtain funding from on high to clean your contact database, to renew your leads and prospects and to put in place a much more streamlined approach to integrating CRM, CLM and Event Management. Gathering consent compliant with GDPR is not a challenge for modern systems and done in the right way, such as from within your DSA during a call, does not have to be intrusive. Nor does the greater granularity of consent need to be a problem; being able to identify those HCPs who are keen to attend events compared with those who would prefer only minimal contact can help you to segment and focus your efforts in the most beneficial way. Building your DSAs to make maximum use of the power available will enable you to collect the necessary consents and data to not only comply but also to improve your marketing campaigns.

If you feel you would benefit from a more formal session on the potential impact of GDPR, why not take a look at our review of IT Governance’s GDPR accreditation? We’ll be providing further resources on the impact of GDPR, alongside the latest from Veeva and CLM development so sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss our updates.

An introduction to Agnitio

What is Agnitio?

Agnitio is a digital software solutions provider, specialising in multichannel marketing tools for pharma and life sciences. Its primary products are Rainmaker and Sharedoc.

What is Rainmaker CLM?

Rainmaker is the primary multi-channel closed loop marketing (CLM) product offered by Agnitio, which integrates with Sharedoc to provide an end-to-end solution for digital content delivery to healthcare professionals (HCPs).

What is Sharedoc?

Sharedoc is a cross-platform solution available for both Apple and Microsoft devices (laptop and tablet). It enables the delivery of content to HCPs and patients in HTML5 format, as well as PDF, PowerPoint and Word.  It integrates with Rainmaker to provide a seamless mechanism for providing leave-behinds and patient information directly from the same shared content source as the brand marketing assets.

Why use the two in conjunction?

Using Rainmaker and Sharedoc together allows HCPs access to a wide variety of consistently branded and approved content; while allowing the brand team to follow trends and improve their messaging.

Pharmaceutical representatives can increase their reach and power by using the Rainmaker software to provide tailored engagement for their presentation via a range of different channels and using far more engaging and interactive content than the static slide approach previously deployed. Fully integrated webinars and compliant email allow for a mass-spectrum delivery; hitting multiple targets with a single effort.

Who would use Agnitio?

Both local pharmaceutical representatives and HCPs can directly access content in Rainmaker since it provides an integrated experience for representatives to provide face-to-face or remote detailing together with self-guided, on-demand detailing directly by HCPs.

Delivering for Agnitio

The primary mechanism for content delivery in Rainmaker is HTML5 containers. It is also possible to use PDF or PPTX files, however, doing so limits the flexibility and does not provide an interactive or engaging experience for the ultimate end user.

By choosing carefully a single HTML5 file can be reused in multiple presentations. Planning a sensible architectural approach in advance enables the same content to be deployed across multiple devices (laptop, tablet, Apple, Microsoft) and platforms (edetailing, remote Detailing, webinar, compliant email).

Rainmaker uses ‘slides’ which then fit with ‘modules’ to form a presentation. As with other Digital Sales Aid platforms, developers are able to automate aspects of the build process in order to programmatically share content between slides and ensure a consistent set of messaging and branding.

While Rainmaker does include localisation tools to translate and adapt global content for regional markets, in our experience it is usually better – budget permitting – to create custom content for each region which can be more carefully targeted and designed to suit specific local needs.


The Agnitio platform is not free and if you have already rolled out existing sales aids on Veeva or are using Salesforce as your CRM then while the integration with Agnitio is useful, it can create the inefficiency of running two platforms side by side. Using a single consistent platform for all your materials, deliverables and analysis is, of course, more effective and can prevent mismatched data.


Once the first few interactions with HCPs have occurred the real benefits can start to be felt as Agnitio provides a full set of analysis and tracking tools which can be drawn together in the dashboard. These provide brand teams with deep insights into how their brand’s key communicators and accounts are performing.

It’s possible to integrate Rainmaker with existing CRM systems such as Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce as well as pharma-specific platforms such as Veeva.

Using Agnitio can provide a number of benefits dependent upon the actual business case that underpins the drive to migrate content and activities into the platform. The wide range of different tools on offer is such that using Agnitio may improve everything from the strategic direction of marketing materials through to representative performance and even potentially managing PASS studies via the ShareDoc mechanisms. This allows HCPs to pull down content and share it with their patients, all while being tracked and analysed.

If you’re new to Agnitio or feel you’re not getting the most out of the platform, get in touch with us to see how we could help with your Agnitio projects.