Partnering with physicians on patient education helps build a positive relationship, and therefore provides Serono's reps
a competitive advantage when it comes to gaining access to doctors.
In the late 1990s, pharma rushed online with e-detailing programs, but many of these early starts were static sites featuring
the same sales aid that doctors would read in any magazine print ad—the information did not stick in doctors' minds.
To get a leg up on the competition, several of Serono's growth hormone brands worked with Graphic Details, a personalized
e-detailing program that rejects lecture-style detailing in favor of more engaging online presentations, that teach doctors
about new drugs. Using Graphic Details, Serono can present a product in a stimulating manner so doctors associate the product
with a positive learning experience, and remember the drug that is being presented.
The online program also allows doctors to choose what type of information they would like to be included in the detail; the
entire presentation can be personalized for them. The programs essentially allow doctors to create their own virutal sales
aids by choosing which data is important to them (see chart above). If they choose chart A, then they will have a choice of
content x, y or z. If they choose chart B, then they will have a choice of content d, e, or f—different from what they would
have gotten from chart A. And having that personalized data aids pharmaceutical companies in creating more relevant marketing
Customizing sites and programs is at the heart of online marketing—giving information to physicians and data to marketing
professionals. This can be carried through by using e-detailing programs to deliver a selling message, but also by seeing
which data and messages resonate stronger with the target audience—prescribers.
Adventures in Patient Compliance
Compliance is a big issue for many chronic treatments. Serono had the additional challenge of teaching children how to take
an injected medication on a daily basis, which required an innovative solution that went beyond traditional tactics.
Serono partnered with IMC2 to develop a deeply interactive patient compliance program geared toward kids with GHD to help them take control of their
healthcare regimen. On Serono's Web site for the growth hormone Saizen (
http://www.coollearnings.com/), children with GHD can meet Ned, Geena, and Chaz—three animated children also with GHD.
The three children take Web site visitors with GHD on adventures, so patients and their parents can learn about how growth
hormone injections help bodies grow and develop normally, and about how to administer the medication. They also share tips
on staying compliant. Kids interact with these characters, which are powered by flash animation. In the course of learning,
patients are quizzed about what they learned. The site creates a strong engagement with the kids, resulting in higher compliance
rates and treatment success.
In today's fast-paced pharmaceutical-marketing environment, everyone is trying to determine the highest ROI on marketing spend.
However, only increasing our sales forces to call on healthcare providers who are pressured by time and reimbursement constraints
will not deliver optimal ROI.