Here’s a question: If you don’t have a true understanding of how your promotional material is being used around the world, and you aren’t managing or planning the distribution of that material, is your company actually compliant?
Being compliant means much more than just completing MLR reviews for your promotional materials. As life sciences organizations grapple with a desire to transform themselves across the digital landscape and remove barriers to operating globally as a single company, figuring out how to get approved content into the right channels quickly is paramount.
Your company is now much more interested in how much it costs to get that content into market, and how effective that content is.
And there are more questions: How much is your company paying to re-create content in local countries or geographies? How much time and money are you spending with agencies who hold your content hostage? How long does it take to get content localized and approved in individual countries? And how are you keeping track of where your approved content is being used in case it needs to be pulled back?
Wrapped around all of these questions are the strategic goals that your content supports. Perhaps it’s supporting the drugs coming to market this year, or the brands you’ve acquired from a recent merger. It could be supporting the new therapeutic area just approved, or the new market you’ve opened up across the globe.
Regardless, how your company tracks and manages the content you produce to support those objectives will be key in 2020 and beyond. Companies are no longer solely focused on compliance and regulatory review. They’re looking at the bigger picture: how that review fits into their broader perspective on how to efficiently produce, track, and manage that content around the world.
There’s a lot of talk about digital assets, about the “content journey,” about simplification in the industry.
But if your organization is still operating with disconnected systems and complex operating procedures that make it hard to share information, how will you ever be able to realize any of leadership’s goals?
One major pharmaceutical company set a target in 2019 to reduce marketing spend by 5% year over year, but with the expectation that the amount of promotional material put into the marketplace would increase despite the reduction. Achieving this goal requires simplification—but not just simplification of systems.
Traditionally, life sciences companies market their products from the brand level down, allowing individual brand teams to manage their marketing spend and the content they produce both globally and within individual countries. But that model won’t work in an era where regulatory requirements are getting more complex and where content can travel through a hundred or more countries in a matter of seconds.
So, if you want a global view of your content, and to ensure that content is used in a compliant manner—all while tracking the cost of that content and how effective it is in the marketplace—you have to have a single source of truth from which to plan, produce, manage, and distribute that content.
And this is where simplification truly matters. When your organization centers around the actual content and not around all of the processes and systems used to generate, store, distribute, and manage that content, the picture becomes clear. Storing content centrally means that your teams can find the content they’re looking for and localize it quickly. And with all of the approved, localized versions of that content stored along with the globally approved versions, should that content need to be pulled for any reason, you know exactly where it is and how it’s being used.
Having all promotional and non-promotional content created and managed using standardized processes in Aprimo means that your company’s standard operating procedures will be followed and you can answer regulatory inquiries with ease. Using Aprimo DAM also means that your company’s intellectual property remains with your company; it won’t be stored in the hard-to-find recesses of your agency’s storage systems.
Too often, we equate the MLR review process with “being compliant.”
It’s an easy fallacy to embrace because errors made at that stage are highly visible—and very expensive. But there is just as much risk for your organization if material passes through your MLR process properly and is used after it’s expired, or is modified without proper re-review. The penalties are just as severe, and just as costly.
Having a vision of the entire content journey and how that journey intersects with your company’s strategic goals requires a platform upon which you can see the entire road ahead, and the foresight to understand that compliance begins with your strategy, but doesn’t end with MLR approval. You’ve heard that vision being described a bunch of different ways—as a “digital transformation,” as “efficiency and effectiveness,” or as “removal of silos.”
But at the core of the content journey is the idea that things can be made simpler, and with simplification will come better, more sustainable, and more consistent compliance. All it takes is the right platform to build it on.