Category Archives: Customer Experience

Stock Your Thought Leaders’ Shelves With e-KOL Management

Pharmaceutical companies are running out of KOLs (key opinion leaders, also referred to as external experts or thought leaders) the same time they run out of medical science liaisons. And by no means do their established software systems provide them with the adequate tools to effectively build relationships between the first and the latter. It’s a triple whammy.

If you talk with global brand leads from multinational, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, they will probably tell you that they are increasingly faced with the challenge to accomplish even more but with fewer sales force. And the same people who mentioned ten years ago that they began to worry about their companies leaving opportunities on the table through lack of personnel, are now convinced of the fact, and share so openly.

Source: ZS Associates


Established brands can no longer suffer

It’s not that these pharma giants are missing ideas or good people. It’s just that they now focus so much on their must-win brands that they begin to neglect the long tail of products that made them big in the first place. Haunted by the upcoming expiry of their former cash cows, which will open up their flank to attacks from generics, they struggle the same way Kraft-Heinz would if it tried to promote all 57 varieties of its ketchup right next to the shelf of private labels at Tesco’s.

The Internet as a source for health and the medical-related information is a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, the digital channel between physicians and pharmaceutical marketers has barely surpassed the bandwidth of a garden hose. It’s time to fetch a spade and pickaxe and get ‘digitally’ dirty.

Taking inventory of your digital assets

Digital marketing teams across the globe naturally produce a lot of assets, such as awareness websites, campaign landing pages, microsites, and other touch points. You need to do an audit and prioritize them for what is most relevant and effective for your audience.

Here’s a way to perform a digital assets audit:

REVIEW YOUR WEBSITES – You need to get a picture of everything that exists for your brand online. This might include booking some time with the IT department and checking out the different marketing branches of your brands content management system. There are many software tools available which can help you quickly get a view into what the lay of the land is here.

CREATE AN OVERVIEW – Then you want to compile a full list and status with key facts and descriptions for the various resources. Who is the owner? Who is the target group? Which year has it been created? Are approval number and copyright still valid?

REMOVE OLD ASSETS – Finally, categorize your assets and uncover which are outdated and no longer performing. You want to make sure that your medics can rely on a live, functioning websites when they reach out to external experts.

Establishing a single point of truth

You want to create a digital assets hub for all internal and external stakeholders working within your portfolio of brands. Think of it as a one-stop shop from which your medical science liaisons can access and discuss with you, all the materials they need to approach a certain physician:

  • Websites
  • Detailers
  • Mobile Apps
  • Social Media

If your technical ecosystem supports external access, this will be the only link your MSL will ever share when they follow up with an external expert. No more forgotten passwords, gone are the days of hilarious QR codes printed in conference batches.

Such a portal can be added to the existing infrastructure or built with any good content management system such as Drupal.

Closing the loop with your experts

Now for the secret sauce that holds it all together. The key to engagement is to establish a community where you enable thought leaders to provide advocacy and key marketing feedback about your initiatives. A place where they can mingle in a trusted environment and can be reached by your medical liaisons.

You might find that you have a primary network of thought leaders, those who are already working closely with your medicals, and a secondary network of experts, who are a bit harder to reach. Of course, your sales staff probably won’t have the time and resources to engage the secondary network with the same impact. Wouldn’t it be great if the first line of experts could share points of interest also with their peers who are further away from you, allowing you to engage them as well?

The way the life sciences industry connects with healthcare experts will be changed by adopting proven frameworks based on collaboration and expert co-creation. Nitro Digital has developed a suite of customisable products and managed services to help you work in partnership with your external experts.

Putting the E in KOL-Management

As sales representatives find it increasingly difficult to get time with doctors for face to face detailing, e-promotional activities emerge and are quickly changing the pharmaceutical marketing landscape which becomes more and more fragmented.

With each new touch point, that needs to be maintained and kept up to date, your digital marketing strategy gets harder and harder to manage. Which is exactly why you want to have a custom-tailored communication hub in place that allows you to work with thought leaders to spread disease awareness and messaging that aligns with what your company is trying to establish.

You can also read further about a more structured approach to planning for KOL engagements here.

Feel free to get in touch with us at, we would be glad to hear from you and discuss more. 


programmatic for hcp marketing

It’s Time Pharma Realised the Potential of Programmatic Media Buying to Reach HCP Customers More Intelligently


Programmatic is alive and well. It has cemented itself into the daily process of digital communication practices across the world and there are the numbers to prove it. In the UK alone, it is estimated that the programmatic display ad market will be worth £2.67 billion by the end of 2017, up 44% from 2016 (source: emarketer)

There are industries where programmatic has become standard practice, but there are some, such as pharma, that have been slower to adopt automated media buying to deliver their marketing campaigns. Whilst there is a lack of understanding on how the technology works, the concerns around regulatory risks have prevented pharma marketers to take a chance on programmatic technology. Adoption, however, rather than being technological or legal needs fundamentally to be focussed on customer delivery. If as a brand marketer all you want to do is deliver product messages, programmatic will not help you (for now, at least).

Why won’t it help you?

  • Because the vast majority of medical publishers and communities do not serve programmatic advertising;
  • Because, as a pharma marketer, you are probably still too focused on marketing the product features and benefits rather than delivering value to your customers and wider stakeholders, where programmatic media can be served. 

The world has moved on from features and benefits, and you need to too. However, we are now seeing a shift in consideration taking place. We know the landscape for targeting healthcare professionals is narrow and expensive. But the modern customer journey has become increasingly complex. We live in an age where customers are always connected, engaged and want to see relevant messages. In order to deliver a seamless experience to customers, pharma is recognising that it has to catch up and embrace the shift towards customer experience and with it the latest in responsive technology to deliver on their needs cost effectively.

Marketing starts with understanding the customer, and what programmatic advertising has to offer is a rich layer of audience insight on top of what we already have. The door is open to target precisely and verify advertising exposure to a defined list of healthcare professionals, and this is what is now attracting pharma clients’ attention. It means we can reach audiences outside the standard environments whilst adding greater intelligence to the media we buy to ensure we are connecting with the right people and at the right time.

Programmatic advertising is not just about satisfying top of the marketing funnel either. The ability to build and reach new audiences, on top of retargeting existing and engaging existing customers proves the value of programmatic in delivering both top and bottom of the conversion funnel.

At Nitro Digital we believe in and champion the many benefits programmatic advertising can deliver for pharma and we have highlighted the top advantages for why programmatic buying should be integrated into pharma digital marketing strategies:

Greater transparency
Greater visibility on media performance means campaigns can be better refined and optimised. In the past, when working directly with publishers we were completely reliant on the limited insight they could provide. We now can see what is delivered, and where, whilst learning what is working and what is not.

Greater data and insights
Data is at the heart of the programmatic process. So, not only do you minimise wastage from purchased inventory by targeting the right audiences, but you are also getting greater insight to better understand your online customers. And those learnings are happening in real time, which means campaigns can be optimised throughout its duration and the value of this can also increase a return on your investment.

Improved tracking capabilities
With programmatic technology it is easier to track and analyse data more efficiently from advertising views, to interaction through to website visits and actions. Audiences can be intricately segmented, which makes targeting messages in the right context, and at the right time far more effective.

Consistency across multiple channels
Programmatic can be thought of as a centralised buying platform. What this means is that we have the ability to combine the power of data to deliver effective communications where the audiences are active – across desktop, mobile, tablet, video and social channels.

Our conclusion

At Nitro Digital we have proven the value of running programmatic campaigns for our clients in pharma. We have successfully delivered greater exposure, at lower price points to highly targeted healthcare audiences. And the quality in targeting is demonstrated in the increase in responses we are seeing. Because, ultimately, we are delivering the right message at the right time and to the right people.

Digital Customer Experience in the Life Sciences Industry

The importance for Life sciences to communicate across digital channels has been clear for a long time, but whilst the benefits of engaging on ‘social’ channels is increasing, internal company approvals for this activity is far from simple and does not seem to be getting easier. So, we would like to help you learn how you can take advantage of these channels both creatively and compliantly for brand and company.

We’ll be producing a series of content focused on social media and digital experiences that will include real world industry examples to help demonstrate that it can be done. But, before we start, we would really like to get your input into our quick social media survey so that we can tackle the key issues that you face together with our partner Zinc Ahead.

Executing across digital is no longer a box ticking exercise, it’s key to nurturing relationships and driving advocacy for you. You now need to deliver compelling experiences that make a difference to your users.

You’ll be expected by your customers to deliver compelling experiences that help bring them (and your wider stakeholders) closer online through engagement and ultimately conversation and collaboration. If you don’t, your competitors will, and as your customers flood to use online channels and rep forces are streamlined, you’ll be edged out of the conversation. It’s time to start engaging online now.

We get it though, as soon as you start talking about engagement and using the words, ‘social media’ the barriers go up. Approvals can be hard, and require willpower and commitment to get initiatives through medical, legal and regulatory. This is why Nitro Digital is delighted to be partnering with Zinc, the leading provider of world class compliance for content and rich media experiences in the life sciences industry, to help our customers and the wider industry deliver innovative, exciting but crucially compliant customer experiences through ‘social media’.

Nitro Digital has been pioneering the use of engaging and collaborative platforms and communication for our clients to enhance their customer communication over the last few years, so have learnt how to help others who also want to take advantage of digital in a more engaging way to create compelling customer experiences in the new normal for web users.

So, if you aren’t sure about how to engage with your customers on digital platforms, think it’s too risky, or just cannot persuade your management to participate, then you really should take part. You might be surprised what you can achieve.

Click through to the Survey now.