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    Top 5 Takeaways from PRC & Marketing Conferences in 2017

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    Our resolution for 2017 was to expand our promotional review committee (PRC) and marketing conference footprint. And we kept it. This past year, Vodori attended and sponsored a number of conferences around the U.S., including a couple of ExL conferences. While there, we met many Marketing and Regulatory leaders in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics fields and captured some key ideas that were discussed. Here are the 5 that stood out the most:

    Videos get you views

    If this blog post had a video, readers would be three times as likely to engage with it. If it were an email with a video, customers would be 50% more likely to read it. Yet, despite greater engagement, less than 1% of life sciences companies report using video for their social media campaigns.

    And video will only get bigger. By 2019, videos are expected to comprise 85% of content on Facebook. With 64% of consumers saying watching a video has influenced their buying decision, this type of content gives companies great potential not only for engagement, but also for conversion.

    Digital Marketing for Medical Devices (Midwest)
    Becoming a Content Jedi:  Anticipating Your Customers’ Every Move and Closing the Deal

    Reviewing digital content takes longer than reviewing print content

    Like many of you, we thought digital content had a faster speed-to-market than print content. We were wrong. It takes 45 days or less for 80% of print materials to be approved, while it takes as many as 70 days for digital materials to be approved.

    Why the discrepancy? It appears that 40% of the review cycle time for digital materials was time spent coordinating with agencies on submitting content. To alleviate this, it’s recommended that companies track data for each stage and team involved in order to see where bottlenecks are occurring and why.

    5th Promotional Review Committee Compliance & Best Practices — Midwest
    Project SWARM: One Year Later

    Agencies can’t always handle med/reg review submissions

    Agencies specialize in creating content, not managing submissions for PRC review. As such, it’s important for agencies and life sciences to collaborate on submissions before reviews.

    Consider these tips for ensuring a successful review:

    • Establish basic submission criteria per your SOP
    • Create a pre-submission checklist for materials being reviewed
    • Use KPIs and insights from submissions to craft an agency scorecard and understand how to best work together

    5th Promotional Review Committee Compliance & Best Practices — Midwest
    Advanced Collaboration Tactics to Improve Agency Partnerships in the Promotional Review Process

    Social is big, but not all platforms yield equal returns

    Due to the regulatory nature of the industry, most life science companies don’t delve into social media, even though they can and should. Popular social media platforms yield significantly different ROI. Twitter, for example, can help your product or company trend with the right hashtags. Facebook’s commenting and sharing capabilities get your messages in front of not just individuals who follow you, but also their friends and family. LinkedIn’s professional focus allows your business to build relationships with other industry experts and key opinion leaders. As we learned though, it’s best to begin a campaign on the former two, because advertising on the latter can be expensive.

    Digital Marketing for Medical Devices (West)
    Case Study: Utilize Facebook as a Tool to Reach a Consumer-Level Audience for Disease Awareness

    Lots of people still use paper for PRC and it’s costly

    A presenter at the PRC East conference surveyed over 250 global regulatory, marketing and medical leaders. Her company found that 35% of life sciences companies are still using paper/email PRC processes.

    By our own calculations (assuming the average promotional review packet is 62 pages long and each company reviews about 500 pieces of content) the 88 companies who responded that they use paper go through 2,728,000 pages of content per year. Shifting to an automated tool or software platform to streamline this process saves companies substantial time and money.

    5th Promotional Review Committee and Compliance Best Practices Conference — East
    Results from a 250-company survey on promotional review methodology

    Attending these conferences provides great opportunities to learn solutions to the many marketing operations problems that undoubtedly arise. We look forward to attending and sponsoring others in 2018 and urge you all to join us:

    If you’d like to learn more about Pepper Flow, a promotional review platform, and how it can help streamline your PRC process, contact us at

    Annalise Ludtke

    Senior Manager, Marketing Communications at Vodori

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