Veeva's Partner Day: Key Insights for Pharmaceutical Companies

Chris Finch
Chris Finch
15 Jun 2023
Sharing data insight

We recently had the pleasure of attending the Veeva partner day at their HQ in Oxford! It was great to get an update on their future plans, as well as some fascinating insight, from the recent Veeva Pulse report, into how the pharma industry is utilising digital in their face-to-face interactions.  

In this blog, we will explore our key takeaways from the day and discuss what pharmaceutical companies can learn from Veeva's findings. 

1. Embrace the Power of Interactive Digital Content 

The most fascinating stat for us was that (in the US where this data is from) sharing digital content during HCP meetings drives new patient starts 2.5x more than meetings that don’t use it. This trend is consistent across both in-person and video channels and underpins the power of providing high quality, tailored content for use by reps or MSLs to support their interactions.  

Yet, despite this data, earthware has, in recent years, seen a general trend away from interactive HTML content and back to the more traditional “interactive PDFs”. Not only do “interactive PDFs” provide a worse user experience for the rep with far less flexibility in the navigation, they also don’t allow any HCP interaction, nor do they allow the gathering of rich insight in terms of what content has been interacted with and how the HCP has responded. 

Interactive digital content

2. Think Better Content, Not More Content! 

In 2022, there was a 20% increase in new content added to Veeva compared to 2021, yet 77% of content was never or rarely used.  

Pharma and their agencies should engage with field teams to establish what content they need to support them in calls and how they want the content structured. Armed with this insight, pharma and agencies can ensure they’re providing the right content that is easy for their consumers to lay their hands on when they need it.  

Instead of “covering all bases”, focus on the content that is most important, has high use by the field force and has high impact with HCPs. If a HCP has a question that can’t be answered by content available on call, this is a great opportunity for a second call or for signposting to other channels. 

Evidently, there is a lot of wasted effort going into developing and approving content that is never used. Modular content represents a great opportunity to streamline content, reduce approval times, and promote content reuse. This is an area that Veeva is investing in heavily, so we expect a move to modular content to be at the forefront of most pharma companies over the coming years. 

Overwhelmed with content

3. An Omnichannel Approach is Now Essential to Maximise Engagement

Face to face activity continues to be limited for pharma. According to Veeva’s Pulse data, in the EU5, on average, only 50% of HCPs can be accessed face-to-face, and this is as low as 24% in the UK, with Spain leading the way at 66%. Interestingly, of those HCPs that do see pharma face-to face in the UK, 70% are accessible by video which is a far higher proportion than any other European country, with the next highest being Spain at 44%. 

Data from Across Health’s 2022 Global Trends Report supports the need for pharma to look beyond face to face activity and embrace digital channels. Globally (of 8,204 HCPs surveyed) 57% prefer omnichannel engagement with commercial pharma which rises to 70% for engagement with medical pharma. However, satisfaction with pharma’s digital offerings is disappointing with fewer than half of HCPs surveyed globally (46%) saying they are ‘very satisfied’ with pharma’s digital offerings. 

The Across Health data offers further insight into the disconnect between pharma and their customers with pharma overestimating the value of face-to-face channels and undervaluing websites, emails, apps and 3rd party media. 

Omnichannel engagement

4. Leverage Data Analytics for Better Insights 

Data is the lifeblood of the pharmaceutical industry, and Veeva is investing heavily in improving the data that can be harnessed from both activity with the Veeva ecosystem (e.g., CLM presentations and Approved email) and other data sources.  

Pharmaceutical companies can harness the power of advanced analytics to gain deeper insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and product performance. By adopting analytics-driven decision-making, companies can identify patterns, optimize sales and marketing strategies, and make informed business decisions. Veeva's report underlines the importance of investing in robust data analytics platforms that provide real-time insights, predictive modelling, and actionable recommendations. 

Data insights

Whilst face-to-face activity is undoubtedly here to stay and will continue to be fundamental to customer engagement, there remains a disconnect between HCP’s desire to engage in an omnichannel way and pharma’s ability (or maybe willingness) to oblige. By involving field teams in the development of omnichannel strategy and tactics they can become the “orchestrator” of communication activities – supported by the digital activity that goes on around them and utilising the data it generates to gain a better understanding of their customers and provide more value when they meet. 

As the industry continues to evolve, the companies who proactively embrace digital transformation, leverage data analytics, adopt remote engagement models, and prioritise customer-centricity across both commercial and medical can position themselves for success and gain a competitive edge.

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