Paul Dixey and Sam Wamsley discuss mobile strategy for #pharma
We asked Paul Dixey and Sam Walmsley, Managing Partners and Mobile Consultant, Bluelight Partners some questions on how pharma is currently using mobile in their marketing mix
How do you create digital experience across multiple devices and engage with the mobile user?
No screen left behind!
We need to focus on creating digital experiences which work effectively across multiple devices. Think how many devices you have; a smartphone, maybe two, a tablet device, laptop/s and desktop? How often are you using email, the internet and apps on your mobile or tablet device?
Our customers, including healthcare professionals are no different, yet as an industry we continue to create websites in flash, or hard to navigate from a smaller screen, or fail to optimise our content for search. Yet in a connected world, we are failing those who are searching and wanting to engage with our brands on the go via mobile devices.
Creating digital experiences that work across all screens isn’t a complex task nor should it be expensive. Using techniques such as responsive web design, creating specific mobile websites or using stylesheets to create a mobile ‘friendly version’ of the site are just some of the options available that will help with mobile engagement. In essence research your target audience(s), what devices they are using and match against your own resources, time and budget; not just for the initial version but also for marketing and maintenance.
Whatever you decide, and Bluelight can help you do this, you cannot assume that a multiscreen approach is a thing of the future – it is here now.
What are the best new and upcoming technologies and mobile innovations which can enhance medical communications?
As an industry we are often attracted by the “shiny new” marketing gadget, and in pharma mobile this is iPhone app. However the most effective mobile projects have started with a back to basics approach. How can mobile technology & innovations improve our customer’s lives and support our business objectives? Rather than “this year my brand needs to have an iphone app”, take some time first to research and create an effective mobile strategy which is integrated and relevant for your customers.
Ways to connect the offline and online worlds are starting to become more mainstream. We have seen the increase in popularity of QR codes (even the MHRA now allow this on Patient Information Leaflets), as well as more exciting technology in augmented reality from companies like Blippar which connects the two worlds, whether using a product or an ad as a trigger to provide an augmented reality experience and link into the digital space.
However do bear in mind that QR codes probably won’t last but are serving to create an awareness amongst consumers of connecting the offline digital worlds by reinforcing a behaviour of scanning, touching and tagging. The next big thing is around the corner – Near Field Communication (NFC).
What do Pharma need to be aware of when developing apps and whether they are classed a medical device?
At the start of the app development process consider whether the app could be a medical device as it is much easier to generate any supporting documentation as you specify and develop the app rather than retrospectively. Clause 2a of The Medical Devices Directive provides the definition of when standalone software could be classed as a medical device. However the definition is open to interpretation so check with your local competent authority. If have decided that your app is a medical device then you need to determine the correct risk class If it is a Class One then you can self-certify; for Class 2 and above you need to work with a Notified Body. Their approval is needed before a CE mark can be put on the device. A manufacturer needs only to register in one member state to place its device on the market across the EEA (however will need to abide by local language requirements) and can use any of the Notified Bodies in any country.
Paul Dixey and Sam Walmsley are speaking at Mobile Pharma World Europe 2012. See who else is speaking at the conference here.