Is “decoupling” the key to content management success?

By Faye Morin

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Effective content management has and continues to be a missed opportunity for numerous pharmaceutical organizations across the globe. Proper management of content (including promotional brochures, compliance materials, training material, standard operating guidance, etc.) used by numerous regions of an pharma organization simultaneously, can help to reduce redundancies, thus saving significant budget, whilst also helping to minimize operational risks by having outdated or erroneous content available on company systems.

However, this is easier said than done. Many global pharmaceutical organizations operate in a decentralized manner whereby each country creates and manages its own content. This is especially true of promotional materials as typically each country’s commercial team hires their own creative agencies to develop brochures, training materials and advertisements. In doing this the material often times deviates from global branding guidelines and increased cost is incurred.

To help alleviate these redundancies and promote alignment to global branding guidelines, global pharmaceutical companies can align on a global digital repository for most content used across regions. A digital repository would contain centrally approved content along with complete source files containing global rights, editable manuscripts, references etc., basically everything needed to reproduce the content for local translation and implementation.

The benefits of centralizing content go beyond simply reducing redundancy, in addition, regulatory, medical risks and copy right infringements are minimized.

If properly implemented, the benefits gained can be extensive. The resources retained within the digital content repository would allow countries to enter their markets much quicker with promotional campaigns. The local countries will save on costly agencies fees, resulting in significant savings.

Branding elements remain consistent across all countries, resulting in enhanced awareness and recognition. Additionally, the operational risks are minimized, by a greater alignment on the brand label and additionally having global copy rights management within the repository reduces any copy right infringements.

A great example is illustrated by a project I was previously involved in. In 2018, a Content Centre was created to help streamline content development across a major global pharmaceutical company.

A 12-month audit of their content assets revealed numerous duplications and redundancies in content. To reduce these redundancies and provide a cost-effective way of obtaining and leveraging reusable assets, the Global Operations Team launched a Content Repository, referred to as Content Center.

The Content Center was a global capability that provided Global approved content for use by local marketing companies. The Content Center utilized a global digital platform where local marketing companies could access and download validated content for localization and reuse.

Their Content Centre provided a new way of working and functioned as an operational bridge between Global teams and local marketing teams. The content repository allowed the local marketing teams to more efficiently and effectively reuse globally produced assets. Additionally, over $50MM savings was realized as country marketing budgets were reduced as a result of not having to develop content locally.

Ultimately, decoupling and centralizing your content management operation will provide benefits beyond just cost improvements. For pharmaceutical organizations that want to drive the most cohesive customer experience possible, this is a core steppingstone.

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