For businesses in a very specific niche, outsourcing certain responsibilities can be an economical and cost-efficient way to access the resources and expertise of other specialties. This is especially true in the life sciences industry. Companies that develop pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other products for the healthcare industry need to devote significant amounts of resources to research, product development, and clinical testing. That does not always leave much funds, space, or intellectual capital left to master other "backend" business obligations.
Properly supplying your field sales reps with robust marketing support is one area that regularly becomes neglected. Keeping the responsibilities of literature fulfillment in-house sounds like a nice idea on paper, but your marketing efforts often suffer as a result. Here are the top four reasons why you shouldn’t handle your own pharmaceutical sales force fulfillment needs.
Marketing professionals working in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry have a specific set of core competencies: copywriting, branding, graphic design, and market research. Printed sales collateral and promotional assets are a crucial part of marketing to healthcare providers and consumers; However, the production and distribution of physical marketing assets to sales personnel represent a logistical challenge – rather than a creative one. Life science marketers may be experts at designing attention-grabbing advertisements and digital marketing campaigns, but that does not mean they can effectively print, store, deliver, and track orders for physical marketing assets from their direct sales reps. Pharmaceutical sales fulfillment and logistics require a different, more technical approach.
Outsourcing sales force logistics frees up your marketing team to focus on what it does best. Rather than trying to handle the creative and logistical challenges of marketing simultaneously, and possibly doing a disservice to both, your team can rely on marketing fulfillment experts to fill in the gaps in their knowledge base.
As your company grows, the demands placed on your marketing and operations staff to handle pharmaceutical sales support and fulfillment expand proportionately. You may have the resources to hire more writers and designers, but can you also increase your fulfillment staff to support them?
Rather than hiring new employees or building a new department that requires salaries, benefits, and other costly perks, you can outsource your fulfillment needs to a third party that can grow or shrink the level of your services instantaneously. In the long run, that saves you time, money, and significant amounts of hassle.
Effectively marketing to physicians and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) requires a unified effort. Brand management, regulatory compliance, and fulfillment logistics must work seamlessly together to prevent costly mistakes and inefficiencies.
When pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device and supply companies, and biotech upstarts try to handle field sales support and literature fulfillment in-house, important information often gets overlooked. That can lead to confusing brand messages, regulatory penalties, and unmet fulfillment obligations. Outsourcing these responsibilities to a third party ensures that they are all being coordinated by a dedicated team of professionals.
Creating and storing print collateral in-house takes up a lot of space. Stockpiling brochures, catalogs, and mailers is cumbersome, and that does not even take into account the space occupied by printing presses. This space, and the time it takes to coordinate printing efforts, could be better served for other purposes.
Working with a partner that has the physical capacity to print, catalog, and store your entire inventory of marketing collateral just makes sense. Rather than trying to run both a life sciences company and a print shop, let the experts handle the production side of things.
The growing field of marketing collateral management promises to streamline the life sciences and pharma sales force fulfillment process even further. This integrated approach to producing and distributing marketing materials offers companies new levels of efficiency, economy, reliability, and flexibility. Outsourcing your literature fulfillment needs to a qualified partner leads to better outcomes, and frees up valuable resources within your company.
Learn more about the hazards of keeping things in-house and new distributed marketing strategies to prepare for The Sunshine Act by reading our free ebook, “Streamlining Fulfillment, Simplifying Compliance, & Staying Competitive for the 21st Century Life Sciences Marketer.”Google+
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