What is e-detailing?

E-detailing, electronic detailing, is a now well-established way of increasing pharmaceutical and medtech company efficiency in customer engagement – and enable a better service to be delivered to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and other stakeholders.

In essence, e-detailing digitizes sales content and provides it on a mobile device. That makes it possible to be interactive and more interesting to HCPs. It also ensures that presentations are trackable, providing data to help you better meet HCP needs.

Benefits of pharmaceutical e-detailing

E-detailing offers many benefits for both your business and your customer:

Increased engagement

Done properly, e-detailing isn’t a passive presentation. It should be interactive, providing opportunities for HCPs (or other stakeholders) to actively engage with content.

More impact

It also offers the opportunity for reps to use impactful types of content – like moving graphics and video – to draw attention to key messages.

Data capture for customer understanding

Because e-detailing presentations enable interaction, you can better understand what content actually interests HCPs based on their level of engagement with it.

Highly-targeted communication

By tracking how each individual customer interacts, and applying sophisticated analytics, it enables company representatives to work at an individual level with HCPs – providing ‘just-for-you’ communications.

Content storage

In addition to your main product arguments, an electronic detailer can provide reps and MSLs with easy access to all scientific documentation on pharmaceutical products (and additional content elements), which would be impossible with traditional paper-based communications.

Easier content updates

Being digital, e-detailers can be regularly updated with fresh content that applies the lessons learned from customer data – even being updated while reps are on the road.

Consistency of experience

Good e-detailing enables customer-facing staff, whether sales reps, medical science liaisons (MSLs) or other members of your customer team to provide a consistently high-quality experience.


Remote detailing

With access to HCPs becoming harder, remote e-detailing is growing in popularity. This takes the physical detailing meeting online, enabling pharmaceutical representatives and medical science liaisons to quickly schedule appointments when they are most convenient for HCPs.

It works through a standard internet connection. And with good remote detailing systems, HCPs and other stakeholders don’t need to download any specific software. They simply connect via an email invitation link.

The popularity of remote e-detailing with HCPs and other stakeholders has led to some pharma companies creating specialist remote teams. Life science companies are also deploying ‘hybrid reps’, who engage customers both remotely and in physical face-to-face meetings.

Expanding with multichannel

An e-detailer is an excellent springboard for HCPs into your multichannel and omnichannel content. Because of the direct face-to-face nature of e-detailing, reps and MSLs are able to personally introduce customers to new channels.

This helps to overcome the problem seen with some channels, like web portals, that offer on-demand content: they need continual promotion or access rates are often low, making it hard to justify the investment.

E-detailing is also an excellent start to a digitally-enabled customer journey. Specific channels can be created to expand the experience for HCPs and enable them to go into key topics in more depth.

For example, microsites (small websites) can be matched to relevant sections in an e-detailing presentation. Then if a healthcare professional, while reviewing the e-detailing presentation with a sales rep, expresses interest in learning more on a topic they can be automatically be sent a link to a microsite.

A central place in pharma marketing

For many pharmaceutical and medtech companies, e-detailing is central to their wider digital communications strategy. And it is often the foundation on which other channels are added to raise the level of customer experience provided.

It is a great way for life science companies to get started with digital marketing. This is partly because it matches the industry’s traditional face-to-face engagement with customers and therefore fits how many companies are structured and organized.

An electronic detailer also offers specific advantages. It is excellent at capturing data – providing the customer insights that enable you to provide personalized and high-quality services for healthcare professionals. Its one-to-one nature gives a detailed picture of the needs to specific individuals, which can then be met through highly-targeted digital communications and services.