What is e-detailing?

E-detailing, short for electronic detailing, refers to the use of digital technology and online enablement platforms to facilitate interactions between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals (HCPs) or physicians. It involves the use of various digital tools such as websites, email, video conferencing, and interactive presentations to deliver information about pharmaceutical products, treatment options, clinical data, and other relevant medical information to healthcare professionals.

E-detailing allows pharmaceutical companies to reach a broader audience of HCPs more efficiently, often replacing traditional face-to-face detailing efforts. It enables personalized and interactive communication, supports ongoing education, and enhances the dissemination of medical information while providing detailed analytics to track engagement and effectiveness.

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. Through e-detailing platforms, pharmaceutical companies can deliver interactive presentations, videos, and personalized content tailored to individual HCPs’ needs and preferences. This personalized approach enhances engagement and fosters stronger relationships between companies and HCPs.

Cost-effective reach

Traditional face-to-face detailing can be costly and time-consuming. E-detailing offers a cost-effective alternative, allowing companies to reach a broader audience of HCPs with minimal resources, reducing travel expenses and time investment.

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. E-detailing provides invaluable insights into HCP engagement metrics, allowing companies to track which content resonates most with their audience. This data-driven approach enables companies to refine their strategies and optimize their sales efforts for maximum impact.

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.

Remote detailing, a key component of e-detailing, enables pharmaceutical sales representatives to engage with HCPs virtually, without the need for in-person meetings. Here’s how it works:

  1. Digital Platforms: Remote detailing relies on digital platforms such as video conferencing, webinars, and email to connect sales representatives with HCPs. These platforms offer a seamless way to deliver product information, answer questions, and provide educational resources remotely.
  2. Personalized Interactions: Just like traditional detailing, remote detailing aims to provide personalized interactions. Sales representatives can tailor their presentations to address specific HCP needs and concerns, fostering meaningful dialogue and building trust.
  3. Accessibility: Remote detailing breaks down geographical barriers, allowing sales representatives to reach HCPs in remote or underserved areas. This accessibility ensures that valuable medical information is accessible to all healthcare professionals, regardless of their location.

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.

Benefits of Expanding to Multichannel Strategies for Pharma Sales Teams

While e-detailing offers numerous advantages, integrating it into a multichannel strategy amplifies its impact. Here are some benefits:

  1. Increased Reach: By leveraging multiple channels such as email, social media, and mobile apps in addition to e-detailing, pharmaceutical sales teams can extend their reach to a wider audience of HCPs.
  2. Improved Engagement: Multichannel strategies enable sales teams to engage with HCPs across various touchpoints, ensuring that they stay top-of-mind throughout the sales cycle. This consistent engagement fosters stronger relationships and increases the likelihood of conversion.
  3. Enhanced Customer Experience: Offering HCPs multiple channels through which to interact with pharmaceutical companies enhances the overall customer experience. Whether through e-detailing sessions, educational webinars, or informative email newsletters, HCPs have access to valuable resources that meet their diverse needs.

Examples of Multichannel Strategies in Pharma Sales

How Novo Nordisk Expanded Reach with Remote Detailing

How Allurion ensures effective and consistent training of reps and clinics

How a sales enablement platform improves medtech and pharma sales — with proof

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.