Driving the Next Wave of Content Innovation

In 2021, Veeva Vault PromoMats managed more than 22.5 million documents — double the volume since 2019. This rapid rise in content creation has left many leaders wondering: What content innovation is needed to achieve digital content excellence?

At Veeva Commercial Summit, I sat down with four content leaders:
  • Brian Cantwell, vice president of digital strategy and operations at Bayer
  • Pallavi Garg, head of global products and pipeline strategy at Takeda
  • Parker Richardson, vice president of omnichannel operations at Astellas
  • Stacy Waters, global launch and marketing excellence, head at Sanofi

They shared their perspectives on what it means to innovate in content and their focus in 2022.

Pooja Ojala: What does it mean to you to innovate in content?

Brian Cantwell: When it comes to content innovation, maybe this is overly simplistic, but I think it comes down to the speed and quality of authentic content. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re trying to help remove the barriers between our customers and the healthcare decisions that they need to make. We do that by putting out authentic content that resonates with them. It’s still that age-old cliche of delivering the right message or piece of content at the right time through the right channel. We’re still not there. We need to innovate to get to that point so that we can deliver that message that’s going to resonate with someone, that’s going to help them make a better treatment decision, that’s going to help them have a better conversation with their doctor. So, when I think about innovation, it’s speed and quality.

Pallavi Garg: I think content innovation is all about driving relevance. When we look at oncology specifically in the last 10 or 15 years, it’s become extremely complex, and the need for personalization is very important. While it’s about creating the right bite-size content — at the right place at the right time, it’s also about making sure that we’re able to deliver that content in a very relevant way. So, for me, it’s all about driving that relevance.

Parker Richardson: When we think about “what is content innovation,” — to me, it’s strange because I am not the person who creates the content. If you are in IT or marketing ops, when was the last time you created a piece of content? We get paid to think about how we innovate in content. The added challenge is that I have to sell marketers on this idea of doing something different while also looking at product forecasts, financial forecasts, stakeholders, legal reviews, and everything else. We need to be better at engaging our marketing colleagues and stakeholders to think about what it means to do content in 2022 and 2023 versus how you were doing it in 2018 or 2017. Take a minute to think, are you doing something different? Innovating content is a tough question.

Stacy Waters: For me, innovation is also about standardization. It is about removing all the noise in the ecosystem and focusing on what is most important. We have to stop some of the innovations so that we can build the right foundations to eventually run and achieve our goals of personalization and digital excellence.

Ojala: To achieve digital excellence, we know it’s critical to get back to the basics and build the right foundation. Ultimately, if you don’t have the right foundation, you can’t achieve personalized content with speed and scale. If the goal is to achieve digital excellence by the end of 2023, what’s the one piece you have to get right in 2022?

Waters: Tagging, taxonomy, and nomenclature so we can get full visibility into our end-to-end content lifecycle.

Cantwell: I’m going to be controversial. I’m going to say we must get field content right. For the last two years, most of our field forces have been heavily restricted from being in front of customers. Now they’re back in different ways. They’re in person or virtual, and the content doesn’t meet their needs. You need content that you can use in a two-minute hallway conversation, and you need content that you can use in a sit-down 20-minute presentation. A 90-page detail aid serves neither of those purposes. So, we need to get the field content right.

Richardson: Belief. We’ve got to get people to believe what we say. We said we were going to do something by this date. We said we’re going to do these things that either optimize or revolutionize. We’ve got to start stacking wins. We’ve got to build that belief this year so that it allows today’s innovation to become tomorrow’s scale.

Garg: I’ll add to what Parker said, demonstrating the impact. Why are we so excited about digital and content innovation? Because we think it’s the better thing for our customers. It’s the better thing for ensuring speed to patients. We need to be able to prove the success and impact it drives. For example — as we look to implement modular content, we need to be able to show the difference between using the modular approach and not. What was the differentiated impact? We need to prove the value to drive momentum and energy behind our initiatives.

Cantwell, Garg, Richardson, and Waters are all part of the Veeva Executive Content Innovation Council. The council comprises 16 senior leaders from the top pharmaceutical companies. Read the executive brief to learn the steps these leaders take to achieve digital content excellence.

The elements presented here are the views and opinions of Brian Cantwell, Pallavi Garg, Parker Richardson, and Stacy Waters, and do not necessarily represent those of Bayer, Takeda, Astellas, and Sanofi.

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