Getting Started with Modular Content

The traditional medical, legal, and regulatory (MLR) review process for new, public-facing content assets is often a significant bottleneck for many pharma companies. In fact, according to Veeva Pulse data, most pharma organizations take three weeks, on average, to deliver new content to market. Typical delays happen while content is in draft state (spending six days before review), followed by the actual review process itself, which takes an average of 15 days.

One of the advantages of employing a modular content strategy is how much it reduces bottlenecks. Instead of a full MLR review every time you create a new asset, the individual content modules themselves can go through an MLR review at the outset. Then, new assets can reuse these pre-approved content modules so that by the time the asset goes to the MLR team for review, a large portion of the content has already been pre-approved. This approach means faster reviews, fewer mistakes, and a smoother, less burdensome process for the MLR team.

Implementing modular content

As a business consulting practice manager here at Veeva, I have the privilege of partnering closely with our customers, and I enjoy helping them solve business challenges. Over the last year, I’ve worked with several customers looking to enhance omnichannel engagement at innovative global healthcare companies.

One of the first steps in our engagement approach is an organizational readiness and change management phase, which is often necessary when preparing for a significant business shift. This phase helps the teams understand the benefits of modular content and ensures buy-in. The “what’s in it for me?” varies by stakeholder group, so we develop targeted messaging to get different parts of the organization on board.

A significant portion of our work focuses on the MLR submission guidelines and ensuring MLR teams are comfortable reviewing modular content. In the United States pharma companies must submit any promotional content to the FDA for review. In addition to MLR review guidelines, the team also creates regulatory submission examples highlighting how you can submit variable and modular content in a compliant way.

As the engagement moves forward, the team aligns on their modular content definition: Content that’s been pre-approved in Veeva Vault PromoMats with its own material number that can be referenced, along with accompanying business rules of how to use that piece of content. We use real examples to show brand teams where they are already reusing modules and claims across different channels.

From there, the team begins building templates and content standards for the customer’s content agency partners. These templates can then turn into modular content assets stored in a content repository.

We also work with our customers to start building libraries of core claims—preapproved statements about the customer’s products substantiated by references—in Veeva Vault PromoMats. Claims are a crucial building block for content modules, so building this claims library accelerates the customer’s move to a modular content approach.

Partnering with MLR colleagues drives innovation

In addition to modular content, we’ve recently had a customer look at improving MLR efficiency by analyzing reviewer comments in Veeva Vault PromoMats. This perspective is unique; in fact, this is the first time I’ve seen a customer attempt to do this analysis.

The team’s innovative analysis looks at comment trends about the materials that come through the system. For example, a medical team may flag inaccuracies or even grammar or spelling errors. Analyzing the comments helps them identify common mistakes agencies are making so that they can create accurate content faster.

Crawl, walk, run

On our team, we are firm believers in what we call a “crawl, walk, run” approach when we engage with our customers. Instead of racing to a technical solution, we partner with MLR, marketing teams, and partner agencies to ensure everyone comes together for a positive outcome. When I work with customers, I find common threads that result in the most successful engagements. Here are takeaways for you to consider as you get started with modular content:

  • Focus on organizational readiness and change management.
  • Conduct a focused pilot, then scale based on early learnings.
  • Connect with the industry and technology partners you need to make yourself successful.

Learn more about creating content faster and at scale with modular content.

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