Marketing production in highly regulated industries: overcoming key challenges
By Paolo Teotino, senior technology alliance manager, OpenText
An effective marketing strategy today requires an integrated approach across multiple channels to reach an organisation’s target audience. As a result, many different channels are now pivotal elements for a compelling multi-faceted marketing strategy, including email, mobile apps, websites, microsites, social media, webinars and many more.
Yet in highly regulated industries, such as life sciences, the ability to quickly make the most of new digital marketing assets is restricted by compliance requirements and stringent regulation. This presents a major obstacle for organisations trying to use new digital channels to promote new products and services to consumers – with many finding their efforts significantly slowed down as a result.
The life sciences industry faces some specific challenges. For instance, organisations must comply with the relevant regional regulatory authorities – such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK. Consequently, marketing assets for prescription drugs must be accurate, include balanced information on risks and benefits associated with the product and be consistent with the prescribing information approved by the regional regulatory authority. Furthermore, only information supported by strong evidence can be included. Some regulations also require materials to be auditable and even stored in certain ways for certain periods of time.
Additionally, life sciences companies must develop highly effective review and approval solutions to meet the demands of changing relationships with doctors and patients. These industry-specific obstacles are combined with the broader challenges facing rapidly growing global organisations in every industry today, from evolving operational needs and transforming digital processes to overcoming information silos and adhering to broad regulatory guidelines.
In this environment, it’s easy to understand why companies operating in regulated industries are searching for best practices that enable an efficient marketing workflow as well as rapid marketing process innovation. The ability to implement a completely automated platform — replacing manual processes with system-driven workflows and asset lifecycles that use Digital Asset Management (DAM) platforms – represents a major step forward today for businesses looking to reduce overall complexity and cut down on time spent creating a fully compliant marketing campaign.
Automate and speed up
Automating digital asset management is key if businesses are to enable a timely and efficient marketing workflow. Regulatory compliance demands that document management processes such as content creation, review and approval, and content distribution are executed in accordance with industry standards and are auditable. Creating workflows to develop and manage operating procedures for quality control ensures consistency, reliability and efficiency. Furthermore, streamlining collaboration via automation can also lower costs related to the creation, management, and storage of marketing content.
Automation can also extend beyond assets to project management. Marketing projects generate many digital assets. By implementing a content management solution that provides complete digital media supply chain management, teams can track individual elements and whole projects from inception through to distribution. Some systems also offer start-to-finish production accounting tied back to the business systems, providing details on how the budget is spent to bring greater accountability.
Utilising a comprehensive platform to regulate marketing asset lifecycle and unify cross-enterprise production and delivery processes enables organisations to achieve faster innovation, better brand consistency and regulatory compliance. Companies adopting these systems for their marketing project management processes can move more quickly. In fact, one OpenText customer experienced a 70 percent reduction in average time for asset review and approval – reducing the approval process from days to minutes.
While efficiently using and managing digital media assets can be a significant challenge for highly regulated organisations, employing the right technology to automate and streamline processes can transform the marketing function. Companies moving from manual processes to automated DAM platforms will quickly reap the rewards – from reducing time-to-market to complying with regulations – to benefit the entire enterprise.