The Launch Playbook is dead. There I said it! The Launch Playbook is in need of some serious updating and this fact is no more evident than in the myriad of launch readiness review (LRR) Power Point decks that we assess as part of our Level of Evidence (LOE) appraisal service. The LRR plans, regardless of the provider, all look the same and take the same general approach to marketing a drug regardless of whether it’s primary care vs. specialty care or small molecule vs. large molecule.
Here are 5 easy updates to think about incorporating into your ‘updated’ launch playbook without having to re-writing the entire corporate template in the middle of your launch.
- Brand Stories, Not Statements: We have documented several issues with current approaches to launch communication platform development within our EVIDENCE bLOG. I actually covered this topic in depth in a post from last year.
- User Experience (UX) With Creative Concept: Tried and true principles of UX, such as scanability, findability, readability, etc., apply to all of your launch content, not just your launch website. Embrace developing an entire user experience approach for your brand versus pivoting your brand off the creative development of a single static print concept
- Video Assets Before Print Assets: Our target customers – physicians, patients, payors, etc. – are flocking to video content over print. Video allows for more communicative value and creativity, despite our industry restrictions, so it’s time to start planning your video assets first and then filling in with print where necessary. You need to seek out agencies adept at developing video, such as Dramatic Health, and seek out new functional skills sets, such as producers. Think of how much more powerful that doctor discussion guide could be when patient and physicians can actually see an example of a productive exchanged tailored to each party’s needs.
- Mobile Informs Desktop: The old playbook is to develop the $500,000 Brand.com for desktop viewing and then port that behemoth over the mobile (assuming a mobile site is even in the plan). During the transition you wind up being more judicious and more focused with the limited real estate to yield a superior user experience. Why not start with the mobile execution and then port it over to the desktop augmenting only where necessary? You’ll find that you can reduce costs and maximize the user experience at the same time… plus most of your targets have likely moved to mobile platforms in the meantime.
- Brand Advocates, Not Actors: Physicians and patients want to hear from those who have first-hand experience with the product. Even given the limitations of our industry where we have to highlight the average results from an average patient, demonstrating the experience of product ‘users’ is within our grasp, and showing real users enhances the UX construct of credibility versus perversely the MLR-friendly ‘actor’ execution. Do you know how physicians and patients respond in creative testing to the word ‘actor’ next to the advocate? Both groups wonder allow – “Wow, this brand couldn’t even find one person that would agree to be filmed to attest to the fact that the product works as labeled.”
Let’s face it, the expectations around product launches in recent years have increased while budgets and timing to execute these plans have decreased. When you look back at your launch, will you be happy with the results gained from a status quo “blocking and tackling” plan? If you’re reading this blog, I think not.
It’s time to begin the rewrite of your corporate launch playbook. If you don’t, someone else (perhaps your replacement?) eventually will.