By Krissy Goelz (@krisgoelz)
What’s the future of digital media?
Ask 100 digital professionals and you’ll get 100 different answers. But it’s a question that’s constantly on the minds of anyone who works in the digital space. Most peoples responses are filtered through their own personal or professional biases. Ask a video developer and they’ll tell you all about HTML 5. Ask a Pharma rep and they’ll talk about iPads and digital medicine. As a client focussed professional, my own bias leans toward user experience and in that particular field there’s a new focus on making content ubiquitous.
While you may already be familiar with the concept of responsive design it’s becoming an increasingly important part of our business. As this terrific article from A List Apart points out, most Americans sleep with their mobile phones. Is it any wonder that we’re focused on optimizing mobile experiences these days? But it’s not just smartphones we’re contending with, it’s tablet computers and gaming consoles, e-readers and web enabled TVs. There are more internet connected devices coming to market every day and there seems like no end in site. So how do we ensure that the state of the art, JRC approved website that we just rolled out isn’t obsolete in six months?
There are technical issues to consider (in the article Brad Frost argues for platform agnosticism and utilizing CMS technology that can service multiple platforms). I’ll leave it to my more code oriented colleagues to discuss the merits of those arguments.
But it’s clear that there is a strategic lesson to be learned here as well. Not only do we need to employ a strategy of making content available everywhere, we must also realize that our brands’ digital presence is not set in stone. Instead, we must think of it a constantly changing, fluid presence that must adapt to the multiple new technologies, tools and user behaviors that are emerging at an accelerated pace in our tech fueled world. “Set it and forget it” is no longer an option.
Embracing that strategy may end up changing our entire approach to digital. Whether it’s using different content creation and management tools, finding a way to make our review processes nimbler and more responsive, or simply being aware of new technologies as they come to market, Pharma companies need to continue to think of their digital presence as programmes rather than projects.
As a wise man once said “the only constant is change”. And as our consumers change their behaviors and data consumption habits we need need to make sure that our content adapts, cleanly delivering valuable information and patient benefits no matter what the device or operating system.