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Why the iPad is designed for CLM

Why the iPad is a game-changer for the industry.

We’ve all heard of closed loop marketing, but we don’t often speak about how it has pioneered change. The fact is that closed loop marketing (CLM) is anything but closed. Constantly at the forefront of innovation, CLM developers have been credited with enabling the pharmaceutical industry to move away from burdensome laptops and PCs and on to the tablet computer.

But what exactly is CLM? Established to improve sales force effectiveness, sales and marketing productivity and overall company performance by driving more effective customer interactions, closed loop marketing solutions capture the resulting feedback from those interactions and provide it to home-office marketing teams for more informed decision-making. The data collected during the interaction is used to fine-tune existing messages, change tactics, and develop new marketing strategies more quickly and efficiently.

Today, CLM has evolved into a global, multi-channel message delivery service. It’s no surprise, then, that leaders in CLM technology have seen the need for a new, more streamlined device that keeps pace with changing CLM technology. Nor should it be a surprise, either, that Apple stepped up to deliver just such a device. Many of the iPad’s features seem to be custom-made for CLM delivery, including:

Size: A typical pharmaceutical sales rep is constantly mobile and needs to carry a heavy tablet throughout the day to demo their products during meetings with prospects and customers. While the size and weight of a tablet computer are manageable for some reps, others have filed workman’s compensation cases due to the weight of the tablets they are required to carry. Doesn’t a 1.5 pound iPad sound like a good solution for reps on the go? Display: Sales reps are under increasing pressure to meet at least one doctor –if not more—during a traditional detail, especially in hospitals. The iPad’s display can make such visits more efficient, as its large 9.7” display and 178 viewing angle provide an ideal screen for multiple people to view a digital media presentation. Battery life: With a battery life of 10 hours that is unmatched by any laptop or tablet on the market, the iPad enables pharmaceutical sales reps to complete multiple demos and appointments without connecting to a power source. Price point: Considerably lower in cost than a traditional tablet computer, the iPad is an attractive choice for companies looking to contain costs, which in reality, is every company. The iPad’s affordability also makes a big impact in emerging markets, where the cost of traditional tablet computers can often make the deployment of a CLM system prohibitive.
It’s cool: What sales rep wouldn’t want to roll into a doctor’s office with the newest, sleekest technology? The iPad is certain to capture a prospect’s attention, and it doesn’t hurt that the device itself will be more reliable too during demos and presentations.
The iPad’s myriad benefits to on-the-go sales reps and CLM professionals are reason enough to use the device in everyday business. Yet the iPad has the potential to make an even bigger impact by reducing a company’s bottom line. Consider for a moment your organization’s IT department – the team who truly lives and dies by a CLM system. The iPad represents a huge step forward in efficiency for IT staff, as the only option for loading content is via download from Apple’s App Store. This eliminates resources spending time on platform maintenance, application testing, and deployment, and subsequently slashing IT costs.

For marketing teams and content creators, the iPad’s lack of support for Flash, while perhaps not a surprise, is certainly disconcerting, as many of these folks rely on Flash to design and develop content for their CLM systems. Without the capability to employ Flash-based animations, content developers will be freed from costly Flash-based content that can be difficult and time-consuming to course through the review and approval processes and even more difficult to track data and results.

With the potential to change the face of content presentation and consumption, the iPad initiates a new era that many anticipate will revolutionize customer interaction. The benefits of the iPad for the consumer market are obvious, but it is clear that you don’t have to look too long or hard to find the business benefits as well, not least for detailing in the pharmaceutical space. Closed loop marketing has opened doors for this industry in the past, and with the advent of increasingly optimized and streamlined devices like the iPad, will continue to initiate change and progress as the industry and practitioners advance.

Source: Lauren O’Leary manager at Proscape Technologies

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