E-details soar as pharmas continue to slash sales forces

Jerry Maynor
Jerry Maynor

Reps remain the center of the universe when it comes to professional promotion, but new data show that non-personal promotion is gaining ground.

A Cegedim Strategic Data (CSD) promotion audit with doctors has found spending on outreach to healthcare professionals through digital channels rose 40% worldwide in 2012.

In the US, e-detailing (one-on-one), email and e-meetings (group sessions) accounted for $534 million in promotional spending for 2011, and rose to $879 million in 2012—an increase of 65%.

In Europe, pharmas spent $90 million on those channels in Q4 2012—up 40% from Q4 2011. However,  sales forces were cut 10% in the US and 12% in the top five EU markets.

These three segments are still a drop in the bucket—CSD projects worldwide promotional spending at $90 billion for 2012. Such a rise in one media channel could signal an overall rise of digital budgets as marketers and pharma companies employ a more holistic approach, favoring multiple channels.

Promotional spend is accelerating in Asia, too. China saw a total marketing spend increase of 20%, to nearly $2 billion, according to CSD.

Jerry Maynor, marketing and business development director for the US at Cegedim, told MM&M, “In the US, traditionally defined online details and meetings are growing slowly while in markets like Japan, they are becoming an important part of promotion. E-details in Japan, delivered by appointment, can comprise up to a third of promotional activity for some major brands.”