Product detailing is one of the most effective and important ways for pharmaceutical companies to convey drug information to physicians. With the advent of e-Detailing (Electronic Detailing), the pharma companies witnessed a profound change in the way they did product detailing for physicians.

E-Detailing is a practice where Pharmaceutical companies, using devices like tablets, smartphones or webtools, showcase sales presentations to physicians. Unlike face-to-face meeting, e-Detailing uses text, pictures, 3D, Videos and sound to explain a medical product or service.

It is a common belief that e-Detailing is here to replace face-to-face interaction of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps (PSRs) and their physicians. However, that is not true. The motto is different. e-Detailing and face-to-face interaction is meant work together as an effective alliance to create a win-win situation between pharma companies and physicians.

As we move ahead we’ll learn about the benefits of e-Detailing, and the strategies pharma companies have to put into practice to make e-Detailing a successful mode of information transaction.

Significance of e-Detailing

For Pharmaceutical Sales Reps (PSRs) it becomes a daunting task to get in touch with physicians and tell them about new drugs, offer samples, and foster long-lasting relationships. Physicians on the other hand – due to their hectic schedules – are also finding it difficult to make time to meet PSRs.

In these instances, e-Detailing has emerged as a viable alternative to exchange valable information between pharma companies and physicians.

Strategies Pharmaceutical companies should implement to make e-Detailing a success

e-Detailing works best when pharma companies create an e-Detailing digital campaign and integrate it with the sales rep’s sales efforts. Here’s when e-Detailing starts to show its power. The data gathered through digital campaigns can help pharma companies to obtain behavioral insights and the true needs of physicians in real-time.

The insights could be on the following:

1. Pages physicians viewed
2. Time spent on each page
3. Number of views and downloads
4. Prescription details
5. Geolocation
6. Demographic information

There are three factors which pharma companies should consider to leverage the full potential of e-Detailing

1. How efficiently e-Detailing is integrated into a pharma company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

2. How well the pharma company understands the needs of physicians

3. Applying e-Detailing based on a pharma company’s promotional objectives

1. How efficiently e-Detailing is integrated into a pharma company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

It is advised that pharma companies should first fully integrate e-Detailing into their CRM strategy, and then share physician information across all corporate channels. To fully leverage the benefits of e-Detailing, organizations should integrate information gathered (through e-Detailing and face-to-face) with the company’s marketing systems.

2. How well the pharma company understand the needs of physicians

In order to deliver information that physicians value the most, it is very important to understand their needs. As a pharmaceutical company you should understand your potential physician’s segment variables such as: their speciality, age, their ability to switch products, prescription frequency, location (urban/rural), and their relationship with sales representatives.

Once you understand their needs and preferences it becomes easy to infuse those aspects into the e-Detailing. Using these data you can measure retention, growth, and profitability of each segment. This way, as a pharma company you will be able to target specific groups of physicians and offer features that will be profitable to them.

3. Applying e-Detailing based on a pharma company’s promotional objectives

As mentioned earlier e-Detailing should support traditional methods in obtaining overall improved outcome. So, while applying e-Detailing it is important to consider promotional objectives. During product launch phase, you can combine traditional and e-Detailing together to educate physicians on drug features and convert mindshare to market share.

As you proceed, you can use traditional method to improve promotions, brand loyalty, and nurture the demand for the product. Parallely, you can use e-Detailing to increase physician prescriptions, attract new prescribers, and foster trust and stronger business relation with physicians through trusted information.

Different types of e-Detailing

When the concept of e-Detailing arrived, it was generic. But over the course of time, it has evolved and had branched out to serve in different ways. Today with several of them widely used, each of the type differs in its popularity and applicability. Here are the different types of e-Detailing.

Scripted e-Detailing

This is one of the widely preferred types of e-Detailing (through internet or intranet) where physicians can view a series of interactive screens. Although it does not offer live interaction option, physicians will have the option to interact with a sales rep via phone or email.

The scripted e-Detailing offers a clear, well-structured and focused messages to physicians. These messages are 5-10 times longer compared to the face-to-face sales rep call, but at a reduced cost. This e-Detailing model can be made available 24/7 to physicians. Independent researches have shown there was significant increase in prescribing through Scripted e-Detailing.

Virtual e-Detailing

This method allows physicians to interact with the representatives of a pharma company through video conferencing in real-time. The physician would be provided with necessary software and webcam to carry out the interaction. Physicians can either talk with sales reps or or can listen to audio files and view data slides.

The virtual e-Detailing allow physicians to have longer interactions with sales reps at a reduced cost. However, currently there is not much data available to prove how impactful the Virtual e-Detailing is.

Portal e-Detailing and are some of the examples for this type of e-Detailing. Through these portals one can offer ready-made community of physicians, and target product-specific groups and deliver sponsorship marketing messages.

Portal e-Detailing help obtain insights on physicians web habits and interests.


The process of e-Detailing is evolving, and is going beyond the norms in fulfilling the needs of physicians. Though e-Detailing is catching up fast, it believed to be playing a crucial role in increasing prescription rates. In the coming years e-Detailing is expected to widen its scope to help costs and reinforce brands.

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