November 19, 2023

Content Factories: The next blockbuster in Pharma?

Once firmly entrenched in an era of in-person communication and face-to-face sales, the pharmaceutical industry now grapples with an impending future: scalable digital communication.

Brian Abigail Thomas
12 Sept 2023
5 min Read

Once firmly entrenched in an era of in-person communication and face-to-face sales, the pharmaceutical industry now grapples with an impending future: scalable digital communication. A leader in the Pharma Content Factory concept aptly noted, "We need to rethink our content operating model, we don't agree that the global-to-local model alone is sufficient, to address the future, which is already here." This sentiment mirrors that of many in the industry and it is easy to see why, consider the customer demands:

Contrast these numbers against the expenditure model of pharma companies, where a whopping 31% of revenue is spent on commercial activities, dwarfing the 11% allocated for R&D. In an era where short, personalized, frequent, and multi-channel (yes, omni-channel is still very much a #workinprogress) content is king, such a model appears unsustainable.

So, what is a Content Factory?

A Content Factory is a systematic approach or framework to content creation, which treats content production much like a manufacturing unit treats the production of goods. It emphasizes the continuous, efficient, and scalable production of high-quality content by integrating streamlined processes, defined roles, and, often, technology platforms. Here's a breakdown of the concept:

  1. Systematic Production: Much like a factory that produces goods, a content factory churns out content at a consistent pace. It’s set up to handle requests for new content and produce it on a schedule, ensuring a steady flow of fresh content.
  2. Efficiency and Scalability: With well-defined processes in place, content production can be scaled up or down based on demand. This is especially important for businesses that may have fluctuating content needs or those that are looking to grow and expand their content reach.
  3. Roles and Specialization: In a content factory, specific roles are designated for each step of the content creation process. For example, there might be separate teams or individuals responsible for ideation, writing, editing, graphic design, video production, distribution, and analytics. This specialization ensures that each piece of content is crafted to meet defined standards of quality.
  4. Integration of Technology: Many content factories leverage content management systems (CMS), analytics tools, and other technological platforms to streamline production, track performance, and ensure content is optimized for its intended audience.
  5. Feedback Loop: Just as quality checks are integral to manufacturing; content factories often incorporate feedback mechanisms. This could be through performance analytics or audience feedback to refine and improve the content production process.
  6. Reusability and Repurposing: Modern content factories emphasize the creation of 'pillar content' or primary pieces of content that can be broken down or repurposed into smaller content units, like blog posts, infographics, social media posts, and more. This ensures maximum utility from each content piece.

Scope of Content Factory Operations

A content factory is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While they have the potential to serve a comprehensive role, their implementation varies. Many organizations are taking a staged approach, focusing on one brand at a time, limiting their scope initially, or merely localizing content.

Initiatives may start with one brand or a cluster of countries. The focus could be on localizing existing content rather than creating new ones. As the model matures, the scope can be broadened to encompass more comprehensive services.

Role of Creative Agencies in the World of Content Factories

As pharma recalibrates its content strategy, agencies too are in flux. Once providers of purely strategic communication and creative services, agencies now find themselves pressed to deliver "good, fast, and cheap" content. There is an old saying in project management that goes something like, "Fast, good, or cheap - pick only two." Known as the Iron Triangle, the general concept is that you have three choices when making communication content:

  1. You can develop something quickly and of high quality, but it will be very costly.
  2. You can develop something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be high quality.
  3. You can develop something of high quality and low cost, but it will take a long time.

Herein lies the needed paradigm shift. The emphasis on reusable pillar content, from which a plethora of micro-content can spawn, demands a radical rethink of processes and reliance on innovative technology. This shift has led agencies to compete not only with each other but also with internal pharma functions and big consultancies.

Creative Agencies Offering "Content Factories as a Service"

As pharma's demands shift, service providers pivot. Giants like Accenture, Deloitte, Real Chemistry, Indegene and others now offer content factory services, signalling the market's evolution. For many pharma firms, outsourcing becomes a viable option given the absence of in-house expertise in this realm. But should communication not be a core competency? Could it potentially be the next blockbuster for pharma?

Looking to start your Content Factory Journey

Here's a roadmap that we see content factories, who are planning their journey orienting around:

  1. Start: Initial deliberations should involve decisions on the factory model, potential avenues for cost savings, ideal team structures, scope ambitions, and performance metrics. Small MVPs focusing on impactful "jobs to be done" can provide an excellent starting point.
  2. Scope: This phase revolves around content factory scope definition, using the data from the prior phase MVPs. The focus should be on assimilating functions that can bolster cost savings and improve customer touchpoints. It's about building a strong, value-driven foundation.
  3. Scale: A mature content factory is efficient, well-resourced, and appropriately dialled in on scope based on the needs of internal customers and the feedback received from end customers and HCPs. The primary objective here is to scale the operations while continually enhancing customer satisfaction.
  4. Starburst: The last phase is arguably the most intricate. It involves harmonizing centralized content strategies with local nuances. With local content, KOLs addressing local issues, etc. the value of localized content becomes undeniable as content curated by those closest to the customer tends to be more relevant. Centralized content templates, standardizations, and insights, combined with localized insights, ensure that the content remains relevant, thereby reducing customer fatigue.

The pharmaceutical industry stands at the crossroads of traditional practices and imminent digital transformations. As the market demands evolve, it's imperative for both pharma companies and agencies to reassess and recalibrate their strategies. The emergence of content factories offers a promising avenue to navigate these changing tides. While no singular approach guarantees success, an amalgamation of global strategies and local nuances might just be the recipe for future triumphs.

How does Snakker™ help Content Factories?

Snakker™ is a browser-based solution that offers a Swiss Army knife set of features such as simple content creation/reusability, omni-channel distribution (sharing) and data insight generation which is both qualitative (think interactive video-based polls) and quantitative (CTR, Engagement, Impressions and content flow). Snakker™ has been created for non-professional users therefore anyone can create a Snak™ and accelerate content creation velocity without increasing customer fatigue given that each Snak™ is a “choose your own adventure” video design to be user-driven and therefore relevant through personalization to each customer.

Some of the features of Snakker ™ which Content Factories love about our platform:

  1. Streamlined Content Creation: Templates & Tools: Snakker™ might offer customizable templates for various content types, allowing teams to quickly produce consistent and branded material. Video Capabilities: Given the prominence of video content, Snakker™could have tools to facilitate easy video creation, editing, and sharing.
  2. Content Personalization: Data Analytics: With rich behavioural data about HCP engagement, Snakker™ can provide insights into preferences, helping content creators tailor their messages for maximum impact. Dynamic Content: Platforms like Snakker™ could dynamically adjust content based on user interactions and feedback, ensuring that HCPs receive information most relevant to them.
  3. Cost and Time Efficiency: Content Reusability: Snakker™ might have features that allow content pieces to be easily repurposed, leading to faster content production cycles and ensuring content consistency. Integrated Workflows: By centralizing content creation, review, and distribution processes, Snakker™ can reduce the time and cost involved in content production.
  4. Omni-channel Distribution: Native Distribution Tools: Snakker™ supports the seamless distribution of content across multiple channels, ensuring HCPs can engage with the content where they prefer, be it websites, HCP portals, social media, or other platforms. Localization Features: Given the diverse global audience, Snakker™ helps in localizing content to cater to regional preferences, languages, and regulatory guidelines.
  5. Collaboration & Integration: Team Collaboration: Snakker™ offers collaboration tools to allow teams to work together in real-time, streamlining the review and approval processes. Integration Capabilities: Snakker™ integrates with other enterprise platforms, ensuring a seamless flow of data between systems and enhancing the content's effectiveness in supporting customer journeys.
  6. Feedback & Continuous Improvement: Engagement Analytics: By tracking how HCPs interact with the content, Snakker™ can provide valuable insights into what's working and what's not, helping content factories refine their strategies. Feedback Mechanisms: Direct feedback tools can help gather HCP opinions, leading to content that's more in line with their needs and preferences.

Put simply, — Snakker™ isn't just an upgrade to Content Factories; it's a revolution to workflow and customer engagement efforts. From creation to analytics and distribution, we're the Swiss Army knife that maxes out your content game.

Why stick to old-school formats? With Snakker™, you get bite-sized, user-driven Snaks™ that captivates like a Netflix binge but inform like a TED Talk. And don't sweat the tech stuff; we make content repurposing as easy as a retweet.(ooops tweets are dead – repost #x)

Snakker™ saves you time, adds jet fuel to engagement, and arms you with data insights richer than a Wall Street tycoon. Ready to change the game?

Brian Abigail Thomas
12 Sept 2023
5 min Read
Latest posts

More Blog Articles

Interviews, tips, guides, industry best practices, and news.
Snakker™, disrupting the current Pharma market world one snak at a time

Snakker™, disrupting the current Pharma market world one snak at a time

There is an old saying in project management that goes something like, "Fast, good, or cheap – pick only two."
Read post
How to get the most out of Life Science Congresses – it’s time to Think Digital

How to get the most out of Life Science Congresses – it’s time to Think Digital

Life science congresses and educational events are critical to driving innovation and fostering collaboration within the medical sector. Yet, they face distinctive challenges that can hinder their effectiveness.
Read post

Start and make a difference in your presentation

Content creation is made relevant, fast and cost effectively with Snakker™ in addition to a host of spin-off benefits to organizational, medical and brand communication possibilities:
Join our newsletter
Join our newsletter to stay up to date on releases.
We care about your data in our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.