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  • Writer's pictureLaurent DECORY

How can Pharma and MedTech succeed with Hybrid Launches ?

Covid-19 crisis disrupted launch plans

With the Covid-19 pandemic, and access restrictions to clinics and health care professionals, most Pharma and MedTech companies had to re-prioritize their launches, focus on most promising assets, or simply postpone their launch plans.

Companies explored digital-only launches, with significant successes, particularly for accounts and customers with well-established relationships. Webinars and digital events could be organised, and number of attendees soared, at least in the beginning of the pandemic. Greater flexibility was highly appreciated by both manufacturers and health professionals.

Limitations we also identified, related to the lack of in-person interactions with HCPs, or the difficulty to initiate relationship with new accounts or customers, to reach strong commitments, or to change established medical practices.

With massive vaccination campaigns and hopes for the crisis to end soon, should we go back to « launch as usual » ?

How to take into account the multiple pandemic waves, remaining travel restrictions, virus variants, or the individual preference of customers to travel or not ?

In-person, Digital or Hybrid Launches ?

The benefits or traditional in-person launches are well known: gathering a captive audience, in a nice location, building excitement through testimonials, presentations, creating trust through informal discussions, or by « touching the product ». Limitations are also clear: cost, logistics, risk of no-shows, time away from patients for HCPs. Not mentioning the Covid-19 pandemic, cancellation risks with multiple pandemic waves or virus variants.

Digital Launches have brought a huge flexibility, both to life science companies and to healthcare professionals, for a significantly lower cost than in-person launch events.

So should we all go 100% digital ?

Months into the Covid-19, the limitations of digital-only approaches became clearer: the webinar fatigue appeared, remote-only interactions have shown decreasing impact, and while attendance to digital events remain high, critical questions appeared: how efficient are they, how to build trust with new customers, how to reach a commitment or change well-established medical practices ?

Hybrid Launches: The Best Of Both

Uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemic remains high: countries face a 4th or 5th wave, new and more contagious variants appear, and many geographies remain under-vaccinated.

Can companies take the risk to prepare a launch, invest, and face last-minute cancellations ?

Also, the flexibility to travel or not, the ability to reduce travel time and cost, or use time more productively is here is to stay: it is now a matter of customer personal choice, or preference.

This is why the benefits of Hybrid Launches are so clear:

Compared to in-person

· Increased reach and attendance

· Reduction in environmental impact

· Reduction of cost

· Improved data collection, through registration, chat, interactions

· Increased interactions (games, quizzes…)

· Flexibility

· Predictability (no cancellation, reduced no-shows)

And compared to digital-only:

· Increased engagement

· Better networking, relationship building, commitment

· Chose based on personal preference or travel constraints

· Ability to « touch the product », detailed demos and discussions.

Hybrid Launches: Key Success Factors

While Hybrid Launches bring the « best of both », they also require more than « just a nice webinar »:

· Exciting theme and content: new therapy area, game-changing product or solution

· Clearly defined goals and scope

· Creative ways to engage the audience (quizzes, games, polls, competitions…)

· Keeping the sessions short and interactive, to maintain the « wow effect »

· Trusted, respected speakers

· One-event, but two user experiences: registration, preferences, video, sound, chat, mobile-ready, trained facilitators allowing remote and on-site participants to fully interact

· Event promotion through website, SEO, social media, partner site, fully aligned with segmentation, targeting and lead management strategy

· Flexibility: prepare alternative scenarios in case of last-minute travel restrictions.

This is why BlueJet Consulting has built a unique and modular offering, to help Pharma and MedTech companies manage all aspects of their Hybrid Launch, from market analysis, stakeholder mapping, launch readiness, value propositions, hybrid event design, animation and facilitation, to post-event business maximisation.

Key Learnings from Zoll Medical

BlueJet Consulting modular Hybrid Launch Pack has been successfully deployed with several customers. One of them is ZOLL MEDICAL, a world leader in Emergency Care, Resuscitation and Acute Critical Care.

We have interviewed Thorsten Fischer VP EMEA/LATAM and Steffen Stegherr, Marketing Director EMEA/LATAM for their insight and recommendations.


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