Pharma has adapted virtual ad boards which is essential for impact marketing. I’ve noticed, however, that some best practices for ad boards seem to be slipping. Here is a checklist..
1ne: “Let’s have an ad board.” The first question you need to ask is whether you really need an ad board. Ad boards should not be used to tell something you already know.
2wo: What’s our objective? If you decide that you need an ad board the next question is to define the objective and get buy-in from team members.
3hree: As you finalize the objectives the next step is to prepare a discussion guide and get approval from your medical and regulatory people. I’ve seen ad boards thrown into chaos because M L R teams wanted changes at the last minute.
4our: Chose your ad board participants carefully and tried the team on their backgrounds.
5ive: Ensure the ad board stays on topic.
6ix: Once the ad board is complete a summary should be sent to all team members who attended to ensure that nothing was missed.
7even: The summary should clearly state the key learning(s) and assign follow-ups to specific team members.
The other huge mistake that can happen in an ad board is taking what participants say as “that’s the way it is.” This can be fatal to your marketing. You need to work with market research people to ensure that the findings are quantified if used for a huge part of your marketing messages.
As for a virtual ad board format, some pharma companies are using Zoom other are using other third party software. It might be of benefit to review third party software vendors or have your IT department build a virtual ad board platform.
Ad boards are NOT to be used to sway physicians or market your products. They are a chance for you to listen to HCPs to better understand what’s happening and why. When you “pitch” during an ad board you’re violating good practices as Astra Zeneca found out this year the hard way.