Cutting through the Noise

by Stephen Riddle

The pandemic has given us a surge of opportunities to take fresh looks at how we live, work and play with huge changes of pace and direction being funnelled through technology.

Digital muscled its way to centre stage as we plunged into lockdowns and its life and sanity-saving qualities were immediately clear. It also helped most businesses to function but two years on we need to re-focus.

The multi-channel routes of digital allowed pharma sales teams and MSLs to reach clinicians and have a voice but those same clients are now deluged with emails, webinars, podcasts, virtual events and video sampling – the cut-through has been blunted.

The temptation is to use every delivery weapon possible to compensate for traditional routes drying up and healthcare professionals becoming adept at connecting virtually or deflecting attention to digital limbo.

A multitude of voices are now jostling to be heard across technology and the overload reinforces one core belief – communications need to be tailored to the audience and have clear value.

The most effective way of communicating these vital characteristics remains developing a relevant and rehearsed message that resonates with a clinician; something they want, and need, to hear; something that will help them in their pressurised work environments.

Luis Medina, marketing manager at Nestle Canada, who has a wealth of experience across pharmaceutical, healthcare and food industries, believes a measured approach beats turning the volume up and competing in a noisy soundscape.

“There are many more channels of communication available and they are democratised which means everyone can use them. This generates noise rather than effective communication,” he says. “Good messages can get drowned so it is vital to identify the right channels and relevant messages to use.”

Be considered, be relevant, is the motto. And this applies to both external and internal communication, he adds.

The value of focussed training and coaching to create crystal clear messaging and delivery is highlighted in the whitepaper, Genuine Transformation: Preparing for Pharma’s New Sales Coaching Reality.

“More than ever, you need to identify the appropriate channels and the relevant information for each communication,” he adds. “If you don’t develop your team in this direction then you are inviting a lot of difficulty to the business.

“If we don’t change we fail and that brings a lot of high risk to a business model.”

The rush to digital created a buzz about the potential to connect with clients but that became a stampede kicking up clouds of data that obscured key content.

By coaching sales and MSL teams to deliver compelling, bespoke communications, companies can make their messages, and brand, stand-out and work effectively. Enhanced skill sets help generate valid connections with clinicians that can endure in crowded and noisy markets.

The challenge is framed by research from Smart Insights which logged the following action in one social media minute – 4.2 million Google searches, 510,000 comments posted on Facebook, 350,000 tweets on Twitter, 4,100 sponsored Instagram posts, 694,000 videos viewed on TikTok and 3.47 million videos watched on YouTube.

There is nothing wrong with being creative and using multiple channels to promote connections, but they need to be deployed with scalpel-like precision and a steady, trained hand rather than as a sling-shot.

About the interviewees

Rob Crossan B.Sc. (Hons) MRSB. Is companion animal business manager at Virbac Australia. Following a brief career in Marine Biology, he has spent the last 32 years in Pharmaceutical sales, predominantly in Sales Management.  Currently combining a lifelong passion for animals with pharmaceutical sales and coaching as the Companion Animal Business Manager at Virbac Australia.

Luis Medina is marketing manager at Nestle. He has +13 years of experience in the Food, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industry in the roles of marketing and sales. Based in 3 different countries in Europe, Latin America, and North America supporting the development of the Medical Sales teams and executing marketing strategies in the medical channel.

About 60 Seconds

60 Seconds is a remote coaching app designed to help users communicate with greater clarity through practice, coaching and measurement. It was built by a coach for coaches to deliver measurable learning momentum. For more information visit:

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