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Enterprise Communications for Pharmaceutical Companies: A prescription to video with confidence

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The doctor is in!

Confession: I’m not part of the medical field. I am a doctor – I got my PhD in computer science in the early 2000s – just not the kind that’s usually writing on a pharma-oriented website.

I have, however, worked in content delivery and enterprise video live streaming for close to two decades. You wouldn’t want me explaining the benefits of a new treatment or medication over a live stream for clinicians – but I could certainly help you set up the video and broadcast the event to your global audience.

Speaking of, the demand for enterprise video in the pharmaceutical industry has never been higher. As you know, the hyperspeed shift to hybrid work pushed much of the pharma industry’s business function online. That means all of those events that used to be held in person – announcements for new treatments, annual summits, conferences, trade shows – are mostly conducted through video.

Unified communications, IT and A/V teams at large pharma companies are bearing the responsibility. Executives are paying more attention to video than ever before. Let’s let the numbers do the talking:

Pharma teams did a great job adjusting to new realities over the past two years. But as budgets rise, so do expectations.

In 2021 and 2022, a simple Live Stream or Video on Demand (VOD) might have done the trick. As the shift towards video intensifies, communication leaders at major pharma companies need to create conditions for more interactive, reliable and innovative enterprise video content. Executives will expect more than the status quo including use of tools that increase, measure and report the ROI of marketing-related tools and software.

From my expertise in the video streaming industry – as well as experience working with IT and AV teams at the smartest enterprises – I’ve identified three areas for improvement in the pharmaceutical Live Stream and Video world. These are symptoms of a rapid digital transformation. I’ve also prescribed three strategies to address each trend:

Area #1: Pharmacy video streams are pre-recorded and lack interactivity

There’s no way around the need for pre-recorded content in the pharmacy world. Information on proprietary treatments and clinical research has to be pre-approved by legal teams and regulators before it’s shown to audiences.

Unfortunately, this takes away from the viewer experience. Logging on to watch a pre-recorded stream isn’t nearly as engaging as interacting with the event in real-time with your fellow audience members.

Action: Create “Live” content that isn’t really Live

There’s a “cheat code” when it comes to Live Streams: playing pre-recorded content “as Live” in the form of a “Live Schedule” of video on demand (VOD).

In other industries, the “as Live” VOD is used to relieve stress on event day. Teams can pre-record, pre-process and pre-encode large video files (think: 2K and 4K) prior to the event to ensure they won’t have buffering or blocky streams. They’ll schedule pre-recorded blocks around Live in-studio sessions with talent – similar to scheduling out a TV program.

Pharmaceutical companies can take inspiration. Since all streaming video needs to be pre-recorded anyway, they can build out a Live schedule around this pre-approved, sensitive content. Hosts can still provide a live feel while viewers interact in the chat box.

Area #2: Executives are concerned about video security

Anytime you’re dealing with clinical research and medical information, security is going to be a top concern. Security breaches and hacks can be especially damaging for pharmaceutical companies.

Any lapse in security can reduce trust in your brand and damage relationships with clinicians, salespeople and potential buyers.

Action: Customized access groups and top-down analytics

This is really a two-part prescription, but it’s also addressing the two-front battle of enterprise video security – preventing a lapse and studying the why if something goes wrong.

To begin, it’s important for unified comms, IT and A/V teams to create different internal and external viewer groups (Eg. sales, manufacturing, clinicians) that each have access to a different library of content.

Internal content can be accessible by internal sales teams via Single Sign On. External groups will be restricted to content libraries via an expirable link with password protection, or other credentials. The video content itself can be protected with industry-standard digital rights management (DRM). Limiting the number of views on a video can be a good way to ward off any unauthorized viewers.

Additionally, it’s important to have access to top-down, post-event analytics. These reports will help you answer questions like are the right viewers engaging with content?, how long are they spending on each video? and through what device are they watching?

You’ll pick up on trends, and be able to spot any numbers that look off. Plus, you’ll have a deliverable for executives to show the impact and ROI of your Live Stream event.

Area #3: Global audiences aren’t getting personalized content

Understandably, most comms teams will focus on the first two symptoms: reliability and security. These are important, foundational elements of an enterprise video strategy.

However, your new research announcements, interactive panel sessions and All Hands meetings should highlight your company’s accomplishments and instill excitement for your global audience. That audience spans various job functions, time zones, languages and communication styles. One single “Live” stream likely won’t hit the mark for every segment of your diverse viewership.

Action: Simultaneously broadcast multiple pre-recorded “Live” Streams to your target audiences

Once you’ve got secure video, you’re now free to strike a balance between reliability and interactivity.

Multistreaming content for different audiences and timezones is a great way to accomplish this. Especially for panels, you’ll be able to segment your viewership and enable more personal interactions between your company’s representatives and the salespeople and clinicians looking to invest in your product.

Video teams can create automatic startup times in multiple different regions. Pre-recorded “Live” content can then easily premier across time zones. Each stream will have its own pre-produced, language-specific closed captioning (which is perfect for global audiences) and its own chat moderation.

Prioritizing security, reliability and interactivity

There are a lot of elements that go into a successful enterprise video event for pharmaceutical companies. It might seem overwhelming, but focusing on three major areas will help unified comms, IT and A/V teams achieve streaming success: reliable Live Stream video that’s personalized for different audiences and accessed securely by the authorized audience.

As enterprise video needs continue to evolve, you’ll be operating from a foundation of strength. Any innovation that comes next is up to you and your team.

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