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Strategic Content Marketing: iPad as the Global Hub of Content Management

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In the most recent post in our series on iPad, we discussed the ways that a digital marketer can constructively look toward the future to help their clients. One possibility we mentioned was whether the iPad would grow to become more than a detailing device.

This concept, we thought, was worth pulling out for a more thorough discussion. What if the iPad became the centralized tool to manage a brand? What if there was no longer a need for desktops or laptops? Could that be possible?

It’s already happening.

Some major pharma companies are already swapping reps’ laptops for iPads within their sales forces. Sales-aid materials, call notes, CRM—it’s all tablet-based.

In some cases, this adoption is in countries whose history with “traditional” PCs is less entrenched—similar to the way that mobile phones caught on faster in developing countries than in the Western world. More infrastructure can mean slower innovation—a truth applicable not only to countries, but also to corporations!

But it can be risky.

The primary negative with the brand-by-brand or country-by-country adoption process is intra-organizational churn. The speed of the rollout is one of the most challenging facets of the change, because it’s one of the most novel aspects. As we discussed in “How the iPad helped Modernize Pharma Sales” the uptake of iPad was unprecedented, as was the bottom-up direction through which they came into organizations. Both aspects have forced new business realities to be jammed into old processes.

One problem businesses are seeing is that the new platform, while opening up the potential for interconnectivity and huge data opportunities throughout the brand, can result in the inability to access information created on non-iOS-compatible platforms.

Workarounds can be slow, expensive and cumbersome. As discussed in “Long-Term Planning for Tablets,” the best way to think broadly is from the beginning. It may seem financially imprudent to include what-ifs, but building platform flexibility in from the start can prevent costly patches and retrofits later.

The potential may make it all worthwhile.

Despite the bumps in the road, the iPad’s utility as a wrangler of content, a tracker of data, and a connector of creators with consumers may make it all worth doing.

A paradigm in which the iPad is the hub allows content management to be powerfully data-driven. And it allows a connective continuum from the rep to the physician to the patient not available in any other channel.  

“That’s the real promise we have, not just with iPads, but with mobile technology in general,” said David Windhausen, Intouch EVP. “Mobile isn’t really about a device. It’s about the ability to integrate into what a user is doing such that it becomes second nature. When a rep comes in and begins talking to a doctor about a disease or treatment, that rep needs to be aware of the challenges that particular doctor is facing, and if he/she needs to be able to offer something that can help. It’s not only about being able to share a study or a reprint, but something that also can make a difference to a patient. Maybe it helps determine dosage or titration. Maybe it helps them on-board patients into a specialty-pharmacy plan, or connects them with local support groups. In the end, it lets the rep show that their brand has created a tool that will support the doctor and the patient beyond the actual drug. That’s being truly patient-centric.”

“In the end, it lets the rep show that their brand has created a tool that will support the doctor and the patient beyond the actual drug. That’s being truly patient-centric.”

Some may be skeptical of the possibility of the sleek, lightweight iPad serving as something as powerful as a global CRM hub or a beyond-the-pill delivery system. But Intouch Solutions’ Allora is a platform that does just that—in use today by thousands of pharma reps. For more information about how Allora is helping pharma brands connect with their customers, contact Meridith Goulet, director of Client Services, at



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