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The Product Demo: Making It Work for Pharma

Greg Kirsch

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Walking through the home show last spring, I noticed a gathering around one booth. Curious, I approached to see what attracted the crowd and saw a salesman rolling a lint brush over a cloth covered with lint. I inched closer. Then it happened. His eyes locked on my sweater. Looking down, I realized why. I had moved the family cat inside the house right before we left for the home show — and a little of the cat had stayed with me.

“Come here, sir,” he said and held up my fur-filled arm. “Everyone look! Would you agree this sweater is beyond impossible? Watch how easily this lint brush removes even the toughest pet fur.”

He rolled the brush over my arm, removed almost all of the fur on the first pass, and he had a sale.

According to research done by Eureka! Ranch, as reported in Jump Start your Business Brain, when it comes to establishing credibility, nothing beats a product demonstration:

“…research finds that marketing presentations that offer a first-person demonstration as proof of effectiveness are nearly 50% more effective than simply relying on your reputation.”

Need more proof? Think of the car you drive. Chances are the test drive — a product demonstration — is what put you over the top.

Samples are one way pharmaceutical companies provide “test drives” of their products to doctors. But samples are expensive and not all medications — such as injectables and narcotics — can be sampled. So in addition to sampling, we can also use imagination and technology to bring product benefits to life.

The iPad as a product demo platform

The animation and interactive features of the iPad lend themselves well to demonstrating pharma product benefits. Intouch designs iPad detailing materials for many pharma clients. We have found it is an excellent way to demonstrate product benefits.

let’s look at a before-and-after example. Charts presented in one client’s printed materials are below.

We believed there was a better way to demonstrate the product benefits. So for the iPad, instead of telling the reduced infections story via a bar chart, we “demonstrated” the story this way:

As the slider moves from left to right (from “standard” toward our client’s brand), the viewer sees that the chance of an individual infection is reduced by witnessing a reduction in the number of pathogens.

We demonstrated the reduced antibiotic benefit this way:

Again, as the slider moves toward the product choice, the viewer literally sees the benefit of fewer pills.

One of the most effective ways of establishing credibility is via product demonstrations. Since true live product demos can be nearly impossible in pharma, interactive technology can be the next best option.


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