By 2025, 50% of content will be modular, according to The Veeva Executive Content Innovation Council. The transition to modular content requires a deliberate strategy, foundational definitions, and sustained incremental growth. Two pioneering companies – Novo Nordisk and Boehringer Ingelheim – are building a modular content strategy at a global scale, and already seeing results.

Modular content delivers speed, scale, and engagement

The rise in digital expectations from healthcare professionals (HCPs) has created a need for more personalised and relevant content across new and existing channels. The industry has responded to this need by creating more content: according to Veeva Pulse Data, biopharmas created 35% more medical content last year. In Europe, video content alone increased by 10% over the previous year. But more content isn’t always the right answer. Veeva Pulse data also shows that 89% of field content is rarely used in the UK.

Instead, biopharmas need to focus on creating high-impact content in a fast, scalable way. Modular content can help transform content operations, maintaining consistency and compliance without sacrificing cost and speed. Modular content does this by breaking down content into smaller, reusable components or “modules”. These modules are then combined on templates and used across different channels and platforms. Companies that have started implementing modular content have seen reduced review cycles, less time spent on compliance procedures, and savings from enabling content reuse.

Simply put, modular content leads to greater content output with less time, money, and effort, quickly equipping your field team with high-impact, engaging content. And Veeva Pulse and Compass data has shown that digital content usage during meetings with HCPs can more than double promotional response.

Getting started with modular content

Making a fundamental change to your content workflow requires a methodical strategy. Before overhauling the system, companies should have a well-established claims and reference library, digital asset management, and a connected content ecosystem. This creates the foundation for modular content at a global scale.

When getting started, it’s important to define what modular content is – and isn’t – for your organization. Before rolling out any changes, make sure you have a clear way to define and measure modular content to avoid confusion.

Once the definition is established, you can build out the rest of your strategy, including:

  • Align KPIs with the company’s goals and vision. Once senior leadership is on board, identify metrics that align with goals, such as content use and reuse, time to market, customer satisfaction, cost reduction, and time saved.
  • Launch small and scale gradually. Pilot with select local teams and experiment early to get feedback and make adjustments. Recognize that each region will move at its own pace. A slow rollout can identify and address any issues to avoid expanding too quickly.
  • Focus on genuine pain points for the organization. Rather than focusing on quick wins, prioritize areas that will have the biggest impact.
  • Build realistic timelines. Even when collaborating with highly cooperative partners, it’s important to be flexible to overcome challenges and unexpected obstacles.
  • Communicate the benefits of modular content to help teams understand the value of these changes. Highlight benefits such as faster review cycles, easier compliance, and cost savings, and align them with the company’s broader goals and vision to win buy-in from stakeholders.

Modular content insights from early leaders

Novo Nordisk and Boehringer Ingelheim are early leaders in modular content. Novo Nordisk now manages 600% more content, while production time and costs have decreased. BI has found that through increased personalization and relevance with modular content, customers that hadn’t engaged with them in a long time started engaging again.

Here are insights from their experiences to help guide your modular content journey:

  1. Use a data-driven approach: The better the data, the better the content. Novo Nordisk measures content use and reuse, time to market, cost avoidance, time savings with lean MLR, and customer satisfaction. BI focuses on the importance of tagging content to gather as much insight as possible into how the content is performing. Tagging should be established from the beginning of the roll-out for consistency and adoption. When done right, tagging enables greater insight into content performance and ultimately can drive better outcomes.
  2. Leverage automation: From the design stage, weave technology into the process. There will be a lot of content and a lot of data. Without automation, the sheer volume will be overwhelming. Introducing technology early will reduce friction later and keep teams aligned.
  3. Improve accessibility: Novo Nordisk is currently focusing on improving the accessibility of content. The easier it is for teams to find the content they are looking for, the more they will use it. This can be achieved by creating a robust modular library with diligent tagging.
  4. Keep the goal in mind: Modular content is not about getting content out faster. It’s about addressing customer needs more effectively. Even with a large volume of content ready for reuse, some content may still need to be made from scratch to better support HCP engagement. When building out your content library, understanding where modular content works — and where it doesn’t — can drive better outcomes.
  5. Focus on quality: A big challenge teams face with modular content is maintaining consistent quality across modules. Establish clear guidelines for content creation and leverage technology to overcome this challenge. Agencies can also help in this process. From content creation to review to approval, agencies can help with the transition to modular content and optimize the technology used to support it.

What’s next?

Even when full-scale global modular content is achieved, the journey continues. There will always be new ways to optimize the model and improve engagement with HCPs.

In the future, the focus will be on fine-tuning data to drive hyper-personalization. Imagine recommendations that connect customers to the right content using robust content tagging.

Modular content is the new way of working. Discover how it can scale your content operations.


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