Many times, what we end up with is a hybrid market of the old and the new.

Take music. LPs are now three generations out of date, after the introduction of CDs then mp3 downloads and more recently, streaming services. Yet sales of LPs are increasing year on year. They have become a niche and something of a connoisseur item for those of a certain age and taste.

When it comes to the salesforce model of pharma, the rep will not disappear. Even as a digital specialist, I will argue that those who proclaim the eclipse of the sales rep are wrong. Their number may reduce and their remit may change, and even if they do become more specialised, I suspect there will still be pharma sales reps calling on doctors 10 years from now.

Similarly, digital has not and will not replace all traditional forms of marketing and communications. What’s emerging is a hybrid of the traditional and the new. Print ads still appear in medical publications and companies still send out mailings by post. What is widely recognised now is that their role has changed, they have to be used more sparingly and need to be integrated with digital materials online and in e-details.


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