Written by Rachel Millar
on March 29, 2023

This week we have asked one UP Member about the ins and outs of navigating digital tools that are available to manage content for companies who are keen on having a stunning digital footprint, but must also comply with stringent regulatory requirements. One of the platforms, among many, is Veeva Vault PromoMats - a tool that, used properly, can take you from “uh-oh,” to “aha!”

Q: How do companies use a tool like Veeva Vault PromoMats?

Companies which have stringent legal, medical, and regulatory processes often seek out comprehensive solutions that can serve as a single place to manage their content, compliance  and approval workflows. It ensures accuracy and eliminates risks of publishing content that is incorrect/illegal or expired – it tracks the lifecycle of content and timestamps, every single review, and change. It’s a library where all studies, references, and content can live, and be accessed by the entire organization. 

Our goal is to master these tools to get content pretty much perfect – and with heavily regulated content, in a digital marketing world, this is critical. Any claims must be highlighted, annotated and linked to the precise place in the study or reference that supports it. Every individual asset that makes up a piece of content, from a logo, to an image is linked together and approved individually, so that every piece of the picture is reviewed. 

The devil really is in the detail - and it is these tools that allow us to track and monitor these, so that nothing gets missed. What if an image comes to the end of its expiration for rights? Or a study has been updated? By tracking all of this very detailed information, risks of missing something ‘small’ (that could create big challenges) are eliminated. 

It also allows for other countries or regions to access and reuse other market’s content easily, to be able to localize it in more efficient ways. 

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Q: You are a certified user of Veeva Vault. What is the process for this?

 It’s an online course with both theory and practical assessments. We invest our time in becoming certified so we can support our clients in the best way possible.

It’s tricky and takes a bit of practice, but it’s a good way to realize how detailed you must be when using Veeva. When we took the course, we had already been using Veeva for about a year, so we knew it quite well – but even then it was challenging! 

The certification is one thing, but daily use of it in a real life setting is when you really learn how to use it and customize it to suit a particular organization or project. 

It’s also important for us to keep in practice and keep learning, to ensure we stay on top of updates and new features that can add value to our project management tasks. 

Q: Have you had any “aha” moments in your learning curve

Yes, that a tool which is designed for very stringent processes and regulations can be a bit of an art to use! You can customize, to an extent, tools it provides to adjust for specific requirements for a project or client.

It’s also been a useful way to gather insights into how teams are aligned in the organization. Part of project management is noticing when things may not be aligned and bringing the client and team back to the target. 

Being able to view various stakeholder reviews in one place, you can pick up on contradictions in feedback, or conflicting concerns and priorities different teams might have. This helps you spot these blocks and bring the team together to resolve things, as well as learn for the future. 

I also think it gives more empathy and understanding for what other teams do. Sometimes, legal or regulatory teams need to be very specific and direct. And this can make the process feel tedious to get through. By using tools like these, you become more aware of what each department is looking for, what their workloads are, and elements that help them to contextualize and understand things better. I think it can actually humanize teams and encourage teamwork! 

Q: So, a high learning curve for entry. Does it get easier?

The more you use it, the more patterns and insights you pick up for next time – ‘We know that legal doesn’t approve things when we say this’, or, ‘we know that medical will need another study here to back this up’. It helps everyone from the users, to the content owners, to the agency, to be more efficient in preparation of files and content. 

This is going to be used by this country, so they will need the files in this format in order to translate’ or, ‘they are going to use this both online and print, so we need to make sure our source files include these formats’. Knowing how strict and time consuming an approval process may be can help project managers to plan ahead and make realistic timelines before a project starts. Sometimes the approvals process is the biggest chunk of the project’s time, as so much goes into it.

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Q: It clearly takes a lot of time, does this process result in any efficiencies?

Yes, in fact, one ‘aha’ moment we had was when we had been working on a complex project involving several teams and markets that had to roll out quite quickly. We noticed that the client had been struggling to get large files over to the various markets to translate, localize and approve, all on time. As well as to track versions, maintain different reviewers’ feedback, etc. 

We thought about one of the features in Veeva that had not yet been utilized – a toolkit/binder where you can organize the documents in a simple way and have them copied to hand over for regional markets to localize. This eliminated confusion and allowed them to pick and choose what content was appropriate for them, and to only use the relevant content they needed. We suggested this process and now they are implementing this across all of their markets (regions or countries).

Q: Does this improve "the lot” of companies in regulated industries who must now operate in a digital marketing environment?  

A bit yes! It allows for accuracy and centralization within an extremely dense library of files and data that all have relationships to each other. It’s organization and accuracy heaven! It’s also very scalable and eliminates that overwhelming feeling of managing and keeping up with literally millions of documents. 

I think it ultimately helps projects to be better organized from the beginning, knowing how everything needs to end up in Veeva. 

Sometimes, so much time and stress can be built up around ‘do you have this version and format of this file, has this been approved?’ or ‘Do you have a study that supports this claim?’ It’s sometimes the little things in projects, project ‘clutter’ as I call it, that can be the catalyst for things getting messy. 

Using yet another tool – such as Veeva Vault PromoMats can be viewed as tedious and complex, and it’s a big undertaking when you have a lot of content to get approved with tight deadlines, but every single detail has to be cared for.  That’s why having experienced users of the system can really take the weight off. Knowledge of exactly where files are, what state they are in, and what needs to happen is very valuable - it keeps the company safe and the process efficient. 

If you would like to learn more about how UP can help you with your digital marketing desires…and dreams, contact us!

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