New Webkey Technology

Innovation Reviews – The Chronicle of Healthcare Marketing, September 30, 2010
A review of innovation in pharmaceutical marketing

Webkey packaging another angle for marketers
Default browser on web key makes the customer’s visit to your URL quicker and easier, proponents say

By Andrew Senior,

INFORMATION PACKAGING (IPI) is a marketer of unique dimensional and interactive marketing tools utilized by multiple industries including Pharma. They have been a Canadian leader for over 15 years in this industry providing solutions covering a number of areas including starter kits, sales aids, sample packaging, direct mail, and CME. With hundreds of concepts and designs in their repertoire, if you can imagine it, they have probably done it. While any agency can create a visual aid or direct mail campaign, Information Packaging designs help tell a story and involve the customer which makes the message more memorable.

The latest innovation from Information Packaging is the introduction of web key technology. This is a marriage of offline messaging connecting customers to online content. While the web key resembles a memory stick that plugs into your USB port the similarity ends there. Ingenious in their simplicity, the web key’s sole purpose is to drive the recipient to your URL or microsite quickly and easily. Once inserted into the USB port, the default browser is immediately launched seamlessly taking the end user to the desired page.

Like any website the content is then driven by your needs and those of your target customer, whether they are a doctor, nurse, patient, hospital administrator, or pharmacist. The type of site is also influenced by the target customer and of course PAAB and other guidelines. Why a web key? Ease of use, security, cost savings, measurable effect.


From an ease of use stand point, once the key is inserted into the USB port, the default browser is immediately launched taking the end user to the desired site without having to touch the keyboard or click a mouse. The user, either patient or doctor, does not have to remember your website name, nor have a special access code making it easier for customers to get the relevant information they desire.

With a new brand, that makes it easier to get physician traffic to your site, and for patients, ease of use is enhanced. This also decreases the likelihood of your competitors gaining insight into your marketing strategies and brand messages.

Webkey’s enhance security as the only people that can get to your branded site are those that have a web key. Since the web key would be given by the physician to the patient, this helps position your website as patient education and distinct from DTC promotion.

With current websites, if you want your URL to appear at the top of a search engine list you have to pay for that space which adds to your annual cost of running the website. Since Pharma marketers want a very specific customer base to view their site, the web key is a more efficient way of driving targeted traffic to the website than paying for search engine listings.

One of the key benefits IPI and their US partner, MedTera Healthcare Intelligence, can bring to the marketing mix is the capability to measure utilization, and hence the ROI of web keys. Their methodology can measure the impact each program has on new and total prescriptions and also look at the impact that the web key program has in relationship to the other marketing tactics that are being deployed.

Web keys also work well as an enhancement to other communication tactics:

  • Include one with starter kits/samples to get patients better educated at the start of therapy.
  • Hand them out at tradeshows so customers can link to all of your promo material at their convenience. They are more likely to take a web key home than pounds and mounds of paper based promotional material..
  • Use them to bring customers together: patients for compliance and support. Physicians for KOL intranets..
  • E-detailing and CME..

True to form, Information Packaging incorporates the web keys into creative, functional, and memorable packaging. Just like they do when they add functionality to a visual aid or direct mail piece, the web key is part of the total brand experience.

In terms of cost, a webkey runs approximately 1/5 the cost of a traditional memory stick plus the cost of the packaging/promotion that you wrap around it.

Web keys are not going to revolutionize Pharma marketing, but they can enhance your branding and customer experience, give greater ease of use and access to your website for your target customers, increase content security, and save a few tons of paper.

For more information you can go to or contact Andrew MacEachern:

The Chronicle of Healthcare Marketing, September 30, 2010

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