Technology is forever in flux. For the most part, advancements make work (and life) easier and more profitable. Google’s recent announcement of its new format, "AMP for Email" is just one more movement forward to help companies better engage with their audiences—something DMD continually strives for with its own technological improvements, including the development of its audience identity management (AIM) platform.
Here I address several questions I’ve received in regards to where the AMP for Email technology is now and what impact it might have on pharma marketing in the near future.
What is AMP?
AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages. I'm sure many individuals have already encountered these pages when browsing the web. News sites frequently use this technology. Essentially, when you're scrolling through a page, you can click on a news story and the content appears right within the same page. So, you're not actually leaving the web page you're on, but you're able to navigate to a "subset" page. The overall goal is to increase page load speed and to make viewing more mobile-friendly.
And now Google wants to take advantage of this technology—to include AMP in email?
The intent is that you'd be able to open an email in your inbox and navigate throughout the website source to which the email is tied. Email would serve as more of a "wrapper" for the content companies are trying to push. Without leaving their inbox or without opening a new tab, recipients can consume the content being positioned by the email sender. This creates an interactive experience within email, and you can take immediate action without leaving that particular email message.
With this technology, you’d be able to have as lengthy or as large of a survey you desire right within email.
Is AMP for email already being used?
The technology is still being tested, but Google has formed a few partnerships to work through the bugs, including Pinterest, Booking.com, and Doodle. So, some examples in the consumer market going forward would include being able to book hotels or flights, fill out forms, and order products. I foresee Amazon using this as a way to shop without having to go to the Amazon website; you'd be able to order items without ever leaving your inbox.
What are the implications for the pharma industry?
Email is HCPs’ preferred mode of communication, so the opportunity for use is considerable. Some of the applications I think we could see in the future for the pharma space could be ordering samples or co-pay cards. That's always a tough one for HCPs. At the very least, it would drive HCPs directly to sample sites and input their information. Another use would be filling out surveys. We get asked all the time, "Can we do surveys in email?" and the answer to that is yes, but capabilities are often restricted. With this technology, you'd be able to have as lengthy or as large of a survey you desire right within email.
A recent statistic indicates 82 percent of businesses believe video marketing is an important part of their strategy. Will AMP for email support video?
Video is a significant consideration. And the answer is yes. If your pharma webpage had video on it, you could feature that portion of your website in the email.
Are there any other benefits for pharma marketers?
This technology could help ease the process of registering for meetings or events. It will also allow you to feature various portions of your website within email, reducing the need to recreate content and lowering the risk of HCPs bouncing off webpages. I also see value in it when deploying company eNewsletters, particularly given its interactive function.
What challenges might this technology pose? At least until it is fully rolled out for use?
Currently, the only platform to support this is Google, which brings into play some technical roadblocks. For example, it limits other interactive elements that currently exist within email, thus diminishing look and feel. It also requires a lot of additional code and expertise. AMP code in email platforms other than Gmail is nearly double, leading to load issues. However, Gmail has already solved this problem by loading the assets of the email in the background before you open it. The main point is it looks good in Gmail, but due to all the technical limitations of other platforms, it’s very much a wait and see.
AMP’s dynamic nature could also raise legal and security concerns. But, again, that’s what the “testing” period is for—to work out those types of issues.
Once ready for general use, will AMP for Email have an effect on AIM tags?
We don't really know, because this is in beta—no one has released it out “into the wild.” The only way it would impact AIM tags is if the code for the tags was not approved as "AMP-approved" html. The good thing about our tags is that they're very simple. So, we are confident it will not have a negative impact, but until we are able to test, we cannot say definitely. Regardless of the obstacles we see now, it’s an intriguing technology that may prove to be a great asset in the future.