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  • Writer's pictureKevin Maples

Pharma Marketing's Strategy Problem


Marketers: We have three problems that require immediate action. Problem #1: Strategy


I have had conversations both on and off LinkedIn over the past week that have revealed foundational challenges over which we are still struggling in Pharma Marketing and Sales. We have a Strategy Problem, a Process Problem, and a Protocol Problem.


Today, let’s visit the Strategy Problem. 🎯





Last week, I posted 5 recommendations for common Omnichannel Engagement problems. Some of you called me out taking issue with my frequent mention the Rep. Thank you! The exchange was very interesting. 🙏


I deduced that the offense was not due to the Rep’s role in Omnichannel Engagement – they have a very important and central role - but the fact that Marketing remains very brand and product-oriented, which reenforces a continued, heavy reliance on Field Operations.


What good is calling our efforts “Omnichannel Engagement” if GTM has evolved little over the past 20 years? I couldn’t agree more. Omnichannel requires customer-centricity. The reason to deploy multiple channels with tailored, personalized content is to address your customer needs. Marketers, we must get back to our strategy basics!


📚 Brian D. Smith’s “Brand Therapy,” outlines a comprehensive approach to Brand Strategy in Pharma. If you have not read and follow this approach, you must order it. There is no better use of your time.


Step 1 is understanding your customer’s hygiene and motivation needs. As you move through identifying your key success factors and testing assumptions, you develop your concentric value proposition.


A strong value proposition, according to Smith, must meet the complete needs of your target, and its GTM activities must be actionable and reenforce each other.


They key lesson here for Omnichannel Engagement is that, among other things, your strategy and value proposition must be customer-centric to be strong. It is the necessary footing to establish effective customer engagement.


🧐 Action: Challenge your value proposition and marketing activities’ strength by accessing if it addresses all of your customer’s needs.


Smith, Brian D. "Brand Therapy: 15 Techniques for Creating Brand Strategy in Pharma and Medtech." Practical Inspiration Publishing, 2018.

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