Too many people spend their whole career’s caring far too much about offending people, worrying if they cool enough for them, or asking themselves if they are judging me. There comes a point in time when you can’t take it anymore because it’s stupid, and it’s not good for patients who are too damn important to ignore. At some companies it has made some DTC marketers a punching bag– a flighty, nervous wuss. But worse than that, it has made me some marketers who don’t take a stand for anything even though they it’s what’s best for patients. It has made too many people who stand in the middle for fear of alienating others. Moving forward you need to be able to say “No more. Not today. “
FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.
Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like marketers within the organization, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.
What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further because you know this is what patients want and need to make healthcare choices”. They may not like this behaviour, but so what? These are people don’t like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don’t care for you and what you do in the first place?
FACT NUMBER 2. You don’t need everyone to like you.
This stuff is crazy, I know, but it’s cool, you’ll get used to it. Here’s the next thing: not only do most people not know that you exist, and some are judging you, but it totally does not matter even if they are.
How liberating this is may not even hit you yet, but it will. Check this out: when people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are.
So putting patients first is a necessary precedent to create a good career for yourself. It can’t happen without it. That’s why you have to begin today.
If you dismiss the things that do not matter; if you remove those things from your mind and focus on what must be done; if you understand that your time is limited and decide to work now; only then will you be able to get to the finish line. Otherwise, you will be dissuaded into carreer where all you do is try to fit in and do and re-do Power Point presentations.
I know, you’re scared. Today your review is often based on how you integrate within the organization and pharma jobs are hard to find. This post doesn’t mean that you can ride rough shot through your business units just because patients are important; it means that we all have to continually get better at convincing others that the healthcare marketing environment has changers because of empowered patients. It means we have to do less selling to consumers and provide more transparent honesty. It mans we have help cut through the clutter of online health information by listening to THEIR needs not agency recommendations.
Finally it means you need to put yourself in your patients place and understand what it’s like to get diagnosis of MS for both the patient and caregiver.
There are a lot of very good DTC marketers out there but there are also too many who have lost the focus on why we do what we do.
In the end if we stand up for patients they will stand up for us.