KEY TAKEAWAY: Pharma has to do a lot more to lead in digital marketing than hiring outside executives to lead the charge. To stay competitive, businesses need to adopt a team-based organizational model wherein employees can easily move between different projects and effectively shares information easily both internally and with customers. Can they do this without causing a nervous breakdown of their legal and regulatory teams?
Organizations need to transform in 10 areas to keep up with rapid technological development, changing career models and public policy demands:
- Implement a team-based, fluid organizational model – Employees should be able to move easily between different projects and share information effectively.
- Emphasize “continuous learning” – Set up new employee learning systems that supplement in-house content with other online learning material, and encourage interdisciplinary thinking to keep up with technological change and promote innovation.
- Invest in talent acquisition – Use digital and social networks as well as video tools to create an employment brand that makes your company attractive to skilled candidates.
- Create a positive employee experience–Address the employee experience holistically. Consider all aspects that affect your employees’ “physical, emotional, professional and financial well-being.”
- Overhaul performance management programs – Put more emphasis on “continuous feedback,” regular check-ins and coaching to increase productivity and improve employee engagement.
- Develop young leaders who are “agile” and “digital-ready ” – As organizations become more fluid and team-oriented, leaders need to be skilled at leading diverse teams and working across disciplines and business functions to drive innovation.
- Empower HR departments to lead the digital transformation–HR can harness new technologies to manage the workforce, optimize productivity and promote teamwork.
- Embed analytics into all work processes – Real-time analytics provide actionable insights to a variety of business challenges, including recruiting and workforce planning, measuring performance, and organizational network analysis.
- Make diversity and inclusion a priority at the organization’s highest levels – An organization’s ability to build a truly diverse workforce at every level will enhance its public image as well as its ability to attract talent and motivate the workforce.
- Finally, stop putting field sales people into marketing and emarketing roles. Their mindset is too focused on sales at a time when health seekers need information, not a sales pitch.
Over the last few years I have seen a lot of talented digital marketing people leave pharma for various reasons. To attract talent pharma is going to have to loosen their hiring practices and embrace people who can think “change” and understand the importance of what we do.