Pharma’s organization culture eats marketing

KEY TAKEAWAY: Before any company can talk innovation it has to examine the barriers to its own culture. Nowhere is this more true than within pharma companies.  Pharma company culture is like a sinking ship that won’t go down.

Pharma culture really hasn’t changed in over a decade .  We still have the same sales driven, ROI culture that puts dollars above patients.  Here are some examples of how pharma companies continue to waste money:

1ne: A company recently sent out, via Fed-X to over 300 sales people, a laminated card that is supposed to be used at details.  To date less than 5% of salespeople are using the cards.  Think about the costs of developing, printing and Fed-xing to a sales force.

2wo: A biotech company recently renewed their Google keywords at the cost of over $300,000 even though an analysis showed that the 80% of the keywords were ineffective.

3hree: A big pharma company implemented a programmatic advertising campaign.  Our analysis showed that close to 47% of traffic was fraudulent, yet they don’t know the bounce rate for the ads or time on site for the ads.

4our: Another pharma company schedules conference calls with field MLS people every week.  However, most of the people on the call multitask and don’t pay attention to presentations because they are “boring” and irrelevant.

5ive: It took one biotech company over 5 months of meetings to ensure their product website was responsive and could be viewed on mobile devices even though 38% of traffic was from mobile devices.

I could go on and on but the stories do nothing but raise my blood pressure and clearly indicate that “change agents” are not hired within pharma’s executive ranks.  I have already heard that one senior executive, who was hired in the digital area, is getting ready to leave because he is frustrated with the culture of meetings and shared decision making that has slowed implementation to a crawl.

Some CEO’s “get it” and are trying to change their company cultures (GSK) but too many others don’t and then question why their marketing is inefficient.  Perhaps a mirror would help.

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