As I was setting up my new office I came across a framed copy of an article that appeared in Business Week about the website that developed for the launch of Cialis. While I am extremely proud of this accomplishment I also realize that I wouldn’t have been able to provide a great online brand experience without the right tools including managers who allowed me to lead the way into a ver competitive market. Perhaps the biggest frustration of ePharma people is not having the support team in place to allow them to do what they do best.
Although we had a great budget for the launch of Cialis members of the brand team had to fight for their share of budget dollars. Paula Garret, the DTC Manager for the brand, did a great job of managing two management teams to get DTC dollars and then I had to, in turn, provide justification for the online budget. Working with Ogilvy One I was able to get a budget to do things like market research and usability testing. It required meetings and presentations but over time I earned the trust of Paula and the MLR team. I explained what we were doing but more importantly why we were doing it.
The bottom line was that I was free to do what I knew how to do. That is rare today within pharma.
I realize that in matrix organizations meetings and presentations are necessary to build consensus but when people spend more time trying to do what needs to be done than actually doing it the brand experience is going to suffer.
I was damn lucky to have the trust of the people I worked for and the tools to do a great job. I wonder how many other DTC marketing people could do a great job if they also had the tools they needed to get it done rather than compromising away a great brand initiative.