POST SUMMARY: In order to really leverage digital marketing emarketing people should be fully integrated with the brand team so that they can better understand patient insights and develop the best digital strategies to reach patients who are entering the healthcare decision funnel.
I consider myself an excellent marketer but I only develop digital marketing tactics based on patient insights provided by the brand team. While at Lilly I was able to execute a great digital marketing strategy because I sat with the brand team and had access to all the great research that was being done. This allowed me to really understand the drivers for patients to enter the healthcare funnel as well as potential obstacles. I reported to a digital director but had dotted lines to both the DTC and HCP managers for the brand.
In my opinion, having a centralized digital group, who offers brands a menu of digital tactics, will not prove as effective as having one person assigned to the brand team as a digital marketer. The brand should own and fund digital marketing with the eMarketing person taking direct ownership of executing and measuring digital initiatives against brand KPI’s.
Digital marketing should not be offered as a choice of different digital tactics, rather it should be based on a comprehensive understanding of the needs of patients along with key brand objectives. Organizations that have a department to “serve each brand” are not going to do as well as ones that have dedicated eMarketing people within each brand.