Bureaucratic pharma is its own worst enemy

QUICK READ: The biggest obstacle to better and more efficient pharma marketing is the elimination of bureaucratic and dated processes meant to protect the jobs of certain employees.,

Bureaucracy can deflate all the innovation out of an organization. We’re so busy working within processes that we don’t have time to challenge the processes themselves. In my 25 years of working within pharma, outdated processes are the biggest frustration.

Recently a very talented marketing person I know was looking for work as her position had been eliminated due to the end of an alliance with another pharma company. She interviewed with several pharma companies, and interviewed some more and still had more interviews lined up but the company. that landed her is a small biotech firm who could see that she would be a huge asset to the company.

Almost everyone who has worked in pharma can relate to the cumbersome processes of hiring. It’s often filled with at least a half of dozen interviews often to which the response is silence. The hiring process within pharma is as dated as a hit by Madonna.

Then there are website updates. I have witnessed, at some companies, a process that can often take months, even for simple changes.

Is pharma bloated?

The answer to that is yes but it’s bloat in the wrong areas. Marketing analytics, for example, is usually understaffed while marketing services is bloat that resembles a maze.

Marketing today is about speed. When people are taking your brand to task and it’s going viral you need to respond with a quality response. If that response takes more than a week you’re already too late.

I continue to see pharma jobs posted on LinkedIn and rather than read some posts on LinkedIn and identify potential great candidates recruiters still expect people to come to them. Nothing sucks the enthusiasm out of a job candidate like going through a month-long interview process.

I thought, that with people working at home, processes for getting work done would be speedier. I was wrong. I completed a metric audit of a brand’s website almost a month ago and I am still waiting to present to the team which keeps getting bigger everyday. The review is already dated.

Senior managers should be challenging their people to review all processes to eliminate steps that slow down efficient marketing. You’re going to run into resistance because some people will see it as a violation of “their turf” but it’s something that every company should do.

Good, talented people should be swept off their feet and brought into your organization to make it stronger even if they are out of the area. There are too many pharma retreads circulating who jump ship for money and/or title. Those are the people to avoid at all costs.

Speed and quality can go hand-in-hand but nothing kills innovation like an outdated bureaucratic process.