DTC marketing experience is a curse

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY“When the world is changing quickly, experience can become a curse, trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Those who choose to live and work on a learning curve will experience greater vitality in their careers and will be well positioned in the new game of work.”

Strangely enough, in today’s workplace there are situations where what you don’t know ends up being far more valuable than what you do. How can that be? Time and again, rookies who know nothing about a field come along and end up outperforming the veterans who have years of experience in the industry. This phenomena demonstrates the fact when it comes to the new game of marketing to today’s empowered patients, learning & empathy beats knowing.

The simple dynamic is if you’re placed into an unfamiliar and challenging role, you’re keenly aware of what you don’t know. Therefore, you get busy trying to figure out what to do. You talk to everyone and ask for suggestions. You discount nothing – and often end up doing something great while everyone else follows conventional systems. However, within DTC marketing, there are regulatory and legal people to keep you within comfortable boundries but who want’s to stay comfortable?

When was the last time you pushed the envelope and tried to get fired? Being rookie smart is a mindset more than a function of how long you’ve been in a role. You can choose to get into a rookie smart mindset rather than settle automatically for the “veteran comfort zone”. The key is to get on to the perpetual learning curve and live and work there. If we continue to do the same things day in and day out we are going to make our jobs in DTC marketing obsolete but too many DTC marketers worry more about fitting in than doing a great job for our patients.


Last week I actually passed on an opportunity because my potential client wanted to “play it safe”.  I had spent over a year doing research with MS patients and learned a lot about their needs and wants when it came to pharma.  They very much want to connect to each other and learn what others are doing to manage their condition.  Patients like me is not seen as a resource because of registration requirements and small patient samples.  There were specific needs yet the people that I was trying to work with put their needs first while ignoring patients.  There was also a lack of empathy for MS patients throughout the global digital group.  Being a “rookie” to the company I was able to suggest and propose a number of new ideas, but when they were tied by the ropes of experience I knew it wasn’t going to happen. This is the danger of experience.

We need to keep trying to push boundaries to reach patients and we need to be more empathetic with our audience and worry less about titles and promotions.