KEY THOUGHT: While some pharma companies are laying off people other, smaller biotech companies are on a hiring binge, especially for experienced pharma marketers. However, the area in which pharma needs the most help, digital marketing, is not being recruited.
There is no doubt that pharma’s capabilities within digital marketing need help. Too many companies are relying on outside agencies and using a “vendor” approach to get them to produce websites which is a huge mistake. eMarketing people need to be embedded within product/brand teams so they can develop an in depth understanding of the who, why and how while developing a “hit it out of the park” digital strategy.
CPG companies have invested in digital marketing heavily, often establishing digital marketing departments with separate job functions for analytics, search, content and paid media. This has not been the case in pharma and frankly, you’re lucky to find one person in the brand team to do it all. Why?
1ne: Pharma doesn’t understand the importance of skilled eMarketing people.
2wo: Company IT people have too much power and dictate who and what will be done when it comes to eMarketing.
3hree: They rely too much on outside agencies who are asked to just create a website, but in most cases, they are not treated like strategic partners but rather “task masters”.
4our: Digital is not seen as a critical FTE and DTC managers have little digital experience.
Will pharma start adding eMarketing people? Doubtful. It seems that the change in business models is leading to some shortsightedness.