Marketing has changed significantly but in pharma….?

screenshot_1229Adobe is out with their survey of 1000 marketers within the US and their key finding ?  The marketing profession has changed dramatically  as 76% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50.  While some pharma companies have made significant changes in their marketing the majority, in my opinion, have not.  The decision to allocate more money into digital is not the answer to outdated marketing.  The answer lies in both the ability to attract new talent and the willingness to change processes that add little value to marketing or customers.

Among other key findings from the adobe study are

Marketers express doubt about their skills, effectiveness and ability to measure impact

  • Marketers are not confident in their digital ability. Only 48% of digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing.
  • Marketers have low confidence in their companies’ marketing performance. Only 40% think their company’s marketing is effective.
  • Sixty-eight percent of marketing professionals feel more pressured to show return on investment on marketing spend.
  • Most digital marketers don’t have formal training; 82% learn on the job.

Strong business performance is highly correlated with digital marketing proficiency

  • High-performing companies are twice as likely to rate their company as highly proficient in digital marketing (50%) than lower performing companies (25%).
  • Only 9% of respondents strongly agree with the statement “I know our digital marketing is working.”
  • There is a significant gap (47%) between perceived importance and actual performance when it comes to marketing measurement. Seventy-six percent of marketers believe measurement is important vs. 29% who believe they are doing it well.

When was the last time you heard of a digital marketing pioneer joining a pharma company ?  The nature of endless meetings and prohibitive IT policies are enough to cause most digital marketers to keep a bottle of Advil in their desk compared to CPG companies which are really blazing new digital marketing trails.  Show me one pharma company where at least 80% of a marketers day are not taken up by meetings ?

Earlier this week I was contacted by a client who wants to digitize a physician detail piece.  She wanted to basically take the detail aid and turn it into an electronic static version.  When I explained that putting it online meant making the piece interactive to engage her audience her reply was “I don’t have the budget for that.”  My reply was then save your money because this is not digital marketing it’s a pharma version of Pinterest.  Symptomatic problem within pharma I’m afraid.

2 thoughts on “Marketing has changed significantly but in pharma….?

  1. Another interesting set of statistics Richard! I think that the industry has clammed up a lot since the huge COX II disaster and along with this the regulatory authorities have been scared to approve stuff too… and things have got little better with the Boardroom running the companies like utilities… short term investor profits at the expense of what is needed… a re-engineering of what it is to be a big Pharma company. When you see generic drab mission statements written about the companies purpose and one can interchange the company without anyone noticing you’ve got a real systemic problem with what marketing and more specifically ‘positioning’ is. With that backdrop it is hardly surprising that brand marketing is also painfully searching for the middle ground… like our political parties… the antithesis of what true branding should be. For me, it doesn’t really matter if it’s digital or any other marketing… if the positioning has been created by committee AFTER the phase III results are out, one has the ‘lipstick on the pig’ problem time after time after time…

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