Marketing jobs (and talent) leaving pharma

KEY TAKEAWAY: In 2015, SCORR’s Health Sciences Marketing Trends Survey Report found[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] 60 percent of companies have a marketing team consisting of five or fewer professionals; however, in 2016 that number jumped to 79 percent.[/inlinetweet] Is this an anomaly or is this the start of a new trend in the health sciences industry? If this is the new trend, what could be the cause? No, it’s not new, and yes, it’s going to continue.

As I have been writing on this site for some time pharma marketers are abandoning the sinking ship.  Why?

1ne:  The continued barriers that prevent marketers from executing great patient centric marketing.

2wo: Organizations that put a low value on retaining talented marketers.

3hree: The “find a new job” philosophy of brand teams when products come off patent.

4our: Lack of career path for marketing people and requiring that marketing people spend time in sales.

5ive: Failure to transform marketing from “selling” to being patient centered.

6ix: Regulatory and legal people who see only the risks of marketing, not the potential rewards.

7even: Failure to truly integrate digital marketing into overall brand strategies while still spending a lions share of the budget on TV.

8ight: Pharma’s “all talk” about helping patients while focusing on pure ROI.

There was a time when I was proud to wear my DTC brand shirt and go to conferences, but that time has faded like good effective DTC.  My group is consistently getting emails from people saying that they are leaving pharma marketing and the reasons all seem the same.  MBA candidates used to dream about a career in pharma now they would rather work at a fast food restaurant than in an industry that is perceived to prevent people from accessing to treatment because of high prices.

Make no mistake about it, this is a crisis.  Good, talented people are the heart of a company, but when those people leave and are replaced with people from the sales field whose goal is only to push sales the industry is in trouble.