Pharma finally admits “digital is important”

KEY TAKEAWAY: GSK and Novartis have gone to the outside to hire senior digital marketing people with CPG experience.  While these moves are long overdue is it enough or is pharma waiting at the airport for their ship to come in?

I was quite happy to learn that both GSK and Novartis hired digital marketing executives with consumer packaged goods experience, but I hope they are compensating them well because they have a lot of heavy lifting to do.

Among the challenges..

1ne: Bringing digital thinking to organizations that are not aligned for digital marketing.

2wo: Trying to change a culture from “let’s have a meeting first to discuss this” to “let’s try it and see the results”.

3hree: Retaining and recruiting top digital talent.

4our: Trying to get DTC managers to admit that digital is more important than TV in meeting brand objectives.

5ive: Trying to get great digital vendors through a process laden procurement.

6ix: Understanding today’s complex decision making that patients go through when selecting healthcare treatments.

All this while healthcare marketing, and patients, are changing in real time.  It’s one hell of a job, but I believe it’s a step in the right direction. Let’s hope that we’re not reading about resignations in the near future of these newly appointed executives.  It’s about time pharma stepped up its game with regards to online marketing and ditched TV which even PhRMA says is only 11% effective.

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