Ed Corbett, Principal at Novasecta, was invited to provide a thought leadership article for Pharmaceutical Market Europe on the topic of marketing excellence. Reflecting on the challenges facing marketing teams in improving their marketing, Ed described how Novasecta’s systemic and objective benchmarking approach helps teams to identify the best places to invest in order to maximise commercial returns. The article can be read here, or below:
Market excellence teams are tasked to improve the way in which companies deliver great marketing. Relying solely on an internal perspective of current performance can however lead to misplaced initiatives and consequently limited improvement. Leading companies are using external benchmarking to gain an objective view of marketing strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to know where to invest to achieve greatest commercial returns.
Most pharmaceutical companies use internal checks and balances to ensure that their marketing is up to scratch. Marketing excellence teams are frequently tasked to lead such improvement, deploying enhanced templates, training and performance reviews to achieve this. However, without a solid, objective understanding of the current situation, such interventions can be misplaced. Leading companies understand this and use external benchmarking to gain a true picture of current marketing performance.
Though rare in the pharmaceutical industry, routine objective measurement and external assessment of commercial plans is standard practice in other highly competitive industries, such as FMCG. With many pharma companies requiring a similar level of assessment, Novasecta created Brand Compass, the only marketing-dedicated benchmarking audit in the industry. We measure client brand plans across 20 key elements of marketing, and compare them against comparable companies in the data set. Brand Compass enables companies to know where to invest to gain the maximum improvement.
Third-party assessment like Brand Compass neatly complements existing approaches and adds significant value by bringing objectivity to the discussion, helping marketers better identify where to focus and invest for future growth. When global and affiliate plans are assessed simultaneously, the extent of strategic alignment can be measured and examples of company best practice collected.
Companies chasing superior commercial performance must ensure that they have strong marketing excellence structure and process. External benchmarking with Novasecta’s Brand Compass provides an objective assessment of strengths and weaknesses, enabling companies to invest for the greatest commercial returns.
Novasecta’s Managing Partner, John Rountree, was asked by Bloomberg to comment on the perils of pharma M&A in an article that investigated the delays in development of AstraZeneca’s ZS-9 product after AZ had acquired ZS Pharma. Reflecting on our experience with listed pharmaceutical companies in general rather than the specifics of the AZ deal, John commented “The pressure to do a deal is immense” and that “If it looks right, the message on due diligence may just be, ‘just make it work because we’re going to do this deal.’”. For more on Novasecta’s perspective on the high prices paid to execute M&A click here, and on the value of partnerships as an alternative to M&A click here. To view the full Bloomberg article, click here.