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Jonathan Richman

Good post, Jeff. I'm with you on all of these with one caveat. Regarding #2 ("Digital must be integrated into your overall plan."), I too wish I heard this less, but saw it more. I think we're in agreement on this one, but I just wanted to be sure.

First, I am in support of hiring different agencies to do different things (disclosure: I work for a full-service digital agency). Hiring an agency that suddenly has declared itself as "digital" to do your digital work is generally a losing proposition. Today, it takes specialized expertise to be able to develop applications to work on multiple devices as just one example. Typically, new "converted" (as I like to call them) agencies can't do this sort of work.

That's fine. Let them do what they do best and let an expert do the other stuff. A quick read sounded like you were advocating not hiring multiple agencies, but rather one that can do it all. Upon closer inspection, that's not what your saying, but rather demanding that all of these agencies work together more effectively. I totally agree with this. It's something that I don't see in pharma at all.

I get to work with a lot of other non-pharma companies like P&G where agency cooperation is required. In fact, they have a model where multiple agencies actually report to a single agency lead (and not directly to the brand team). This lead is responsible for ensuring all the agencies are working together in the same direction. The end client then only has to worry about one agency when something goes wrong. It's not without its challenges, but the advantages outweigh the downsides.

Having multiple agencies and an integrated approach is still new in the very siloed structure of most pharma companies, but they need to switch this up right away. How about hiring an agency lead or coordinator (from an agency) to manage all of it like the P&G model?

Matthew Kramer

Great Post!

I think you may benefit from switching to an alternative format of marketing.

What do you think about trying something novel by developing credible resources though the production & publication of peer-reviewed video articles?

The goal here is pull marketing via education. Traffic direct from PubMed.

Example: http://www.jove.com/details.php?id=2428

John Lynn

I'd be interested in learning more about Pharma's online advertising tactics. Do they focus on doctor or consumers? Seems like the online mediums are the perfect places to really target the type of person that's seeing the ads. Not to mention metrics on how effective those ads have been.

Jeff Greene

Jon I think you talked yourself into getting my point! I'm familiar with 1 or 2 manufacturers who manage agencies just like you suggest: 1 agency is designated the lead and coordinates all of the others. I think that's going to be a challenge for at least a while, since brands are facing the fact that their "online" agencies are gaining more and more momentum. Didn't hear much discussion around this at ePharma but I think it would be a great topic for a panel at an upcoming event.

John Lynn: I'd be glad to share my perspective with you on pharma's online advertising tactics. Drop me a note!

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