Pitfalls and Promises
Outsourcing a marketing department is a big step. Companies contemplating this kind of collaborative arrangement must be careful
to avoid falling into some common traps.
Loss of control By outsourcing a product's marketing, a company may foster the perception that the agency controls product positioning and
initiatives. Even if it's unjustified, this fear can result in secrecy and distrust, which leads to an unworkable relationship—and
bad marketing. Outsourced partners that conduct in-person consultations, weekly status meetings, and regular updates help
companies understand their role in the team and in shaping a product's marketing.
Inexperienced executives For the agency, the biggest challenge can be dealing with executives who aren't focused on marketing or have little experience
in it. At a big company, the project may have a low priority, leading to unreturned phone calls and missed opportunities.
On the other hand, small pharma companies have clinical cultures, with executives who often have more interest in designing
clinical trials than in forecasting sales and developing marketing strategies.
In these cases, it's better to overcommunicate and spell out concepts that may seem unnecessary from a medical point of view,
but which are vital to marketing or launching a product.
Miscommunication An outsourced marketing department can be effective, provided that both company and agency are committed to clear, ongoing
communication. Companies must empower agencies to do what they were hired to do. In return, agencies should put the best people
on the account and allow them to function as though they were on the client's side.
If those commitments are made at the outset, outsourcing the marketing role will minimize the cost of investment while increasing
Adient is agency of record for Duramed's Enjuvia (synthetic conjugated estrogens) and a related product. » Enhanced Medical Communications will develop a thought leader database for Entereg (alvimopan), a pre-approval postoperative ileus treatment co-marketed
by Adolor and GlaxoSmithkline. » Fujisawa Healthcare made GSW Worldwide agency of record for eczema treatment Protopic.
CommonHealth formed Altum, to be headed by executive vice president Michael Parisi. » CMP Healthcare launched Applied Neurology. » Ascend Media will acquire Medical World Communications, publisher of Cardiology Review and others. » Intellisphere added Focus on Geriatric Medicine to its MDNet Guide line-up. It also promoted Emily Leonard to managing editor of the series. » Lena Chow and Feiyan Shen, MD created media company JYT Health to work with officials and healthcare professionals in China. » St. Joseph’s University offers an online post-MBA certificate in pharma marketing.
HMP Communications named Joe DeCicco national accounts manager for Annals of Long-Term Care. » DVC HealthCare appointed Joseph Doyle chief branding and strategy officer and Mary LaFleur creative director. » Navicor welcomes Bill Fillipp, senior vice president/creative director, LeAnn Duncan-Miller, director of creative services, Isadore Pike, MD, medical director, and Doug Plessinger and David Querry, vice presidents/account services. » Access Worldwide/TMS Professional Markets Group promoted Barbara Ginn to executive vice president. » Wolters Kluwer Health named Linda Holder vice president and CFO, Neil Schmidt vice president of operations, and elevated Paul Weislogel, PhD, to executive vice president of LWW journal publishing. » Richard Levy is Ferguson’s new COO. » Jacquie Matthews joins Ipsos ASI as senior vice president of creative development.
Rich Levy is chief operating officer of Ferguson. He can be reached at email@example.com
or at (973) 463-3573.