Reinventing Marketing to a Digital Environment

May 21, 2015

Megatrend #4: Reinventing the Marketing Function for a Digital Environment

A recent survey found that only 16% of pharma execs are satisfied with their companies’ current digital activities, and 84% consider it crucial to have a digital health strategy in place by 2020. Only 13% believe it is crucial to have such a strategy today. 1, 2, 3

These numbers represent a stark reality: pharma execs are “behind the curve” in exploiting digital marketing, not surprising given the key bottlenecks facing the industry including regulatory and legal issues, ROI questions, insufficient internal knowledge and lack of clear vision. 2

The paradigm shift to digital requires a serious rethinking of the marketing function and organizational design, and must involve all relevant internal stakeholders (marketing, medical affairs, legal, regulatory, corporate communications, etc.). Cross-functional teams must review, update and improve the broader customer relationship strategy while simultaneously refining tactics that target specific segments within patient and practitioner communities. 4

Each company must decide on the appropriate design that best fits its structure and available resources. These choices can be based on both the size and needs of the company, together with the degree of internal digital expertise available in the organization or the willingness to invest in external expert resources.

A successful digital strategy must provide true business innovation that addresses the four key bottlenecks. A design that breaks down organizational silos – a huge challenge to most global pharma companies – is vital to achieving optimal success in the digital realm.

The trend is a product of an evidence-based research study undertaken by the Healthcare Division in Valtech to map the pharmaceutical landscape of digital mega trends. The research study provides essential insights on how Pharma companies could utilize digital engagement to break down stakeholder barriers, impact stakeholder behaviour and demonstrate more cost-effective outcomes. The research study is based on information from 100+ trusted sources and has resulted in the identification of 14 mega trends.

Reach out to gain an understanding of how to execute on the underused digital opportunities

The Healthcare Division in Valtech has developed an analytical framework that can identify the engagement potential of your brand.

Please contact Healthcare Director Conny Carlzon for further advice or to set up an informal meeting.

Make sure you did not miss the previous blog posts on pharmaceutical megatrends:

Mega Trend #1: Pharmaceutical CEOs Lack Confidence to Act
Mega Trend #2: Transforming to a Digital Business: A Fundamental Paradigm Shift
Mega Trend #3: The “Trust” Gap: Leveraging Digital to Reconnect with Stakeholders


1. Arthur D Little. Dr. ThiloKaltenbach et. al. (2014). Impact of Digital Health on the Pharmaceutical Industry. Will Business Models be Reshaped by Digital Health?
2. Across Health. FonnySchenck. (2013). 2013 Digital Barometer for Life Science.
3. Couch. Ash Rishi. (January 2014). Survey finds 56% of pharma unsatisfied with digital strategy.
4. Accenture. Anne O’Riordan et. al. (2013). Accenture 2013 Technology Vision. Every Life Sciences Business is a Digital Business.