Interview with: Drew Boyd, Director Marketing Mastery, Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. (Johnson & Johnson)
Monte-Carlo, Monaco, March 30, 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pharmaceutical products may be the fruit of scientists labour, but marketing is often the root of their success. As different parts of some organisations try to take hold of marketing activities, many Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are faced with a struggle of having to market their departments value as innovation facilitators in their own organisation. The only true source of long-term sustainable growth is organic innovation, Drew Boyd, Director Marketing Mastery at Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. (Johnson & Johnson) believes, therefore marketing leaders need to re-establish their reputation and credibility. A speaker at the marcus evans PharmaBrand Summit 2010 taking place in Monte-Carlo, 21 – 23 June 2010, Boyd shares his views on innovation as a skill, social media and marketing in emerging markets.
How is your position as Director of Marketing Mastery essential to organisations?
Drew Boyd: My title is a reflection of our need to continue to build our skills and capabilities in terms of marketing techniques, models and frameworks. Marketing executives come from different backgrounds, business schools and work experiences; therefore we felt that having our own internal training programme was a good way of getting everyone to use the same language, terminology and tools. My role is becoming more common now in large organisations, and marketing experience as well as a background in education are both necessary.
What are some of the challenges facing pharmaceutical marketing executives in Europe at the moment and what solutions would you recommend?
Drew Boyd: Marketing is losing its seat at the table. Pieces of the marketing function are being broken off of and steered away into other departments – the finance group is taking care of pricing and public relations or corporate communications teams are overseeing marketing communications, leaving marketing weak within the organisation. This has meant that senior leaders and the board sometimes see marketing as a cost and not an investment centre.
The challenge for Chief Marketing Officers is that they have to re-establish the reputation and credibility of their department, so that they are seen as a team that produces growth. Marketing will then have a stronger voice in the boardroom. They have to hire the right people, build their skills and a steady stream of success stories, to ensure that their team is considered capable of leading the major aspects of commercialisation.
What are some of the key developments and trends that marketing leaders should take into consideration?
Drew Boyd: The biggest trend that is happening in pharmaceutical marketing as well as in other sectors is the rise of the social media – Web 1.0 was about access to information, Web 2.0 is about access to people, through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on. Companies need to be aware that they can no longer do just traditional market research about their brands. They should listen and join the conversations in the social media. Marketing is ultimately about shaping conversations and beliefs about your brands, and the social web is a great tool for companies to do that. Some companies have now realised that they have to invest in new training programmes to give their people the skills to embrace the social web, which should not be outsourced to external agencies. It does not work that way. Companies are getting frustrated with these new technologies, as they are not taking the time to learn the right ways of integrating them into their marketing plans.
What strategies to overcome obstacles of marketing pharmaceutical products in emerging markets would you suggest?
Drew Boyd: Marketing in an emerging market is difficult; there is no doubt about it. It is not so much that marketing is difficult, but the structures of those economies. You still use the same marketing tools, and need to understand and relate to the customers, and shape their views on your brands. What is frustrating for companies is the lack of access to data especially on market size, pricing and customer preferences. The mechanisms to collect that data are not in place, and in a lot of cases, the opportunity is not big enough to invest into gathering that information. What companies often do is guess what could succeed in those markets, based on what they have learnt from others, and hope it will work. That is dangerous!
What long-term strategies would you recommend to pharmaceutical marketing officers?
Drew Boyd: The most important issue on senior marketing leaders minds is how to grow the business. It is all about growth, and it always comes back to one thing: the only true source of long-term sustainable growth is organic innovation. Invent your products, rather than outsourcing innovation or acquiring ideas externally. Companies have to learn the skills of innovation and create a sustainable pipeline. The companies that do this are the ones that dominate. Those that fall behind and try different shortcuts, either by merging with other companies or acquiring brands from others, pay a tremendous price. They have basically given up cash resources at full value to acquire other brands and failed to create any new net value for their shareholders. They have made their problem worse a bigger business base with less cash and still the need to innovate.
I strongly recommend that companies see innovation as a skill that has to be acquired and developed. Innovating is a skill; not a gift or something you are born with. It can be done in a systematic way, using structured innovation methods. But like everything else, you have to invest in its training, deployment and management if you want to realise any gains. One particular method I recommend is based on patterns of innovation; if you look at many successful products today, there are patterns in how they were invented and constructed, and those can be replicated onto other products. It is a pretty straight forward approach.
What I would not recommend is using brainstorming as a method. This technique was proven ineffective and unproductive through clinical laboratory trials decades ago, yet people continue to use it. I encourage companies to find the techniques that work for them; however, marketing directors have to realise that training employees is necessary, to get the full value out of any method.
Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
About the PharmaBrand Summit 2010
This unique forum will take place at Le Mridien Beach Plaza, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 21 23 June 2010. Offering much more than any conference, seminar or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on enhancing product lines, brand loyalty and marketing in emerging markets.
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