their style and abilities? What was the outcome, and
how was it measured?
Next is a very subjective area: their creative. Is it
progressive or retrograde? Do you respond to it with
surprise and delight, or does it look like the same-old-same-old? Consider that the answers to these
questions will have different meanings for different
situations. If you have a dementia or arthritis product, you may not want cutting-edge creative: same-old-same-old might be exactly what appeals to your
demographic. (Important to remember: YOU are not
the demographic. Whether you “like” their creative
is not the point: judge on the basis of whether you
think it will provoke the proper response from the
HCPs or patients you’re targeting.)
Finally, there’s another subjective category: the people
themselves. Do you connect with them? Do they
answer your questions honestly and meaningfully,
or like cliché sales reps (the kind who don’t work for
you, of course)? Are they selling you their product, or
truly understanding and responding to your needs?
You’re entering into a partnership here, and you want
to do it with the right internal and external stakeholders.
GETTING ALONG WITH ALL OF THE PARTIES
Like many of us, you probably have multiple marketing partners. Although they all report to you independently, the team has to work seamlessly. Every
player is in service to the same goals.
You have to integrate the ad agency with the PR firm
with the IT providers and other types of consultants.
(Agencies are making an effort to merge these capabilities, but that ideal is a long way off – and may not
always provide you with the best from columns A, B
One secret to this is to have very clearly defined
roles and responsibilities. This may seem obvious,
but most vendors are understandably ambitious and
that can lead to conflict. Defining what you want
from each helps to keep the focus on what is best
for the assignment rather than the vendor. You want
to establish a sort of “product patriotism”: everyone
salutes the greater good. Sing that anthem at every
Anytime you have more than one vendor, we suggest
you assign a point person who knows your standards,
and keeps everyone on the same page. That might be
an internal person, or, as at Pfizer, a holding compa-
“I pledge allegiance to the biosimilar…”