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Stop marking your own homework

The value of external brand plan assessment

Ed CorbettOnly a small number of companies can confidently say how good their marketing is. An external objective assessment of brand plans provides an unbiased view of one of the key determinants of marketing performance. It also identifies opportunities for excellence and where to invest to drive faster growth.

Most pharmaceutical companies use internal checks and balances to ensure that their marketing is up to scratch. Tools like strategic templates, centres of excellence, training and performance reviews have been successfully deployed by companies to support marketers as they create brand plans.

Although rare in the pharmaceutical industry, routine objective benchmarking and external assessment of commercial plans is standard practice in other highly competitive industries, such as FMCG companies. High quality assessments involve an objective review of plans against a validated framework with benchmarking versus relevant competitors, enabling teams to get a clear view of both the quality and competitiveness of their marketing activities.

In the search for superior commercial performance, leading pharmaceutical companies recognise that the current approach of ‘marking your own homework’ lacks the necessary objectivity to make continuous improvements in their businesses. Instead, these leaders commission external brand plan assessment to identify opportunities for excellence and to understand how their plans compare to the competition.

Such third party assessment neatly complements existing approaches and adds significant value by bringing objectivity to the discussion - helping marketers better identify where to focus and invest for future growth. When global and affiliate plans are assessed simultaneously, strategic alignment can be measured and examples of company best practice collected.

Companies chasing superior commercial performance must ensure that they are doing the best they can when developing brand plans. To build that capability, seek external brand plan assessment and stop ‘marking your own homework’.

Ed Corbett leads the commercial strategy practice at Novasecta, Europe’s leading pharmaceutical strategy consulting firm

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8th May 2017

From: Sales

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