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Thinking Pharma is delighted to Welcome it’s new SEVP of Thinking Pharma – Sally Church.
Dr Sally is an eminent Blogger and Marketeer. Sally’s own enterprise, Icarus Consultants, will continue as we complete the transition into Thinking Pharma in the mean time enjoy Sally’s Thoughtware.


“Anyone can herd cattle” is like saying, “Anyone can go through the motions of a traditional marketing launch” much like in this short video:

But, the ability to herd cats or create great product launches is truly rare. They don’t happen by chance. Ever.

Been there done that with Gleevec – to name but one example.
Great marketing launches happen, in the way great teams come together.

A great team needs to be a balanced team and usually involves an extended team view.

Teams formed in this way tend to work together in harmony and with understanding, with dynamism, desire, dedication and a willingness to go above and beyond.

These teams transcend the human spirit into something bigger, greater and purer than the simple sum of all the parts.

What Makes a Great Brand Launch?

Ultimately, success in Pharma is based on the ability to listen.

To understand both the customer and consumer needs, generate useful insights and reflecting those back at them.
In that way, neuro-linguistic programming style, people are ready and open to what the brand has to say and the way it says it.

It is not about pushing your messages, unsolicited, like flying spam fritters at people, Monty Python style, in multiple channels hoping wildly that something will stick.

Not many brand teams have the courage to stop and think deeply, preferring interminable analysis by paralysis and then generating old and tired tactics ad nauseum.

Do You Have The Courage?

To break the mould of “this is how we do things around here” takes both opportunity and courage. Or, maybe it takes just plain stubbornness.

Are you in a position to change the prevailing Orgware?

Do you already have the power?

Will the management hierarchy trust you or can you just slip things under the radar?

Are you prepared to bet your career on what you know is the right approach?

Have you created the Thoughtware that allows you to create communication, in all of the forms available that will immediately resonate with your target audience?

In the past that meant ‘applying the shoe leather’ and talking with that target audience.

Running the dreaded focus groups.


But most of all it meant that if you were leading the team that you personally engaged with the target audience and, through leading by example, so did the rest of your team.

Social Media has made that task easier if you can create the communications infrastructure and analysis tools necessary.

Even then nothing beats direct communications with the target audience to get a real ‘feel’ for where their ‘mind set’ is really residing.

Patience or is it Patients are the Key

Generating useful and practical insights based on meaningful data can take time.

But it in my experience taking that time is really worth it in the long run.

If you view the brand launch as the start of a sprint you could easily rush your preparation and be far more inclined to leave out insights and communications elements that later prove to be essential.

And as you know, you can’t put back in what was originally left out.

Or can you?

So even when you have a ‘block-buster’ on your hands, remember that when considering running the Pharma Marketing Race successfully think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint.

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Tags: Marketing and Advertising, church, marketing, pharma, sally, thinking

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