Insightful boldness

Accepting failure is part of the R&D process in the Pharma industry.

Out of 10,000 molecules created in the lab, less than 1% make it to an approved medicine. That’s a huge percentage of failures. Or rather, it’s a process that accepts failure as part of being successful.

In marketing there can be a tendency to expect proven ROI before investing in an activity. That may have been possible in the 80s and 90s, but the environment today is one of continuous change.

Shifts in customer behaviour and developments in technology and media mean that old campaigns are a mere legacy that can’t be mapped onto today’s scenario.

What attracted customers last year won’t necessarily attract them now. What attracted them 10 years ago almost certainly won’t.

In an environment that is ever-changing, challenging assumptions and re-assessing activities is essential. Basing decisions only on past ROI will lead to outdated tactics that do not address how customers and patients have moved on.

What will mark out the leaders can be called insightful boldness: continuously analysing the market; remapping customers and competitors; then being prepared to consider new activities that have a risk of failure.