Mastering Digital Marketing Structures & Strategies


Digital Marketing functions across the pharmaceutical industry are increasingly being challenged by a myriad of factors.  As Digital Marketing technologies continue to transform, companies must develop new marketing skills by utilizing a broad range of new tools. In order to manage the function properly, leaders should also understand the ideal staffing and budget allocation levels. This will allow executives to better manage their service costs and to better serve their business units and their products.

Key areas that Digital Marketing leaders should closely examine include:

  • Analyzing Structures & Strategies: Centralized and hybrid structures (including many that involve a Center of Excellence) were rated more “highly effective” than decentralized structures, business-unit based structures for managing critical DM activities.
  • Utilizing a Center of Excellence: More than half of companies currently utilize a Center of Excellence approach – whether through a hybrid Digital Marketing structure (43% of all companies surveyed) or via a centralized structure where the Center of Excellence manages all Digital Marketing for the organization (12%).
  • Staffing Levels: On average, healthcare companies employ 1 Digital Marketing FTE for every 11 Marketing FTEs. By contrast, non-healthcare companies have 1 Digital Marketing FTE for every 8 Marketing FTEs. This difference provides a greater ability for non-healthcare organizations to invest in the wide array of digital marketing activities.
  • Understanding Ideal Budgets: Across industries, companies are expecting to grow their Digital Marketing budgets in an effort to better compete in this fast-growing sector. In the healthcare industry, entry delays caused partly by increased regulations are generating a late-stage surge in Digital Marketing participation.

There are countless benefits that come with having a sound Digital Marketing function in place. It is critical to keep in mind that these benefits do not come without challenges. Despite this, further growth of DM budgets is anticipated in the future. Understanding the ideal budgets, staffing levels, and structures of leading Digital Marketing functions will help pharmaceutical companies to compete in this competitive sector.

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