Want to AI Accelerate your marketing? Book your discovery session today

The MetRx Matters Blog

Strategic Brand Planning In Pharma

The importance of effective strategic brand planning remains top of mind for business leaders in pharma given customers’ high expectations and increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the market.
July 9, 2021

“Brand planning is the process of allocating resources to a strategy designed to achieve a business objective that drives a brand closer to delivering on a valuable future vision.”

The importance of effective strategic brand planning remains top of mind for business leaders in pharma given customers’ high expectations and increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the market. So, as business leaders think critically about how to adapt, many are reassessing their own brand plans. 80% of European executives of pharma companies interviewed by PwC do not think that their current approaches, processes, and outputs are “fit for purpose.” Instead, they are in need of step-change improvement and may wonder if the resource-intensive, time-consuming nature of brand planning is even worth the costs.

Brand plans

Most Common Challenges of Brand Planning in Pharma

1. Not the right insights and deliverables 

86% of leaders said that their current brand planning templates and processes do not enable them to address customer-centric business questions, generate strategic insights, or take effective action.

2. A Messy Process

More than 80% of the business leaders interviewed would like to simplify the oftentimes lengthy and rigid annual brand planning process. And local teams often perceive a timeline disconnect across geographies that can impede effective global and local alignment and collaboration.

3. A lack of cohesive organizational culture

60% perceived an issue in reporting structures and centralized decision-making that slowed down their progress due to a multitude of alignment meetings. “The volume of work and the required resources to get things done can be an issue,” says one regional head of marketing.

Improvement Levers in Brand Planning

1. Focused insights for more effective planning

Using a customer-centric approach helps to deliver the insights needed for meaningful, tangible, and actionable strategies and tactics.

Prioritization frameworks and advanced analytics can also help to identify the key topics that will drive a brand’s trajectory. When it comes to planning, simple, short, and flexible templates and tools best support focused discussions while enabling brand teams to articulate nuanced narratives tailored to functional or local market priorities. For example, as one global commercial director says, “We reduced our brand plans to approximately 5 slides, which works very well to distill key insights.”

2. Lean, aligned, and agile processes

Once key insights are identified, it is easier to build focused processes that direct efforts and time on core value-adding aspects of brand planning. “We’ve seen improvements now that we conduct cross-functional and senior management ‘challenger’ meetings to jointly define focus areas,” explains one global commercial leader. In fact, more than 80% of the people interviewed called for better cross-functional, cross-brand alignment at global, regional and local levels—without restricting functional and country autonomy.

3. A cohesive organizational culture, combined with ownership and tech enablers

Strategic brand planning does not work well if it is siloed. In order to make your brand plan effective, the organization must define:

Clear roles and responsibilities for everyone involved, but also assign single ownership for the final cross-functional brand plan and management of cross-functional teams. It is also important to use advanced technology and digital tools in smart ways, enhancing the business acumen capabilities in brand teams for delivering focused plans.

Why is PatientMetRx® a must-have tool for your brand planning?

PatientMetRx® provides trusted social intelligence insights for the world’s leading drug brands. We believe that Pharma marketing can build the patient voice into their marketing plans by using our Patient Confidence Score (PCS). This is a unique first-in-market product that combines the power of Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and Patient voice to create the Patient Confidence Score.The PCS measures the sentiment patients have towards your drug brands over time and provides the cause and effects of this score. 

Let PatientMetRx® help your 2022 brand planning to be more patient-centered, agile, and effective. To find out more book some time with a member of the team below:



Strategy&, (2021) ‘Rethinking strategic brand planning in pharma’ Available at: https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/de/en/industries/health/rethinking-strategic-brand-planning-pharma.html [Accessed 9 July 2021]

More about PatientMetRx® and Pharma

Top 5 PatientMetRx Blogs of 2022

Top 5 PatientMetRx Blogs of 2022

Welcome to PatientMetRx's top 5 blogs of the year! We are proud to have provided valuable content to our readers throughout 2022, and we hope that...

read more