Healthcare: Marketing Academy

Developing and Sustaining Marketing Power


Our client, a leading biopharmaceutical company, employing more than 6,500 people worldwide, has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries.

The affiliate in the Middle East is an emergent business unit with an emphasis on people development and, through the past few years, has been creating a real-strategic alignment between the business strategy/direction on one hand and people capabilities and talent development on the other hand.

Knowing the above, marketing talent plays an ample role in creating and sustaining the value differentiation of the company’s brands from the competition, through developing the marketing team skills and competencies with the aim in mind to sustain and differentiate marketing practices and approach in an already crowded and very competitive market!

As with many pharma companies, marketers are faced with many challenges as follows:

  • The team members have mixed levels of experience – product managers, senior product managers and group product managers
  • Many of the brands are faced with fierce price-based competition
  • The customers’ and stakeholders’ landscape has changed a lot – marketers need to learn how to consider this change in the value propositions they create for each one of them
  • The generics are getting more and more fierce and putting lots of pressure on established products
  • Managing product life cycle

Client Needs

A situational analysis was carried out by the team of TTM associates together with the client, taking into consideration the external and internal challenges that culminated in a development plan for the marketing department, designed to enhance the skills and behaviours of the marketing team over the span of two years in a way that included various learning practices:

  • Interactive practical face to face facilitated workshops
  • Virtual instructor-led sessions in between the sessions
  • Special assignments
  • Best practices and case studies

TTM Solution

Based on the challenges described and the evaluation of needs, TTM associates’ solution was implemented in four phases.

Phase One:

Harmonisation and Operation

In this phase, TTM focused on harmonising the client’s practices of marketing and product marketing such as the process of the brand plan, the essence of the plan and the branding policies across the region. It also addressed arming the team with tools that build a strong INSIGHT and analyse the therapeutic market and trends to ensure fact-based decision making is quantified.

By focusing on key changes in the pharma sector and differences between the management of originator and generic brands, TTM augmented the current methods in understanding the customers, harmonised the internal process in defining and communicating the messages, and highlighted the importance of cross-functional alignment.

Phase Two:

Marketing Value-Driven Differentiation 

During this phase, TTM associates engaged the participants on how to strategically augment their plans with a value-driven approach to position their brands/portfolio/company, by understanding the structure and the essence of a robust marketing plan that focuses on value, innovative reinvention and strategic in-depth quantification of SWOT analysis to aid in proper and objective segmentation and targeting. The team also conducted a comprehensive market, segments and competition analysis in global vs local perspective. Finally, the importance of digital engagement, managing digital performance, digital marketing pitfalls and how to monitor performance was highlighted.

Phase Three:

Strategic Marketing

In this phase, participants worked on value improvement: how to continuously improve market position and achieve financial growth and develop long-term strategic goals; portfolio optimisation by building a structured approach to optimise services and product portfolio by identifying, defining and planning and implementing initiatives that will unleash significant value improvement potential from the current portfolio; and understanding the importance of digital disruption in portfolio life cycle management and leveraging the company outlook in the future utilising various strategic tools such as Porter’s five forces model, implementing the KJ  technique in idea generating and prioritising, and defining their clients’ needs in light of the Kano model.

Phase Four:

Business Acumen

This phase enabled the participants to put all their learning into one story and one modest-the valuation of ROI and impact of marketing decisions on the profitability of the business.

The business acumen simulation-based phase was designed to broaden their scope of understanding about their contribution to the organisational and business goals and strategies. One of the key learnings of this programme was to enhance the capability to make fast decisions based on a 360-degree vision of the value chain or the organisation. The business acumen experiential learning process takes participants beyond knowledge and into performance. It allows them to interact with problems, investigate options, consider possible outcomes and of course implement solutions and evaluate the actual outcomes. This process includes the practical utilisation of appropriate interpersonal and leadership skills that will typically be required (i.e. negotiating budgets, setting performance standards, optimising team performance, motivation and leadership). The programme structure is such that it leads from one learning area to another, always building on previous learning experiences.


Pharmaceutical marketing and business strategy in today’s disruptive environment demands flawless agility to create and capture business value. Over the span of two years, TTM’s Marketing Academy was customised and delivered towards the development of pharmaceutical marketing competencies and reaching one common marketing language-sharing within the organisation. The client received practical knowledge with real-life job simulations and in-depth training built on pertinent real cases delivered by TTM’s top consultants to ensure immediate implementation for a meaningful and attractive value proposition.


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