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Just What the Doctor Ordered

How a global pharmaceutical company transformed its digital marketing operations to drive sales and reduce costs


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A leading pharmaceutical company was facing shifting customer preferences that favored digital marketing leveraging mobile and social technologies – over traditional sales and marketing mediums. To help achieve their growth and cost reduction goals, company leaders turned to Deloitte to help them transform their decentralized marketing operations into a centralized model that could compete effectively in today’s digital age.

The Challenge

For companies in the life science industry, the battle for mind-share continues to intensify as Healthcare Providers (HCPs) and consumer preferences shift and access to physicians for face-to-face sales representative calls shrinks. These factors, along with the need to reduce costs, are driving the industry toward digital marketing. Leading organizations are finding that global centers of excellence (CoEs) can significantly help reduce marketing costs, improve speed to market and drive innovation. CoEs, on the most basic level, facilitate sharing of leading practices and materials as well as standard tools, knowledge and training. CoEs are often tasked with measuring the impact of initiatives and managing how resources are allocated across functions.

The leaders of this pharmaceutical company recognized the potential of digital marketing for meeting their business goals, but results from their own efforts had been lackluster. They needed help transforming the way they develop, provide and support digital marketing activities to improve effectiveness and reduce service delivery costs. However, the company’s current operating model and infrastructure fell short. The company’s brand teams and local marketing teams worked in silos, using different processes, technologies and vendors to develop and execute digital marketing campaigns. The result was disjointed digital initiatives that were inefficient and difficult to manage – and delivered inconsistent customer experiences.

The company’s marketing leadership recognized that they needed to transform their digital capabilities and brand operations across the enterprise to improve marketing efficiencies and effectiveness fast.

How We Helped

Deloitte brought together a team of various specialties and industry experience spanning marketing and campaign management, strategy and operations, human capital and technology. Together, they developed a holistic approach to meet leadership’s goals by designing and implementing a new digital organization structure and operating model incorporating a global digital CoE.

Organization design. The global digital CoE was designed to be scalable, flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of the organization and its customers. The organization structure was built to support the company’s customer-first focus while emphasizing operational excellence.

Process standards. The team assessed the current digital operating model, along with its ability to engage and support the local markets. The team used these insights to create a new model that supported centralized content development, local market pull through and market-to-market sharing of demonstrated campaigns. The team also helped document and improve the end-to-end digital execution process – plan, design, build, launch and analyze – to streamline hand-offs, clarify roles and responsibilities and reduce time to market.

Governance.  A global digital governance model was developed to align stakeholder groups across the enterprise, set and guide strategic direction, implement continuous improvement and more effectively engage the local markets.

Vendors and technology.  After examining the company’s existing suppliers and technologies, we identified opportunities to provide a more consistent customer experience and reduce costs by rationalizing technologies and canceling redundant vendors. We also recommended retaining core capabilities in-house, while outsourcing non-core capabilities.

Change management. A communications and training plan was developed to engage local markets by supporting and encouraging their adoption of the new operating model standards.

Performance management. We helped leadership in their efforts to establish and align the organization on specific operational performance metrics. A performance dashboard was launched to help measure the overall digital effectiveness and align leaders across the organization to expected business outcomes.

Deployment plan. Plans were deployed using a phased, pilot approach to gradually introduce local markets to the new operating model. This approach allowed the company to refine and scale the new model as new market needs or issues were uncovered.   


Within eight-weeks, the company launched a simplified, scalable operating model to meet its increasing demand for effective digital capabilities. The new model was designed and implemented to encourage and support adoption by the local markets. The new model helped achieve the following benefits:

Increased revenue

  • Provided innovative and cost effective insights in response to customer needs and preferences.
  • Increased marketing effectiveness by scaling proven digital campaigns.

Decreased costs

  • Decreased cost associated with developing isolated, locally-planned campaigns by sharing campaigns across the organization.
  • Decreased the campaign delivery time-to-market by standardizing and simplifying processes using common toolsets and vendors.

Differentiated the brand

  • Improved customer experience and loyalty by providing innovative digital services to customers.
  • We are continuing to work with marketing leadership to enhance their company’s global digital capabilities to drive sales and reduce costs.

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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