Five tips for tightening up your tactical planning

Share this article:
‘Tis the season for a blizzard of meetings, white boards, sticky notes and PowerPoint. It's August, and for most pharma companies and their agency partners, it means buttoning up tactical plans for the following year.

I've seen many approaches to planning. On the extreme left of the continuum, teams take the current year's plan and nibble around the edges, recommending doing essentially the same things, plus or minus 10%.

On the extreme right, teams start with a blank slate and build the plan from the bottom up, striving for total reinvention.

In the middle are approaches that try to balance what's currently working with what's fresh and new. No matter what process you choose, I believe there are several criteria to consider before your team can evaluate ideas that will ultimately make it into next year's tactical plan:

1. Aligned with strategy
Of course. Ideas and potential vendors that don't meet this first threshold should not make it past your receptionist.

2. Integrates well

Think of your current plan as a brand platform that includes not only creative and media, but technology, processes, agency partners, fulfillment, measurement standards and some degree of integration. Sometimes, developing stand-alone tactics that don't link to the overall platform can be expensive, risky and difficult to measure.

3. Scalable
Due to the nature of program development within a pharma company, tactics that can't scale quickly to reach a broad audience should be carefully evaluated. Think about it—it takes the same amount of planning, effort, agency hours and MRL review time to develop a piece that reaches ten customers as it does to develop one that reaches thousands.

4. Measurable
Marketers should enter the planning process with a pretty good idea of what's working in their current programs and what's not, and they get this through consistent, ongoing measurement. Simply further scaling up or doing more of the types of programs that work is a great foundation for the new plan.

5. Innovative
Many marketers are seduced by the new and shiny. However, even highly innovative ideas need to be evaluated against the criteria above. And innovation must be built into and budgeted for in the plan—it won't magically appear on its own in the second quarter.

Joe Shields is product director/team leader, Enbrel, at Pfizer
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders


Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Features

Headliner: HealthSpot's teleconnected CEO

Headliner: HealthSpot's teleconnected CEO

Steve Cashman, Founder and CEO, HealthSpot

Recruitment: The New Breed

Recruitment: The New Breed

What do healthcare agencies really want when it comes to potential employees? The answer to that question is in a constant state of flux, as technologies, clients' changing demands and ...

Read the complete September 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete September 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the September 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.