Ask Yourself

Do you have the expertise but not the time?
The time but not the resources?

Is your product still in the early-stages of development?
Established but not well enough known in the marketplace? Or coming to the end of its lifecycle?

Might you be in a sink-or-swim situation that begs for extra ammunition?

Explore a situation that is most relevant to you. Ask yourself these critical questions:

bulletNot sure your current DTC Program is optimized?

Consider these ten critical questions to help ensure your current DTC initiatives are achieving maximum impact and ROI. 

  1. Is your current positioning competitive and differentiating?  Does it tell a unique and relevant story?
    • Are you targeting the highest potential segment that your product/service can appeal to?
    • Is the brand promise as strong and motivating as it can be?
    • Are the ‘reasons to believe’ the strongest support for your promise?
  2. Are your DTC communications as breakthrough and motivating as they need to be?
    • Is the communications platform based on a strong consumer insight that your product can uniquely solve?
    • Are communications breakthrough and motivating to target audience? Unique vs. competition? 
    • Do you have the right creative mix to appeal to your target segments? Is the creative worn-out?
  3. Is your DTC program engaging consumers beyond traditional TV or print one-way push advertising? 
    • Are you creating 2-way dialogue and conversations with your customers? Speaking in their language and voice? Creating added value for them?
    • Is trust and authenticity part of your dialogue and conversations?
    • Are you able to create a sense of community, or peer to peer conversations?
    • Do you have a social media strategy and plan in place?
  4. Are you surrounding your target consumers where they are? Is your media strategy maximizing media dollars to achieve optimal reach and impact?
    • Are you leveraging off line and web media synergies?
    • Spending at competitive levels and on the right media tactics?  Spending on the right off line and web properties, media dayparts, print vehicles?
    • Spending innovatively and with unique creative formats?
  5. Are your DTC visuals and communications/messages integrated across consumer touchpoints and tactics, including off-line and web, awareness and relationship marketing, conversion and retention? PR? Are communications consistently leveraging your brand platform and positioning?
  6. Are you speaking the same language, with the same key messages as physician efforts to encourage the right conversations between physician and patients/caregiver?
  7. Have you monitored your back-end operations to be sure that it’s in shape to support brand initiatives? Are phones ready to be answered, IVR scripts optimized to generate maximum lead generation? Web SEO optimized? Fulfillment/outbound communications going out as planned? Consumer marketing involves enormous detail to achieve effective execution and requires continuous focus to insure that the elements of the programs rollout coordinated and synchronized.
  8. Have you assessed potential ‘leaky buckets’ across the consumer pathway from awareness to conversion to filling prescription to adherence to minimize lost sales and negative ROI impact?  Are pricing or managed care considerations having a negative impact on trial or repeat?
  9. Are you spending the right amount to optimize brand growth and ROI? Is your ROI where you think it should be? Are you comfortable with your ROI measurement plan? Are your objectives realistic?
    • Are you comfortable with the metrics identified and measurement plan in place?
    • Are ROIs measured consistently across consumer and physician tactics?
    • Is there an on-going process to assess metrics and competition, and make changes as needed in a timely fashion?
  10. Does the marketing team have the skills and experience for top-drawer collaboration with external DTC/P partners?  Are the internal processes able to support DTC efforts in a timely and efficient manner?  Do you have the right partners in place to help you achieve strong creative and execution?


bulletEstablished product(s) that may need extra ammunition?

Consider these ten critical questions to help ensure your established brand growth/success:

  1. Do you know what your competition is planning for the future? Are you ready?

    Might you be overlooking potential new competitors whose actions could transform your business?

  2. Do you have a mechanism in place to respond quickly to market changes due to new competitors, new technologies, or changing customer trends?

    Do you have the capabilities and right resources?

  3. How strong is your brand? Is it relevant and resonating as much as it could with core customers? Does your positioning optimize your product and organizational strengths?

    Has your positioning stayed current with the competitive marketplace? Does it:
    • Differentiate?
    • Capture your customers’ worldviews in a unique and “current” way? 
    • Tell a unique and relevant story… for each critical customer?

  4. Do your advertising and relationship marketing programs bring your positioning to life in a way that stands out in today’s marketplace? Are your marketing communications evolving fast enough to stay fresh in the minds of your consumers?

    Is your positioning being consistently communicated across all marketing tactics for maximum “bang” and synergies?

  5. Do you really know your customers intimately, such that you can prioritize your highest potential targets, and speak to them with the most motivating messages?

    Are you in a position to infuse their needs and desires across all marketing elements to continually improve value, eg product innovation, clinical planning, education efforts, retention programs… etc.  

    Have you established continuous and personalized interactions along all touch points that will deepen your customer knowledge and provide relevance and value?
    • Are you optimizing the value of your highest potential targets?
    • Are you advocating for your customers?
    • Are your customers advocating for you?

  6. How have you optimized the “experience” that you are selling to further add to your differentiation and branding?

    Are you talking in a voice of honesty, helpfulness and respect? 

    Have you assessed all of your “touch-points” through your customers’ eyes?

  7. Do you have a pipeline of product/service innovation; bold ideas in test? 

    Have you developed a plan to offer improvements, innovations, and/or new products, claims and services for your current customers, and/or new customers for your current products and services? And is your team moving fast enough to make it matter?

  8. Are your organization and your processes in shape to perform consistently excellent marketing and execution, and to collaborate effectively with your agency and external  partners?

    Do you have the right partners and processes in place to exceed in your marketplace and company environment?

  9. Are there potential “leaky buckets” along the awareness, conversion and retention pathways that could mean lost sales and ROI?

    Are your teams confident that you’re focusing on the highest potential opportunities and that your marketing dollars are being allocated and spent consistent with brand priorities and objectives?
    • Are your dollars getting the biggest impact and highest returns?
    • Are you fully current?
      • Have you given a hard look even at those programs that have always been done in the past?
      • Do you know who your highest potential customers are?
      • Do you know which programs get you the best return on investment?
    • Have you identified potential “leaky buckets” to optimize your marketing spend across the entire selling pathway and across all customers?
    • Are you confident that you have the right metrics in place? 

  10. If your brand is competing as part of a portfolio, is it getting the right priority and investment?

    Is each product in the portfolio differentiated in the minds of your external customer(s)and internal constituents across your organization?

bulletProduct(s) in early-stage development or pre-launch?

Consider these ten critical questions to help ensure your brand(s) in early-stage development flourish:

  1. Have you mapped out your competitive landscape, considering all potential competitors?

    Have you anticipated their next moves?

    1. Do you have an intimate understanding of all your potential customer(s) and how they interact and influence each other?
    • For each customer, who are the highest value targets? Key influencers?
    • What are their unmet needs, attitudes and behaviors? How do they view the world, and your category/brand?
    • What is the impact of the condition or business in the marketplace? Have you assessed the value and or impact? ie. pharmoeconcomics…

  2. Have you done exhaustive scenario planning?
    Have you nailed down your priorities, your critical success factors for successful commercialization? Your business potential with different product/service offerings, claims? Regulatory or legal implications? Competitive threats/actions? FDA/government interventions?

    Are you working far enough in advance to maximize business opportunities?

  3. Do you have the right team in place to optimize the brand?

    Enough of the right quality and quantity of resources and expertise inside and outside the organization: cross functional, key agency partners, consultants?

  4. Is a tight global assessment in place to assess regional, country priorities and issues?

    Are any unique product/claims needed?

    Are positioning and marketing needs the same or different? What can be leveraged?

  5. Are you considering and actively planning for the business’ full life cycle now?  Doing what is necessary to launch but laying groundwork for the future?  
    • Potential future switch Rx to OTC?
    • Future clinicals?
    • Future indications and claims in new areas?
  1. Is the market ready for your new product/service or does it require education and extensive pre-market activities?

    If so, have you identified when and how to best prepare the marketplace?
  1. Is a transition plan in place that will ensure excellent movement from development to commercialization/ launch?
  1. Do you have ongoing top management oversight, feedback and buy-in/involvement?

    Is the team enjoying upfront and strategic dialogues with top management that reflect a tone of honesty, respect and optimism?
  1. Are you set up to benefit from robust feedback?

    Have solid metrics been established along the way so that a rigorous and healthy assessment can occur, and the right decisions made without political delays?

  2. Is  there a spirit of openness, honesty, innovation and collaboration across the team and company?

bulletLifecycle Planning?

Are you getting the most out of every phase of your product lifecycle?

Bringing the curve forward to get quicker sales, extending the sales curve on the back end, or simply achieving a higher sales curve than originally planned could mean millions in sales and profits and more patients’ benefit.

Consider these 10 critical questions to help ensure your lifecycle planning is optimized:

  1. Is a clear, well-thought-out and actionable life cycle plan in place?

    Including: global expansion; additional indications/claims, possible new indications in a new therapeutic area; potential OTC Switch, possible follow-on products; and timetable and resources to make it all happen?

    Does the team have a firm understanding of which strategic elements can drive the most business and move the curves, forward, backward or higher?

  2. Is the right team in place, with cross functional and multi-customer experience?

  3. Are you leading ongoing strategic dialogues across the company and with senior management about the life cycle plan (and not just the business at hand)?

    Is the lifecycle getting its due discussion and priority or is the rest of the company focused on other business and  “short term” results?

  4. Is there sufficient rigor behind scenario planning, identifying opportunities and priorities for success, potential pitfalls?

    Is this clearly understood throughout the team and organization such that key strategies and new clinical learning can be quickly integrated?

  5. Has Competitive Gaming been considered to help sort through strategic options and priorities, and enable your brand to out-maneuver your competition?

  6. Has OTC switch assessment been considered upfront so proper planning and foundation can be laid prior to launch and commercialization?

  7. Is there a firm understanding of the role and impact of each customer on the business, and how to best maximize each one’s potential and success?

    And has the timing for each been considered? Is there an advantageous order of implementation that will generate more value?

  8. Has the role and timing of global expansion been vetted and prioritized?

  9. Are the right resources in place: money, people, and timing to sustain the focus and priority of lifecycle planning?

    Those who can really bring it to life and make some big things happen?

  10. Are you earnestly focusing on the lifecycle planning early enough in your product’s life cycle?



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