Highs & Lows–Success

This year’s crop of brand managers had a more varied take on their career high points (Figure 6). While product launches nearly dominated the conversation last year, only 23% considered it their greatest success this year. This group is more proud of other skills such as problem-solving (13% vs. 4%)—where they were required to cleverly navigate a minefield of difficult regulatory, resource or other constraints. Education/Advocacy also ranked higher (10% vs. 3%), perhaps suggesting a greater need for companies to proactively inform patients in an age where people are turning to the Internet for their health answers. Or maybe it indicates an increased use of these types of programs to improve adherence.

Positioning a product to improve performance once again ranked second on the list while the amount of marketers who derived their greatest career satisfaction from crafting a particularly successful campaign doubled. Driving growth ahead of forecast is a new category, and it is easy to understand why 9% were proud of their ability to surpass expectations. We also received a few interesting success stories in the “other” category including what one respondent called, “The most perfect launch price strategy.”

Highs & Lows–Disappointment

This year, the majority of respondents named marketing disappointments that were beyond their control and resulted more in frustration than lessons learned (Figure 7). Organization (or lack thereof) ranked first among brand managers as their greatest disappointment and took a huge leap from last year (27% vs. 8%). In these cases, promising marketing opportunities were killed by internal miscommunication, red tape, delays, reversals, etc. As opposed to flat out denials (7%), various regulatory issues (i.e., requests for more data, narrow labeling and other special requirements) discouraged 16% of respondents. Money was also more of an issue this year as 18% of marketers claimed to be dejected by their lack of an appropriate budget, an increase of 10%. Meanwhile, there was a 10% decrease in the number of marketers who named commercial failure due to poor positioning or competition and an 8% decrease in mentions of misconceived marketing programs. However, 9% still cited poor execution as their greatest regret.

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