Even as product managers stay the same they are always changing. That is one lesson we can take away from this year’s Product Manager Survey, which in its fourth year has allowed us to better evaluate and understand the industry as well as the people working in it. Each year our respondents remain remarkably similar in terms of experience, number of product launches, favorite resources, salary, etc. However, each year they are also forced to face new challenges and must adapt to the industry’s ever evolving landscape.
Last year, product managers were still trying to overcome the toll of the economic recession and this year’s survey reveals at least one sign that we may finally be emerging from that dark cloud—marketing budgets are up for the first time in three years. However, the industry was unable to come out of this scratch-free as there were numerous stories of sales force restructuring and job cuts. So this year we focused a bit more on sales force reductions and how product managers are dealing with these cuts. (Spoiler alert: Non-personal promotion is a popular cure-all for cutbacks.)
We also found that the regulatory environment is no longer the biggest issue keeping marketers up at night. Nightmares of a dry pipeline are the No. 1 concern going into 2013. As always, we asked about social media, and for the first time less than 80% of product managers believe that social media use will increase next year. (And we all know the lack of comprehensive guidelines from the FDA is a big reason for that.) However, social media use for brands has also exploded from last year. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube—brand managers are using them all. Going forward, our respondents may have believed that this up-tick in use will level off because marketers are finally engaging with these channels and adapting to the changing landscape.
This year’s PM360 online survey was conducted by Litchfield Research and received responses from over 250 people from all over pharma including Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Johnson & Johnson (see the sidebar for other respondents). We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took the time to respond. And thanks to them we have a comprehensive examination of brand competitiveness, sales force cutback solutions, budget allocation, the hottest new trends, and more.
Blue Ocean MedicalBoehringer Ingelheim
Eli Lilly and Company
FemmePharma Global Healthcare
Johnson & Johnson
Kowa Pharmaceuticals America
Smiths Medical North America
Terumo Cardiovascular Systems