Every year, healthcare companies go through the same procedures developing brand plans for their products.
However, despite the yearly repetition, processes, expectations, and templates are often not quite as aligned as some would think. Based on our survey of 73 brand planning experts across the globe (marketing VPs, marketing directors, brand managers, etc.) we identified five key topics that healthcare companies need to get right for successful, efficient, and effective brand planning.
Five things to get right for successful brand planning
Develop concise brand plans under 40 pages long with a clear story
Many brand plans are almost like novels, going on for an overwhelming 80 pages or more. If you read these plans, you often can’t remember the key messages once you’ve finished because they don’t have a clear story. However, brand plans can be as concise as 35 pages or less and still convey the important messages clearly.
Gather extensive up-to-date data and KPI-based insights
Often, data and insights shown in brand plans are very limited and outdated. What’s more, success is often measured poorly due to a lack of KPI definitions, inadequately defined KPIs, or missing targets. Up-to-date data and insights and a short list of clearly defined KPIs and targets will lay a solid foundation for decision making, ensuring a brand plan’s success.
Drive strong cross-functional alignment
Many functions in a healthcare company work together on a brand plan. Misaligned expectations, differing views on objectives and strategy, and siloed working are often difficult barriers to overcome. Ensuring cross-functional alignment is a key driver for successful brand planning and one of the biggest opportunities for improvement in companies where this is not established.
Use standard templates
The situational analysis, strategy, and tactical plan are key sections in a brand planning framework and usually look and feel the same every year. Yet, healthcare companies often add slides from several important projects that they deem necessary for the brand plan or try to reinvent the wheel and create new slides from scratch. A standard template is tailored to a company’s specific needs, clearly defines what is needed for a brand plan, reduces workload, and increases buy-in from employees.
Develop a structured and time efficient process
Although it’s essential, many healthcare companies think of brand planning as a long and cumbersome exercise every year. It doesn’t have to be! Establishing clear governance and a structured process will enable easy brand planning, improve outcomes, and free up resources to take care of other important tasks. This goes hand in hand with the standard templates discussed in point 4.