We do a lot of work in pharma and in financial services and they have more in common than you might imagine.

Both sectors face increasing competition and we’re working on an evidence-based approach to strategy development that works in both.

In pharma, patents are expiring at an unprecedented rate, allowing generic alternatives to flood the market wiping millions from the bottom line overnight. In banking, regulation separating retail from investment operations and the growth and encouragement of smaller and new banks is threatening the historical domination of larger organisations.

The end result for both sectors is an ever more pressing need to allocate marketing budgets more wisely and that means informing strategy with insights gained from the analysis of customer data and learning from what did and didn’t work in the past.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that global household-name businesses did this already.

Many organisations either don’t collect any customer data or the right data. Some do, but then fail to distil actionable insight from it, while others get great insights from their data but fail to inform future strategy with it.

It seems that the 80:20 rule strikes again … 20% of organisations collect the right customer and campaign data, 20% of those distil actionable insight from it and 20% of those use it profitably. There is also less campaign analysis, reporting and repeated-mistake-avoidance than you’d imagine. That suggests that less than 1% of companies are adopting best practice.

We’re currently working with a top pharma to develop a resource that will hold insight about customers, and previous campaigns for brand managers to refer to and populate, as they devise future digital campaign strategy. It will be graphical, simple and top line with a deep dive option.

By her own admission, the client with whom we are working, said they didn’t know anything like enough about their customers, B2B or B2C, and especially how they interacted with technology and the media mix across various markets.

At the same time, she said they were failing to inform each new campaign with the learnings of previous campaigns, carrying similar messages to similar people with similar desired outcomes. Einstein had a good saying about this approach!

In these testing and “scrutinous” times, few would argue against the desirability that marketing campaigns be better informed, so that ROI is a achieved more often.

The platform, process and protocols we are devising will provide the environment in which each new campaign is planned based on customer insight, market trends and peculiarities, and the outcome of similar past campaigns.

Closing the loop and ‘standing on the shoulders of giants” should have the result of uplifting the average ROI across multiple campaigns.

Comments welcome.