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.

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If you have all the time, resource and expertise you need to write a sufficiently detailed brief to put out to digital agencies then read no further … congratulations, you are in the 3% who have.

If, on the other hand, your briefs tend to be on the short-ish side; a little light on technical detail and insight and you sometimes wonder how you are going to compare like-for-like, then you might wish to read on to learn how to save time and money and get better results.

Going out to tender is inherently flawed. Briefs are difficult to write and can take ages, crucial insight is not often available, consultants are costly, and worst of all, an agency’s primary objective is to win the pitch, not necessarily to provide you with the best advice.

When you get to shortlist stage “capability” has become a given and – according to pitching consultant Ian Forbes, capability accounts for less than 40% of the decision at this stage.

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The Digital Manifesto:

The ‘new’ Internet is ubiquitous—it touches everything and is everywhere. In the G-20 countries, the Internet economy is expected to reach $4.2 trillion in 2016, up from $2.3 trillion in 2010. Over the same period, the Internet is expected to gain more than a billion new users, its reach extending to 45 percent of the world’s population. Consumers are reaping the largest benefits from the Internet economy—across the G-20, $1.3 trillion worth of goods was researched online in 2010 before being purchased offline.

The center of gravity has shifted—on a number of fronts. There are already more mobile broadband connections than fixed, for example, and they’re growing four times faster. Moreover, the Internet is becoming a mainstream shopping channel, and smartphones are increasingly being used for e-commerce. Emerging markets are at the forefront of the new Internet, driving massive growth in users—China alone is expected to add the equivalent of more than the entire U.S. Internet population in five years.

Although we are still at the beginning of realizing the potential of the Internet, far-sighted companies and countries are already taking steps to build digital advantage.

(Via bcg.perspectives.)