Teams often overcomplicate marketing plans & focus on breadth of individual tactics over depth of insight. Often it would be best to narrow the focus, based on a richer understanding of what’s most valuable to customers, in order to execute fewer, but more differentiating & impactful tactics that drive the desired customer behavior & brand perceptions.


In the many years of participating, facilitating, & leading the brand planning process across various organizations within the pharmaceutical industry, the one commonality among brands that demonstrate strong brand performance is alignment across Brand Strategy, Strategic Imperatives (SIs), and Critical Success Factors (CSFs).

These important components of the brand plan serve as a foundation for the tactical planning process. Consequently when tactics are not aligned, the resulting tactical plan tends to have an over-abundance of programs and resources, some of which are duplicative, not aligned to strategy, nor do they address key customer insights and market unmet needs. Ultimately, insufficient focus is provided to each tactic resulting in multiple “mediocre” tactics that lack focus rather than fewer differentiating and impactful ones. This often leads to a waste of resources (both time and budget) as well as lack of clear field sales direction and subsequent execution, which can be attributed to the lack of field sales understanding around how certain tactics are to be implemented and executed. And of course, it is important for field sales to understand the intent behind key tactics in order to drive a specific desired customer behavioral change or a favorable brand outcome.

A “Linear and Cohesive Brand Plan” is evidenced by a clear line of site from Strategy to SIs, all the way through to the CSFs and ultimately the tactical plan, where each series of tactics are designed to specifically address the SIs and deliver against each desired CSF outcome. As previously mentioned, a poorly aligned Brand plan leads to the development of misaligned tactics, many of which don’t address the true market challenges and customer unmet needs. This can result in the slow and painful death of a well thought out brand strategy and subsequent brand plan via “death by 1000 misaligned tactics”. Outlined below is a simple approach to avoiding this outcome and bringing a solid “Linear and Cohesive Brand Plan” to life.

Key Issue Identification

Highlights leverage points in the Patient Journey while refining into Key Issues

Strategic Development

Developing Strategic Imperatives & Critical Success Factors based on Key Issues identified

Tactical Planning

Alignment of Tactics to Critical Success Factors