Business Issue 

The strategic marketing organization of a top pharmaceutical company knew that many of its internal business processes and practices were grossly inefficient. The executive team launched a business unit-wide improvement initiative to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes. The charter of this initiative was to redesign the business processes and upgrade the systems involved with the acquisition, categorization, analysis, synthesis, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of their marketing data, information, and knowledge. The executive team understood that better data management, information management, and knowledge management was the foundation for making better strategic and operating decisions.

The initiative targeted information-intensive marketing functions that included market research, competitive intelligence, strategic data analysis, health economics, and pricing. The objective was to help these departments provide better, more accurate, and timelier information to their internal customers. A worldwide vice president was chosen as the project sponsor and the marketing organization’s head of information technology was selected as the overall project leader.

The project leader quickly recognized that he had neither the people nor the data management and knowledge management expertise in-house to successfully complete the project. He turned to Iknow for help.

Approach 

Iknow conducted a current-state assessment that involved the entire 200-person marketing organization and developed an overall strategy for improving data and knowledge management.

The current-state assessment was conducted using a framework involving five core dimensions: strategy, content, processes, people and organization, and technology. Detailed interview guides were developed for two groups of internal stakeholders: customers of the marketing organization, and the marketing staff involved with the acquisition, analysis, and dissemination of marketing information. Twenty-seven interviews with key stakeholders were conducted and their input was used to develop a current state snapshot. Flowcharts of the current business processes were also prepared.

A comparison of current state with leading practices drawn from strategic marketing functions at other companies revealed significant improvement opportunities along all five dimensions. Iknow synthesized the interview findings, developed an overall strategy, and defined 12 projects as part of an overall roadmap that would improve the capabilities of the marketing organization.

Results 

In less than two months, the Marketing Organization had a comprehensive assessment of its current strengths and weaknesses and a strategic roadmap for improving its data management and knowledge management capabilities. The company was able to quickly launch many of the 12 proposed projects.