Functional Strategy

Defining 3-year strategies for global marketing functions


The heads of Marketing Excellence and Business Analytics in the global marketing group of a leading pharmaceutical company required cogent three-year functional strategies that aligned with their business unit and corporate priorities. The short time-frame and the need for a structured, external perspective to challenge extant notions and articulate the strategies led the business unit leadership team to reach out to SiLS.


The SiLS team worked closely with the functional heads and the business unit head over several weeks to:

  1. Develop of a ‘playbook’ framework that efficiently and consistently captured each function’s mission, value proposition, opportunities and options, responses to different funding scenarios and risks;

  2. Populate the framework for each function including consultation with each function’s leadership team to get a broad perspective and engagement with the outcomes;

  3. Challenge and augment the draft ‘playbooks’ based on interviews with stakeholders and experts:

    • Internal senior managers across the organisation to garner their perspectives on and expectations for the functions;

    • External individuals with experience of equivalent positions in other leading pharmaceutical companies.

This led to robust ‘playbooks’ for presentation to the global marketing leadership team.

Recommendations and outcomes

Having supported the development of ‘playbooks’ for each function, the SiLS team recommended:

  1. Evolving Marketing Excellence to a true centre of excellence model that leverages a small global team to maximum effect through their leadership and engagement of teams in global marketing, the regions and the affiliates;

  2. Driving higher standards in business analytics through enhanced recruitment, placement, role definition and skill development.

As a result of the project, the functional strategies have been developed and agreed by the global marketing leadership team and the client has embarked on change programmes to deliver on those functional strategies. This is ultimately driving better decision making and increased effectiveness of global marketing teams and regional and affiliate teams across a large organisation through the clearly defined strategies of two essential functions.