AstraZeneca: Transforming its global operations with commercial services

Provided simplified, seamless, and integrated end-to-end commercial services to manage AstraZeneca’s digital content across the globe.


AstraZeneca, a leading global pharmaceutical company, was intent on improving its marketing effectiveness while significantly reducing its costs in the face of increased cost pressures, a rapidly expanding global footprint and an increasingly diverse set of customers. It took an innovative approach to achieving its goals—including the way it managed its digital content around the globe.

This arrangement has helped AstraZeneca achieve low cost content creation and the efficient reuse and approval of content across 60 global markets and in seven different languages—English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Russian. Over the first three years, AstraZeneca has realized its business case, including a more than 30 percent reduction in content production costs and a 600+ percent increase in digital content availability as well as asset reuse.


AstraZeneca turned to Accenture to help them develop a pioneering digital content management tool and Accenture worked hand-in-hand with AstraZeneca to implement an end-to-end system that facilitates marketing:

  • Planning: Automates the brand financial planning and budgeting process, provides a consolidated view of brand plans and budgets

  • Creative: Consolidates creative agencies via a pilot program across selected markets

  • Sourcing: Helps leverage lower-cost sourcing options in the production of marketing collateral in selected markets

  • Search: Provides a central repository and library of approved marketing assets

  • Approval: Best practice workflows to streamline the medical, legal and regulatory review of promotional materials


Executive Director Global Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca

"To maintain and achieve additional success in the Life Sciences industry it requires innovative delivery models to provide cost effective, scalable commercial services. We continue to partner with Accenture on our journey, leveraging their global scale, flexibility and vision to support our bold change to help maximize our business outcomes."


With the platform built, AstraZeneca engaged Accenture to provide commercial operations support through a business process outsourcing arrangement for several key areas including:

  • Brand and Marketing Services: Provide in-market multilingual support through Accenture Delivery Centers in Wilmington, Warsaw, Shanghai and Mumbai to collect, manage and execute brand activities such as demand and brand plan management.

  • Content Production: Provide project management for development of marketing assets via low-cost production agencies including bidding and quality assurance.

  • Content Management: Manage content reuse and upload for brand teams, including Library Services, Taxonomy, Standards, and Digital Rights Management enabling brand teams to easily upload assets and find ones for reuse.

  • Customer Services Call Center: Provide call center support for all the above functions.

  • Learning and Training Management: Provide support for multichannel training curriculum development and maintenance.

  • Reporting and Analytics Support: Manage the collection and reporting on performance metrics across the above areas to help inform market and brand strategy decisions.

“There is urgency for Life Sciences companies to build digitally-enabled commercial services to improve customer and patient engagement in the markets they serve around the globe—increasing reach and enhancing the customer experience across multiple channels in a cost effective way. We look forward to helping AstraZeneca through this transformational change by providing flexible global commercial services”

Managing Director, Accenture Life Sciences


With the success of the relationship, AstraZeneca was ready to take things to the next level to achieve even greater cost reductions, marketing efficiencies and flexibility by moving to an outcome-based business service model with Accenture. In this arrangement, Accenture has provided a marketing services platform and operates all technical and operational aspects, delivering an end-to-end service that manages AstraZeneca’s digital content around the globe. AstraZeneca simply pays for the services it receives based on usage and outcomes including the number of people using the system, number of assets uploaded and associated service levels.

AstraZeneca now has the operational capabilities and speed to market it needs in its digital content without having to invest in its own resources and technology.

AstraZeneca also has single point of contact (Accenture) across a number of agency and technology partners providing a simplified, seamless, and integrated end-to-end service to manage its digital content across the globe. The new service model is expected to help AstraZeneca meet its cost reduction goals and significantly improve the effectiveness of its marketing organization.

With the success of the global digital marketing services program, AstraZeneca has continued to partner with Accenture to expand into digital marketing services. Accenture is now providing broader digital marketing support in the following areas:

  • End-to-End Campaign Project Management

  • Email Campaign Execution

  • SharePoint Administration Support

  • Website Build and Execution