Skip to main content Skip to Footer


April 01, 2014
Leading life sciences companies divide and conquer with digital decoupling
By: Guest Blogger Pooja Ojala

Our latest Biopharmaceutical High Performance Business Study shows some positive signs that the industry is pivoting to the patient. While the science-based strategies of high-performing life sciences companies are a key contributor to this positive shift, innovative marketing strategies are also playing a role. These strategies include digital decoupling, which has been known to save global and local brands as much as 30–60 percent in marketing execution costs.

Digital decoupling defined
So, what is digital decoupling and why should life sciences companies be interested? Digital decoupling is where marketing and brand teams separate and work with different agency partners to complete creative and production activities—and it has quickly evolved to being best practice across industry. Leading life sciences companies are not only seeing digital decoupling as a way to do more with less, they’re seeing it as a way to gain the strategic and operational advantage in a number of key areas affecting their industry.

Cost savings and consistency without compromising quality
For life sciences companies, it seems the most considerable benefits of digital decoupling come down to cost savings, speed and compliance. Let’s explore each of these areas as it relates to pharma:

  • Cost savings. Digital decoupling allows life sciences companies to standardize key processes related to core components of digital campaigns. Here’s one example: A global pharma firm, concerned about the rising cost resulting from duplication of marketing operations across multiple agencies, designed and executed new processes and global standards for campaign activities. The global rollout of these processes and standards allowed the company to save $15 million the first year of operations.

  • Speed with premium quality. Pharmaceutical companies with a global footprint need to be able to reach sales reps, payers, providers and customers all over the world quickly and in a quality service way. And, more often than not, what’s relevant for those in one country may be completely irrelevant to others in a different area of the world. Digital decoupling allows life sciences companies to work with partners that have a global operating footprint. What this scaled approach can do is enable pharma companies to adjust products quickly based on patients’ responsiveness—think real-time enhancements. And, remember that global pharma firm I introduced you to above? Well, it reduced the average project lifecycle for its digital marketing campaigns by more than 30 days with digital coupling and is continuing to condense that timeline as the teams get smarter and identify further efficiencies.

  • Compliance. By teaming with the right digital decoupling partner, life sciences companies can benefit from a partner with deep experience in helping companies navigate the regulatory environment. And, again, because different countries have different regulations, a partner with a global footprint that mirrors or, better yet, is larger than that of the pharma company can prove to be invaluable.

Leading life sciences companies will seize the opportunity to establish partnerships with digital service providers to streamline and standardize their marketing operations. By doing so, these companies will be able to increasingly focus on the science in life sciences that will deliver improvements to patient outcomes and enable them to keep up with the competition.

To learn more, download:

Download PDFDigital Decoupling: A Capability Multiplier in the Marketing Equation. [PDF 1.5 MB]

More blogs on this topic