Merriam-Webster defines tenure as the right to keep a job or post as long as you want to have it. Now, this is a common institution within academics and education, but it doesn’t really come up much in pharmaceutical and biotechnology marketing. Or does it?
Recently, we’ve been receiving quite a few disturbing reports from Clients about market investments that are receiving “tenure” within their organizations. You may wonder what this even means. BUT, we at Return on Focus knew exactly what they meant.
Well, it is the perplexing phenomenon that once a marketing investment makes it onto a Brand budget it’s nearly impossible to remove or to replace. The investment has suddenly been granted de facto tenure. Obviously, these tenured investments restrict the availability of funds to test out new, potentially more impactful investments. The accumulation of tenured investments year over year can eventually hamstring Brand growth within a market. Even more worrisome, is the fact that this tenure is often being granted in the first year, often long before the true value of the investment is proven.
What can you do to tackle the problem of tenured investments in your brand budget? The first step is recognizing that they exist. Next, work to uncover the actual level of evidence behind the tenured investment. In our experience, we find that it’s often inertia rather than data supporting the “tenure” decision. Once the team understands the true value of the investment to your brand (or lack thereof), making a decision whether or not to keep it becomes relatively easy.