Pharmaceutical Prospecting

When we’re building a prospecting list, the pharmaceutical and biotech sector can present unique challenges.

A bit of perspective: in 2012, the pharmaceutical industry spent 27 billion on drug promotion.

One can easily imagine that number will grow as our world population ages.

So what are the challenges building a pharmaceutical prospecting list for our agency clients?

When building a list focusing on the pharmaceutical sectors, we’re often asked to target very specific marketing titles with only a slight margin of flexibility.

The largest pharmaceutical companies seem to be constantly engaged in mergers and partnerships and with the subsequent restructuring and rebranding, it can be daunting to keep track of the changes in this industry.

So while there are always potential contacts out in the Big Pharma marketing world, it takes some effort to block out the noise and find suitable leads amongst the wealth of available information.

Compare that to pharmaceutical start-ups or biotech companies where marketing titles may be few and far between.

Pharmaceutical Prospecting

While these companies may be attractive prospects, many start-ups and biotech companies are all about R&D and many have yet to gain FDA approval for their products.

Furthermore, some biotech companies will eventually license their drugs to larger pharmaceutical companies—thus eliminating the need for the bio-tech firm to maintain a marketing team.

What that means for someone building a prospecting list: in lieu of a marketing title, someone in business development or even the president of the company might be the best contact available.

In the start-up and biotech sector, the agencies that specialize in medical marketing communications where the objective is to facilitate the process of securing more funding or pushing through FDA approval are positioned well, from our standpoint in the list department.

An agency creating lists shouldn’t cringe when faced with the task of composing a list for the tricky pharmaceutical & bio-tech business sector.

There are an endless pipeline of opportunities in this growing field but list builders have to be persistent and flexible in their search for that, sometimes elusive, perfect contact.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.