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  • Writer's pictureKarsten Schmidt

How to truly master resource allocation in times of increasing multi-channel marketing activities

Nowadays in many markets Life Sciences are investing an increasing proportion of their overall sales and marketing budget in non-face-to-face engagements with healthcare professionals. With these engagements I am referring to activities like sponsorship of continuous medical education (CME), approved emails, local or international symposia, round tables, journal advertising to name just a few. Often the proportion of non-field force expenditure represents 30% or more of the entire promotional budget. In market environments where face-to-face interactions delivered by the field force become more and more challenging due to access restrictions to physicians, undoubtedly these additional channels represent a good complementary way to engage with customers. Also, in order to determine the impact of face-to-face customer interactions in comparison to the non-face-to-face ones there are benchmark studies available which aim at establishing what is called the multi-channel equivalence or MCQ.

Nevertheless, Life Sciences companies often run resource allocation optimization exercises to decide on how much to invest on different customer segments by only focussing on field force related activities but completely forgetting about all the other multi-channel marketing (MCM) activities. The question is why does this happen? I guess the main reason for this is that optimising resource allocation is per se an already challenging task and many companies are hesitant of adding a further layer of multi-channel investments to the equation which would increase complexity even more. Excluding a significant proportion of the overall Marketing and Sales budget from the resource allocation optimization exercise is of course problematic. Both field-force and non-field-force expenditures of today are going to drive the future incremental sales of the promoted brands. Hence, it requires a holistic assessment of all channels and their related spendings in order to determine the optimal promotional return on investment (RoI) which will ensure profit maximization. There will be engagement channels with customers which will be targeted like e.g. local or international symposia hence the costs for those activities can be attributed directly to the customer segments and then there will be promotional investments which will need to be spread across all relevant specialties like for example journal advertisement or web portal development for the promoted brands. Illustration of resource allocation for targeted and untargeted channels

In my article from July 2nd I have written about the ideal process of determining the promotional investment levels for any given brand in promotion taking an omni-channel approach. Herein, the seamless connection of the strategic with the operational resource planning process is described (if you haven´t read it yet, you will find the link at the end of this article) and what happens in a nutshell is that investments levels are optimized based on the proportion of long-term incremental sales which the customer segment is expected to generate in the future. These investment levels need to take into account not only the face-to-face interactions but also all other targeted and untargeted promotional channels.

So my question to you is: Are you still optimising your resource allocation to your customer segments without an omni-channel perspective? And if this is the case what are you planning to do about it moving forward? In an ideal world one would want to make sure that each marketing & sales dollar is well spent and helps to drive future incremental sales. The good news is that a holistic approach of optimising marketing and sales spending is feasible today if you choose the right tool for that. It requires to have as input parameters the costs for all field force and non-field force channels available and allows you to allocate and calibrate the different channel investments to the customer segments in a way that an optimal promotional RoI is achieved for all targeted customer groups. I would be interested in understanding how you run your resource allocation optimization process today. Please feel free to comment below or to contact me directly at to provide your feedback. Also, if you like this article please share or like it. If you want to read more about other Business Excellence-related topics then please have a look at my other articles or go to the website Here is the link to the article mentioned earlier about connecting the strategic with the operational resource planning process.


Xeleratio Consulting Ltd.

We help Life Sciences executives improve sales performance with innovative best-in-class Business Excellence tools and methodologies . Expertise in Business Excellence has been gained with over 12 years of working in different global and regional roles in the Life Sciences industry.


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