by Vladimir Castillo

I had been waiting for this moment. It was my junior year in college and I was finally able to drive my Jeep at school and, most importantly, bounce around a rocky and hilly area around my campus. My friends and I were having a great time “conquering” the big rocks when suddenly, my Jeep stopped running.

I couldn’t start it up, so we called for help, had it towed, and miserably went back to our dorms. A couple of days later, the mechanic called with the news: my Jeep was fine, it was just that the positive power cable somehow was disconnected from the battery.


Life lesson – if your strategy calls for disruption, be prepared to look for disconnects under the hood.

Disconnects are a problem, especially in companies with multiple departments, divisions, and partnerships. For marketing and sales divisions within life sciences, pharma/biotech, and other industries, disconnects can wreak havoc by hampering customer experience, hurting acquisition and retention program performance, and increasing unnecessary costs.

The trick is to treat the disconnect (root cause) vs pointing fingers because of poor performance (symptom).

Here are 8 areas to look out for (4 shown here in Part I and 4 more in Part II):

  • Communications – Gain more clarity between Sales and Marketing
    • Disconnect: Headquarters sends email (or any other channel) communication to customer A. On a visit from the sales representative, customer A asks about the communication.
    • Solution: Leverage appropriate technology and develop business rules to communicate with both customer A and corresponding sales representative. When it’s time for the visit, sales can find out what message was sent, how, and when through existing tools (i.e. SFA system).
  • Media – Stop wasting more than half of your Display Media Spend
    • Disconnect: Back in December, Google reported that over half (56.1%) of all display media ad impressions aren’t visible (meaning they are never seen on the screen). Nevertheless, millions of dollars are spent by pharma, biotech, and other industry brands without considering the “viewability” metric.
    • Solution: Work with an unbiased partner to increase viewability and fight for every dollar in order to optimize correctly across the organization. This will provide you with a competitive edge since most brands and companies have not acted on this.
  • Websites – Build your digital marketing on a strong foundation
    • Disconnect: Beautiful websites are developed every day by very talented people. We find though that the website’s value is minimized because of breaks somewhere in the process of:
      1. understanding the goal(s) for the website
      2. capturing or tagging conversion data points
      3. optimizing source media based on those conversion points.
    • Solution: Perform a Digital Analytics Audit that looks under the hood to identify and recommend key steps to take. Many times, beautiful websites do not perform because the foundations aren’t established properly and opportunities are missed daily because of it.
  • Marketing Technology – Guide your customer’s experience and outperform competitors
    • Disconnect: A new, shiny, advanced (in this case, Marketing Technology) tool is purchased by the company. The implementation however, became a nightmare where multiple issues surfaced and, as it turns out, the technology provides little or no value to the business.
    • Solution: Technology companies are focused on their technology (does it work?), not on your ongoing business or executing your strategy. Work with a service provider or consultancy that translates business needs, develops business rules, and operates the technology tool (such as Marketing Automation), and connects it to produce business results. It’s ok if you handle everything internally, you can ask the service provider to work in “white-label” mode (under an existing team).

Please stay tuned for Part II for the next 4 areas of Disconnects That Are Killing Your Strategy.

Vladimir’s unique background includes over 15 years of strong brand marketing strategy, analytics, operations, multichannel, and digital experience. As CMO, Vlad is responsible for leading Encima’s Business Development, Brand Marketing Strategy, and Product/Service Offering Development areas. His focus is on making clients happy by helping them succeed.

To contact Vladimir, email him at