Why GSK has created a cross-functional team to “perpetuate” its brands

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Tamara Rodgers, Marketing Director for GSK Consumer Healthcare, believes there are “too” silos in organizations today as she works to build collaborative and agile teams.

GSK Consumer Healthcare’s mission is to break down silos within its organization, using a central, cross-functional team to ensure that its brands remain ‘future proof’ and connected to the core business goal of ‘improve human life.

Speaking during the Institute for Real Growth’s Humanizing Growth series today (December 3), GSK Global Marketing Director Tamara Rogers said the brands in the pharmaceutical company’s portfolio are working together with this. team to ensure they deliver messages “with humanity” and not “for humanity”. .

“We have an in-house agency team with real marketing experts who work with our brand teams whenever they want to refresh the ‘heart of the brand’,” Rogers said.

“When we want to modernize them [brands], this team steps in, works with the brand team and helps ensure that we continually sustain our brands. We are very excited about this opportunity to infuse humanity into brands and teams. “

The cold and flu brand Theraflu, marketed as Beechams in the UK, is one of the brands that will see major changes as part of this new team dynamic.
GSK Unveils Goal-Driven Strategy As It Moves Away From Functional Messaging Formerly positioned as a drug to help people ‘get by’ when they feel sick, GSK acknowledged this message was ” massively deaf ”as the world entered lockdowns at the start of the Covid -19 pandemic last year.

So the focus for the brand has shifted to fighting for a “flu-free world,” with additional work around inclusiveness, Rodgers said. The U.S.-based Theraflu team created a $ 150,000 grant program to help cover lost wages from 1,000 unpaid sick days during cold and flu season, for people who don’t. receive no sick pay from their employers.

“Each brand has seized the opportunity to take a step back and find its center. Because you can’t have a goal that doesn’t align with your brand values ​​and the values ​​of your target audience, ”she said.

Too many silos

GSK’s primary marketing role has “expanded” over the years to one that helps “join the dots and bring people together” as there are “too many silos” within the company, he said. added Rodgers.

Each brand took the opportunity to take a step back and find its center. Because you can’t have a goal that doesn’t align with your brand values ​​and the values ​​of your target audience.

Tamara Rogers, GSK Consumer Healthcare

“One of our great lessons is that we have taken a step back. There are too many silos in organizations today, which was the case 10 to 20 years ago.

“Now it’s about collaborative teams, agile working, bringing the right ingredients to the team when you need them. And so we’re now trying to think about how we can break down some of the silos and make the teams work together. “

Voltaren’s design team has particularly benefited from the cross-functional work, said Rogers, which has won the brand multiple design awards for its “easy-to-open cap,” designed to make the product more accessible to people with dementia. joint pain.

The Marketing Director explained that GSK’s marketing teams now look at the customer experience from start to finish, and not just from a product and advertising perspective, to drive greater customer satisfaction.

“We’re thinking more about how we design a consumer’s experiences throughout their health journey, and where we then make sure we double down on our efforts so that the health journey helps them achieve better results.” , she said.

“But that requires that this cross-functional group really come together, because experience is everything. From opening Voltaren’s cap and how you apply it, to purchasing it in-store and experiencing Voltaren’s home exercise program online content.


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