UCB: building marketing capabilities to create patient value

UCB is an innovative global biopharmaceutical company, with a focus on neurology and immunology. It has operations in approximately 40 countries, supported by more than 7,700 people and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Brand Learning has worked with UCB since 2010 – working together to build critical marketing capabilities that create patient value.

The pharmaceutical industry has been disrupted like every other – customers from patients to payers and healthcare professionals are demanding more, and digital technologies bring challenges and opportunities everyone is racing to embrace. The Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of UCB, Bharat Tewarie and the Marketing Excellence team approached Brand Learning to help them lift their performance and continue to thrive in the changing environment.

A capability programme that is future-focused while creating better patient value immediately

The team believed that UCB needed to create patient value, delivering for the end-customer - the patient - and not just the healthcare professionals they’d traditionally serviced. Historically in pharma, physicians and payers were the customer. While patients were ultimately the beneficiary of the solutions, the organization was structured around supporting the physician’s decision to prescribe our drugs. The transformation for UCB began when they realized that the healthcare landscape was changing. To stay relevant and continue creating value, UCB had to adapt and focus even more intently on the key customer, the patient.

This change in who the customer is, would require a shift in mindset, skills and behaviours among marketers. In order to evolve, they needed to change their “DNA”, the systems tools and processes, and the capabilities and competencies within the organization to be successful.
UCB set the challenge to create a capability programme that would be future-focused, building the skills, ways of working and behaviours that marketers need for the new age of pharmaceutical marketing, while creating better patient value immediately.

The Highlights

Brand Learning worked in partnership with the Marketing Excellence team at UCB to:

Identify the capabilities UCB marketers would need going forward, with a new capability framework and skills dictionary

Develop a global Marketing Excellence programme, the uAcademy, to build those skills. Starting with ‘Championing the Patient’, workshops ran across 3 regions in Shanghai, Amsterdam and Atlanta, followed by virtual masterclasses to build skills in depth

Develop the future capabilities of our marketers by:
- Creating a blended and personalised approach in a learning culture where individuals are accountable for their own development
- Benchmarking future competencies needed and accelerating organisational capability
- Measuring behaviours and competency changes

Inspire and equip Marketing leaders to drive agile, patient-centric strategies and plans

The Impact

The programme re-energised and galvanised the marketing community – with a common way of marketing & enhanced performance

86% net promoter score

74% agree they know how to apply the learnings in their roles

Watch this film to hear Bharat Tewarie talk about the U-Academy and its role.


Published with kind permission.

If you would like to learn more about the work we do at Brand Learning, please contact us.

Very inspirational content and engaging way to deliver it. A good linkage between feeling, thinking and doing to enable the mind-set change and implementable action plan. Participant at one of the championing the patient workshops
BRAND LEARNING brings real expertise and capability building, and works alongside us to inspire and motivate our organisation. Bharat Tewarie, EVP & CMO at UCB
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