How can I create added-value ?

Increasingly, value lies beyond the product. How to create added value is a difficult question you need to answer.

How pharma and medtech firms are adapting to a value-driven market is an important part of my research. I focus on the processes that firms use to identify accessible value and to develop differentiated, profitable services.

I complement my research with tailored research projects and counselling executives, helping them to understand the nature of added-value and how it can be released by their firm.

If you would like to create value beyond your products, please contact me.

How can I demonstrate value ?

Success is synonymous with demonstrating value. Market access and customer preference is a critical issue for you.

How firms demonstrate value is an important part of my research into how the life science industry is evolving. My work reveals the detail of these capabilities, how they are acquired how they are implemented across functional boundaries.

I complement my research by working with senior executives, marketers and market access teams, using workshops or coaching to help them understand and develop their value-demonstration capability.

If you would like to better demonstrate the value you create, please contact me.

What are my strategic options ? 

Leadership is about decisions. Identifying, evaluating and choosing alternatives is your job.

My research examines the strategic alternatives facing pharma, medtech and other life science companies. I combine my industry experience and academic research to explore what opportunities exist and which make commercial sense.

I also use this research to constructively challenge industry leaders on their ideas for the future, either through commissioned research projects or in one-to-one coaching meetings.

If you would like to explore and test your strategic options, please contact me.

How can I strengthen my team ?

Nothing happens without an effective team. Assessing and building the capabilities of your team is one of your essential tasks as a leader.

What makes teams effective is a fundamental strand of my work into how pharma and medtech companies compete in our evolving market. My work focuses on how management processes either hinder or help cross-functional working.

I complement my research by counselling senior executives in the design, development and management cross-functional teams.

If you would like to strengthen your team, please contact me.

How are pharma & medtech markets evolving ?

Our market is transforming. How to adapt to that change is the biggest question you face.

I spend my life answering this question, gathering data about the evolution of our market and creating actionable insight. I research how social and technological change is driving the emergence of new business models in pharma and medtech.

I complement my academic research with leadership seminars, conference addresses and focussed “deep dives” that address specific questions about where this market is headed.

If you would like to better understand where your market is headed and what that means to you, please contact me.

How can I implement better ?

Without implementation, strategy is just a fantasy. Ensuring that strategic decisions are enacted is what leaders are paid to do.

How pharma and medtech firms implement is a pivotal part of my research into our industry’s evolution. My interest is in how leadership and process design can reduce internal politics and self-interest and refocus the organisation onto single-minded execution.

I complement my research by working with business leaders, either one-to-one or with their teams, to help them tighten and focus their implementation process. 

If you would like to implement more effectively, please contact me.

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About Pragmedic

Thanks for your interest.

Pragmedic is my company; I will design and execute all of the work we do together. For projects that require specialised knowledge, I may call on other exceptionally qualified academics. But I’ll always be the one who makes sure that you get a good outcome.

The following short bio will help you see how I’m qualified to help you but, if you’re impatient, skip down to How I can help you.

A Lifetime in Life Sciences

I’ve spent my entire working life in our industry. I began in 1978 as a fresh-faced research chemist for Sterling Winthrop (now part of Sanofi). For 20 years, I worked in R&D and Marketing for several global pharma and medtech companies. By 1998, I was a Head of Marketing for Boehringer Mannheim and, when Roche acquired the company, I decided to scratch an itch I’d had since my days at the bench.

Executive Turned Academic

FOP Fitness for LandscapeMy insatiable, scientific curiosity is what led me into R&D and, as I climbed the management ladder, I became interested in the science of how firms compete. Voraciously reading strategic management research, I found that it wasn’t always relevant to pharma and medtech companies. So I decided to make that my life’s work. I did a PhD on strategy effectiveness in the life science industry and, since then, I’ve researched various aspects of how those companies create competitive advantage. I’ve become especially interested in how our industry is evolving the competitive capabilities needed when technology is racing ahead and value is defined as much by payers as by physicians. I do this research at two great universities – SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy and the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. I also supervise a group of PhD candidates, whose research similarly looks at aspects of our industry’s evolution. Those who know me best call me a complete geek about the subject.

Real World Advice

My research has real-world goals: to help the world’s most important industry adapt to the future, so that more people live longer, healthier lives. That means disseminating my research in peer-reviewed journals and industry publications, in books and at industry conferences. A significant part of my time is spent working directly with life science companies as an advisor and counsellor. Over the years, I’ve helped most of the big and many of the smaller companies in our industry.

You can see recommendations of my work here on my LinkedIn page

How I can help you

Professor Brian D Smith LecturingYou can get an idea about what I can help with by clicking on the thought bubbles on the home page, but you should also understand how I will work with you. This is based on three principles:

  • Scientific: I immerse myself in the research literature and collect evidence about how life science companies are evolving. So my advice is always based on rigorous, relevant research.
  • Pragmatic: I’m fanatical about the application of management science to real-world practice. So my work with you will always be directed towards a specific, actionable and profitable outcome.
  • Individual: I’ve learnt that every case is different and needs its own solution. So I personally manage every project to understand your situation and to achieve your particular goals.



If you would like to have a conversation with me about how you can compete more strongly in our evolving market, contact me. I’ll be delighted to listen to you.


Signed - Professor Brian D Smith




Professor Brian D Smith


I’ve written several books, with more on the way. They’re all available via your local Amazon or, if you prefer, you can browse and request shorter PDFs from my free library.

Leadership in the Life Sciences

10 Lessons from the C-Suite of Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Companies

Leadership in the Life Sciences written by Professor Brian D Smith
This book is based on interviews personally carried out with more than 20 CEOs from companies including Novo Nordisk, Novartis, B.Braun and Smith & Nephew. It is built on academic research and written as 10 short chapters, designed for people who don’t have much time to read. Leadership in the Life Sciences identifies what makes leadership in this industry different from others and summarises what these industry leaders have learned over their cumulative 700 years of experience in pharma and medtech companies.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon.

Brand Therapy

Braand Therapy written by Professor Brian D SmithThis book is a practical, “How To” manual for brand teams in pharma, medtech and other life science industries. It describes an end-to-end process of 15 techniques for understanding your market, creating strong strategies and translating them in effective action plans.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon.

Darwin's Medicine

Darwin's Medicine written by Professor Brian D SmithThe sequel to The Future of Pharma, this book goes deeper into the drivers of industry change and how leading pharmaceutical and medical technology companies are adapting. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the industry's complex, changing landscape, this is an invaluable guide to firms seeking to survive and thrive in this dynamic market.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon


The Future of Pharma: Evolutionary threats and opportunities


The Future of Pharma written by Professor Brian D SmithBased on years of research and interviews with industry leaders, The Future of Pharma is written for industry executives who need to understand where the industry is headed and how they can adapt to that future.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon

Marketing and Finance: Creating shareholder value


Marketing Due Diligence written by Professor Brian D SmithWritten with two of the world’s leading authorities on marketing strategy and finance, Marketing and Finance explains the process of Marketing Due Diligence. It is written for those who need to assess the strength of marketing strategies.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon

Creating Market Insight: How firms create value from market understanding


Creating Market Insight written by Professor Brian D SmithBased on a three-year study into how firms translate data and information into knowledge, insight and competitive advantage, Creating Market Insight is written for those who gather, analyse and use business intelligence.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon

Making Marketing Happen: How great companies make strategic planning work


Making Marketing Happen written by Professor Brian D SmithThe result of an extensive research programme into why some firms make strong marketing strategies and others don’t, Making Marketing Happen is written for those who want to be best-in-class at strategic marketing planning.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon


Free Library

I’ve published over 300 articles and papers that summarise my research for executives in the pharma, medtech and other life science industries. They are all listed here and you are welcome to browse and to request a free PDF. Or, if you have an interest in a particular topic and don’t have time to browse, just contact me and I’ll select the most relevant papers for you.

An Unfolding Story: The Emerging Picture of the Value of New Medical Technology

October, 2011

In this European Health Technology Institute research brief, Professor Brian D Smith looks at the value of innovative medical technology and how research has uncovered a clear pattern in health economics.


Six Lessons for Knowledge Based Marketers

October, 2011

Professor Brian D Smith describes how marketing in knowledge-based industries is different from other businesses.


JMM Research Watch Vol 11.4

September, 2011

This review of peer-reviewed research covers topics from allocating marketing budgets to HMO tactics, from health advocacy organisations to sales team technology and from outsourcing to CROs to the adoption of new medical technology.


Improving HTA in Medical Technology: Six Goals for Constructive Engagement

August, 2011

In this European Health Technology Institute research brief, Professor Brian D Smith looks at how Medical technology companies need to help health technology assessment processes become better at identifying real value.


Survival Instincts

July, 2011

Changes in pharma’s market environment will drive the extinction of current business models and the evolution of new ones. What will pharma companies have to do to survive and thrive in this new world? This third in a series of three articles looks at the decisions that the pharmaceutical industry’s leaders face.


JMM Research Watch Vol 11.3

June, 2011

This quarter's review of published research reflects some of the most compelling issues facing medical marketers: Innovation, finance and the creation of
new markets.


Fierce Creatures

June, 2011

Changes in the social and technological environments are radically reshaping pharma’s competitive landscape, driving the extinction of current business models and the evolution of new ones. But what will those new business models look like? This second in a series of three articles looks at the new creatures that will emerge to populate the pharma market of the future.


Evolutionary Theory

May, 2011

The global pharmaceutical industry is on the brink of huge change, squeezed between what science makes possible and economics makes practical. But what might that change be? If this industry is to continue to make its huge contribution to society, more than speculation and informed guesswork is required; this knowledge-based industry needs to apply science to understanding its own fate. This first in a series of three articles looks at the future for pharma and what that prediction implies.


JMM Research Watch Vol 11.2

April, 2011

A selection of research drawn from a special issue of the Journal of Marketing Management, focussed on Value Marketing in the Health Care Industry.


Fit Your Market

April, 2011

Best practice and benchmarking are buzzwords in pharma marketing effectiveness, but the whole idea is flawed and management research is full of examples of benchmarking and best practice failing in the short term. A more scientific approach to evaluating the effectiveness of marketing strategies will result in plans that work for a specific company. The magic word is contingency.


Resolving the Innovation Paradox of MedTech Procurement: Five Lessons from Research Outcomes

April, 2011

Medical technology procurement policies often seem designed to prevent the efficiency improvements they are intended to achieve. Research by EHTI is looking at ways to remedy this contradiction.


Beyond KOL management: Communities of practice as a new perspective on pharmaceutical market penetration

March, 2011

Pharmaceutical marketers have traditionally relied heavily on the diffusion of innovation model and the associated idea of the key opinion leader. However, these ideas are strongly rooted in consumer markets and have little empirical support in the complex, professional decision making process typical of pharmaceutical markets. This article, co-authored with senior staff from Cegedim, considers as an alternative the concept of communities of practice model and discusses the implications of this for future research and the practice of pharmaceutical marketing.


JMM Research Watch Vol 11.1

March, 2011

This selection of research covers the topics of CSR, price regulation and generic competition.


Turf Wars: what the intraorganisational conflict literature may contribute to our understanding of marketing strategy implementation

February, 2011

The problem of strategy non-implementation is important and complex but poorly understood. This paper published in the Journal of Strategic Marketing explores the explanatory value of theories regarding intraorganisational conflict. It concludes that certain concepts from this area, when augmented with ideas from the social psychology literature and empirical observations of marketing’s interface with other functions, help our understanding of marketing strategy implementation. This may form the basis of future work towards improving the understanding and management of strategy implementation.


The Road Ahead

January, 2011

Our strategy for the future is dependent on what has happened in the past. This article looks at how path dependency theory can help us do a better job of creating strong marketing strategies.


Growing Opportunity

December, 2010

A summary of recently published academic research about growth and innovation that is relevant to pharma marketing.


Pooling Ideas

November, 2010

New research into doctors’ behaviour could force a reappraisal of Key Opinion Leader management, say Dr Brian D Smith and Marcus Bergler in this feature article from Pharmaceutical Marketing.


JMM Research Watch Vol 10.4

October, 2010

This selection of research covers a wide range of topics, from R & D productivity to how patients perceive risk and from team-based selling to parallel trade.


Contact me

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Dr Brian D Smith
6 Whetstone Close
Hertfordshire AL6 0QW
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1438 712 441
Fax: +44 (0)1438 712 442
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