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.

The Missing Link

September, 2006

Dr Brian Smith reviews an eclectic mix of research which concludes that competing depends on innovation based on knowledge management that is driven by managerial style.


The Supporting Team

September, 2006

Dr Brian Smith and Professor Keith Ward present the results of extensive research at Cranfield University on the subject of leadership, what it is and how to be successful. The results of their work demonstrate that leadership is about alignment with the business, a concept that is profoundly applicable for pharmaceutical companies.


New research to quantify the linkage that really matters

August, 2006

The tools for assessing business risk are inadequate. Yet, in order to judge the probable return on capital, some form of measurement is necessary. Smith, Ward and McDonald describe the 'Marketing Due Diligence' process, which assesses the probability of a marketing strategy delivering its promises in order to calculate whether the plan would create or destroy shareholder value.


JMM Research Watch Vol 6.1

July, 2006

A review of current research for medical marketers

Journal of Medical Marketing Volume 6.1


Guarding the Brand

July, 2006

Guarding the brand is an Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper, sponsored by SDL International. It covers the results of an international survey of 145 senior executives from range of industries and shares and analyses their insights into the brand challenges they face.


Creating and using customer insight: 12 rules of best practice

July, 2006

It has become a truism that the ability to learn is an organisation's only sustainable source of competitive advantage. In practice, this means the capability of translating data about customers into customer preference and hence shareholder value. This paper summarises this understanding of the data-to-value process and identifies 12 rules for creating and using customer insight.


It's a Small World

June, 2006

Dr Brian smith reveals how the latest research on global marketing makes this imposing topic easier to tackle.


The Marketer's Stone

June, 2006

Turning data into value is difficult, but new research reveals how leading firms manage it. Dr Brian Smith, Dr Hugh Wilson and Professor Moira Clark reveal the secrets of success


Focused Minds

May, 2006

Dr Brian Smith reviews some of the recent research into marketing accountability.


As chaves do marketing (in Portugese)

May, 2006

Novas pesquisas revelam como e que as grandes empresas fazem com que o planeamento de marketing estrate gico resulte com elas


Easy as 1,2,3

May, 2006

There are three levels of marketing accountability and great marketers understand them all. Applying rigour at all three levels is what distinguishes a great marketing company from the less great.


Trust No-one

April, 2006

Market research drives most good marketing, but those who use it would do well to be less trusting and more analytical, suggests Dr Brian Smith in his review of recent academic research in this area.


The Extra Mile

April, 2006

We know that marketing excellence exists, so how are pharma companies expected to achieve it, and what are the differences between 'normal' and 'excellent' practices?


Back to Basics

March, 2006

Dr Brian Smith gets controversial about management research - some of the old stuff is better than the new, he says


The Money Pit

March, 2006

Many marketing strategies destroy shareholder value instead of creating it. In this interview in The Marketer, Dr Brian Smith and his co-authors of Marketing Due Diligence discuss the causes and cures for this worrying situation.


In Theory

March, 2006

What should pharma marketers do when faced with the task of creating a successful international strategy with a new chemical entity that may not be a totally new, fully differentiated molecule? Clinging to industry 'best practice' may be perceived as a route to success; but an open approach to bespoke marketing theory is more likely to help you shine.


From Data to Value

February, 2006

This is a report of the Cranfield Customer Management Forum's work in 2004/5.

Few companies today would define themselves as anything other than knowledge-based. For knowledge-based marketers, the critical issue is how knowledge leads to market insight, drives offer development and creates value.     Previous work at Cranfield has defined CRM practice as the use of individual customer data to drive value.

This previous work has also defined the necessary preconditions for effective CRM and the way successful firms adapt CRM to fit their situation. However, this raised further questions, especially about the detail of how firms use data to create value.

As a result, the members of the Cranfield Customer Management Forum asked that this topic be studied further to provide recommendations for best practice in this field.

This task was addressed in two phases, starting with a comprehensive review of previously published research and then testing and probing those areas where the previous work was lacking or unclear. It did so by means of 13 in-depth interviews with firms who were heavily involved in the data-to-value process.

In short, this study reveals that creating value from data has all the difficulty of 'traditional', less data-dependent strategy making and some additional challenges. Far from being made easier by information technology, it is made more difficult by the need to find, aggregate and synthesise sources of data that are more numerous and more diverse than in traditional value-creating processes. It is, however, that greater difficulty that promises both greater and more sustainable competitive advantage and hence value.


Doing your best

January, 2006

A review of recent research in the field of professional development finds the subject to be both essential and difficult.


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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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