How to Become a Marketing Consultant for Pharmaceuticals

Most common in Pharmaceutical consulting is the process of offering professional advice, sharing expertise, and teaching pharmaceuticals practices to make business decisions that enhances the growth of a firm while at the same time benefiting both the company seeking advice and their patients. Consultants most often work with a pharmaceutical company to offer advice and input on the makeup of drugs, sales, or clinical studies.

Pharmaceutical companies need to adapt to the continuously evolving nature of the industry as it is becoming more competitive and complex, requiring pharmaceutical companies to improve their technologies to perform in the market effectively. A marketing consultant works with these pharmaceutical firms to increase their market share by integrating new marketing strategies, creating a new brand image, or evaluating marketing metrics.

Tasks of a Marketing Consultant for Pharmaceutical Firms

A pharmaceutical consultant performs various tasks but primarily researches ways pharmaceutical companies can be more efficient while issuing the right services and products to their customers.

Tasks may include:

Finding Prospective Clients

Pharmaceutical consultants can help find new clients and secure contracts to supply medical equipment and products. This includes ensuring quality distribution channels and overseeing successful customer relationships.

A large part of your job will be an outreach to current clients and showcasing current product offerings. This may mean traveling to doctor offices with the latest technology or sample medications or coupons.


Pharmaceutical consultants evaluate a brand’s marketing materials, strategies, and plans to determine whether changes or improvements are needed. When necessary, a consultant assists customers in forming relatable and consistent brand identity and tone.

Adopting New Systems

Pharmaceutical consultants provide expert advice to clients on what software to use, programs that improve management, and operational actions that support operation strategies. The new suggested systems may look to replace old or inefficient systems to improve lead time, carbon emissions, etc.


Pharmaceutical consultants coordinate with employees to ensure a smooth running of marketing campaigns, email accounts, and websites. They optimize marketing by formulating specific brand strategies to meet company goals.

Marketing efforts may spill over to your coordination with local universities and hospitals as you recruit scientists, engineers, clinicians, etc. The medical community must be aware of your presence and see your efforts in the world of pharmaceutical operations.

How to Become a Pharmaceutical Marketing Consultant

Pharmaceutical consulting has different career options; you can work as a business and product development consultant for a pharmaceutical or consulting firm. If you like being your own boss, an alternative would be to work as an independent contractor who offers services on the niche aspects of pharmaceutical development. Venturing into this career allows you to meet prospective clients, manage your contract and develop your business plans.

Below are steps to follow to become a pharmaceutical marketing consultant:

1. Earn That Degree, or Two

A good percentage of pharmaceutical marketing consultants have a bachelor’s degree, some having master’s degrees. It is almost impossible to get into this sector without a school degree since it requires an understanding of the science of developing drugs and using them in business operations.

Other degrees relevant to the field may include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Business and marketing
  • Pharmaceutical business

2. Network Every Day

Networking is essential in pharmaceutical consulting since most businesses advertise vacancies when necessary and cannot fill them by word of mouth alone. While the industry advances, you will likely encounter a few acquaintances. Ensure to keep in contact and tell them about your career objectives. Building lasting professional relationships will only aid your career; a solid professional network is an easier option in your quest to secure a job.

If you currently have no social network, you need to utilize online resources. Find professional groups, organizations, and other clubs to bolster your network. You should also include co-workers and fellow students in your network, not just former employers.

Prove your interest and receive recommendations and references from various people in the field, including:

  •  Recruiters working in pharmaceutical firms
  •  People you have previously done business with current or former employees
  •  Pharmaceutical job fairs, internships, and volunteer work

3. Keep Up to Date on Industry Developments

To help narrow down your interests in the industry, you need to know the developing news in the pharmaceutical field. Visit various websites for company information, learn what products and services are offered at multiple companies, receive annual reports and news releases, and regularly read scientific publications to learn about new tools, clinical trials, and research projects that companies are working on.

Other new sources include:

  • BioSpace
  • Drug Topics
  • FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
  • CafePharma
  • Lexi Comp New Information and Products

4. Intern as Much as Possible

Many marketing consultants start their careers with internships or entry-level jobs that require no prior experience. Often employers look for individuals with solid marketing skills, team leadership, and individuals willing to learn on the job; internships will help you explore a variety of job environments.

When people know that you have an entry-level position, they are often open to answering questions and sharing more about the industry. Every experience is a growth opportunity, and the skills you acquire are more likely to get you to a higher position in the future.

5. Receive Certifications

While every employee may not require certifications, they are essential in advancing and improving your industry and marketing consulting knowledge. Certification is proof to the employers that you have met the necessary skills in the marketing consultation business.

The Professional Certified Marketer designation (PCM) is among the most important credentials offered at the American Marketing Association (AMA). This program is open to anyone willing to receive a basic education in the pharmaceutical industry and individuals yearning to expand their capabilities when advising on drugs, marketing, or market access.

You can also get certifications in project management, biotechnology, manufacturing practices, medical consulting, and pharmaceutical regulation. These courses enable you to design a program that best fits your professional welfare.

6. Never Stop Learning and Exploring Your Skillset

Most individuals work independently as freelancers or contractors with marketing agencies, applying various skillsets to facilitate client interaction. Once you have gained enough experience, you can prove to your employers how your knowledge enhances your exposure to real pharmaceutical projects.

The more practice you get in the field, the more prepared you will be to handle a business and clients independently and give you the time to decide on the type of healthcare consultant you would like to specialize in.

Marketing Consultant for Pharmaceutical Job Outlook

It is nice to know the outlook for growth and earnings with any career. To be a marketing consultant working in the pharmaceutical industry, employees make an average of $69k. Cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago are big movers in the industry, with a constant need for consultatns.

With technology advancing, prescription drugs are no longer the only big hitters in the industry trends. StartUs Insights shared the following graphic to showcase the top ten industry trends for 2022.

Skills Necessary to Become a Pharmaceutical Marketing Consultant

With an increasing number of stakeholders, a certain mindset and broader skills are essential to market products and services. You’ll need specialized expertise working in the pharmaceutical industry to sell and promote products successfully.

Pharmaceutical consultants should be proficient in the following areas:

Communication and the Basics

Communication skills are critical for every industry and role; how you present your information to clients, patients, and even co-workers. It is about genuinely getting to know your customer base and filling a need with your services and products.

Don’t get your marketing basics when you are creating promotional material, logos, tv commercials, etc. You need positive communication with the public to sell the products and services of your pharmaceutical firm.

Adaptability and Understanding

When you consider being a freelancer in the pharmaceutical marketing field, you may travel more often as you experience the varying dynamics of other markets. Doing so achieves a deeper understanding of different cultures and their needs from your firm. You should be able to adapt to different strategies that suit each client and culture. Performing well in different environments with different personalities is the key to pharmaceutical consulting.

Scientific Knowledge and a Desire to Learn

To be a successful pharmaceutical marketing consultant, you must be familiar with scientific terminologies and the knowledge behind procedural medicine. Since the pharmaceutical industry is continually researching and manufacturing new products and services, you must educate yourself about the latest trends and developments in the market.

Final Thoughts

The different phases of becoming a pharmaceutical consultant enable you to develop new transferrable skills in various work environments. It also enhances personal growth and career development across multiple niches.

Professionally, you will be better positioned to upscale your career and find your specialty to bring knowledge, value, and experience to each client with an expert level of service offeringYou are bound to have a successful career path if you work hard, continue learning, and meet your career goals to get to the top of the pharmaceutical industry ladder.

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