A day in the life of… an Associate Partner at MMRG (Medical Marketing Research Group)
Medical Marketing Research Group
Helen Taylor Associate Partner at Medical Marketing Research Group shares what a typical day is like for her and what inspires her work in the medical marketing research sector.
Continuing our new series where we speak with individuals from various roles and functions across the pharmaceutical industry on what a typical day is like for them, we speak with Helen Taylor.
Helen is Associate Partner at MMRG and explains what it’s like to work in a medical marketing research role. She also highlights the importance of listening in order to get ahead.
RA: How did you come to be in this role?
HT: It may sound quite an obvious thing to say but I ended up in my role through a lot of hard work and some happy accidents. As any typical student, during my summer breaks, I needed to fund my social activities and a recruitment agency managed to place me in a Medical Marketing Research Agency for the summer.
Now, 7 years after completing my degree, I am working for that very same Medical Market Research Agency because they saw some potential in me. Through an immense amount of hard work and perseverance I have been able to develop my skills, my knowledge of the field I am working in and I have learnt a lot about the industry as a whole, which has allowed me to be in the position I am today.
RA: What does a typical day / week at work look like for you?
HT: This is probably one of the hardest questions anyone can ask you. Is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ day / week in anyone’s life or work?
My role day-to-day and week-to-week is very varied although there is always a continuing theme, how best can I deliver new insights and intelligence to our clients through our research? Medical Marketing Research Group Ltd is a biopharmaceutical consultancy who is devoted to identifying, profiling, assessing and engaging with experts within the global life sciences industry. This provides me with the opportunity to work with the major pharmaceutical companies internationally. My main responsibilities involve project management of market research and market intelligence studies.
This could involve working with colleagues to develop a creative response to a client request or I may be interviewing clients to ensure we capture their internal wisdom through to interviewing Physicians, Experts and Opinion Leaders on a range of topics. I am also heavily involved in liaising with our partners to maintain the smooth running of our projects at every stage.
“The other biggest challenge we face is keeping up with the changing environment.”
RA: What are the biggest challenges you face on a day-to-day basis?
HT: Working for an agency with international clients means my day is very rarely 9 – 5, you can’t just switch off at 5:30 PM UK time when working with a client in California or Japan. This causes its own challenges in making sure I am working to my optimum potential and meeting client’s needs whilst still maintaining a social life.
I do get to travel with my work as well, which a lot of people think is glamorous, but actually having to be up at 5am to get a flight or spending 7 hours on flight then walking into a client meeting can be extremely draining.
The other biggest challenge we face is keeping up with the changing environment. New compliance rules for Pharmaceutical companies are being brought in, the Sunshine Act in the US, the Bribery Act in the UK will also affect the way Healthcare Professionals may wish to partner with the Industry, including market research agencies, in the future. Pharmaceutical Companies are signing Corporate Integrity Agreements, which affords its own challenges to agencies as well.
RA: What are the parts of your job that you find the most rewarding?
HT: As an agency, we can never sit still or be complacent in our approach to each and every research project we undertake. We are continually looking to the future, and based on industry research, we predict where our clients’ needs will be expanding. This means that all of us have to work with our clients and listen to them. This allows us to build relationships that are of mutual benefit and is something I find particularly rewarding.
To some, it may sound boring, but I get excited every time we deliver a project that has exceeded our client’s expectations, and receiving great feedback is a reward that is too easily dismissed. Being able to speak to some of the top Opinion Leaders globally is something I also relish, as they have so much knowledge they can impart and sometimes it is taken for granted how much can be gained from just listening.
“I get excited every time we deliver a project that has exceeded our client’s expectations…”
I am very lucky to work with a great team of individuals. We are like a family and as in any good family, we may bicker, laugh but inevitably we encourage each other to be better and this disseminates from the MD all the way down.
RA: What are the most important skills in doing your role well?
HT: As with any role, in any walk of life it is imperative to listen, be that to your colleagues, your clients or the industry as a whole.
Being honest, truthful and standing by your integrity, sounds easy but these can be the hardest principals to maintain, especially when you have a client that is determined to go down a certain path and you have to be honest with them to show them that an alternative route may actually provide them greater rewards than they anticipated.
RA: What is the likely progression from where you are now?
HT: That’s another difficult question to answer. I am very happy with my role currently. It allows me to work on varied projects directly with clients and other professionals whilst still enabling me to continue learning. I can get bored quickly but that has not happened in my current role.
I guess my next progression would be into overall operational management. My ultimate goal is to run my own business whether that be in this industry or something completely different. I am open to the challenge as well as the risks that may bring, therefore I am open to learning every aspect of a business in order to prepare me for this.
“Every task you are given is an opportunity to learn and show your worth.”
RA: What advice would you give a job seeker on looking to get into this role?
HT: You have to be willing to work your way up and learn your trade. Never expect to walk into any role, you need to show willingness to get your hands dirty. Every task you are given is an opportunity to learn and show your worth.
RA: Who inspires you the most?
HT: I am inspired by many different people at many different times. During my childhood and early adulthood I was inspired by great teachers and lecturers I was lucky enough to be taught by. Now my friends and colleagues often inspire me to be a better person.
Fundamentally I am inspired by my family, they are very hardworking people who have never had things easy and I just hope I can be as loving and inspiring to others as they have been to me.
RA: Thank you for your time
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About the interviewee:
Helen Taylor is an Associate Partner, at Medical Marketing Research Group. She has over 7 years of agency experience in both primary and secondary research methodologies.
Helen is experienced in engaging with renowned clinicians, academics and with business focussed stakeholders. She is able to translate the needs of her clients and create insights across the drug development lifecycle.
Helen has worked extensively at the International, Regional and National level, leading and delivering complex identification and research projects for all of the major global pharmaceutical companies. These projects have covered niche orphan diseases as well as the major therapy areas in emerging and established markets.
You can find out more about Medical Marketing Research Group on LinkedIn here.
What are the most important skills required to do your job well?