AstraZeneca Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

AstraZeneca, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies, has unveiled its marketing strategy for 2024, placing a strong emphasis on digital marketing to drive growth and scientific leadership. With a commitment to innovative healthcare solutions, AstraZeneca is positioning itself to revolutionize pharmaceutical marketing practices.

Key Takeaways:

  • AstraZeneca is focusing on core therapy areas such as respiratory, inflammation & autoimmunity, cardiovascular & metabolic disease, and oncology.
  • The company is committed to advancing Phase II pipeline projects across various therapeutic areas.
  • AstraZeneca aims to launch innovative specialty care products for complex and rare diseases.
  • The company plans to reshape its research and development efforts by placing increased emphasis on novel biology and personalized healthcare.
  • AstraZeneca is prioritizing simplification of its business operations to improve efficiency and productivity.

As part of its strategy, AstraZeneca is leveraging business development and acquisitions to enhance capabilities and expand its biologics portfolio. By aligning with leading academic institutions, AstraZeneca aims to access cutting-edge research and expertise.

The company has set an ambitious goal of reaching $80 billion in sales by 2030. Building on its success, AstraZeneca’s flagship immunotherapy, Imfinzi, has displayed impressive sales that were one-fifth of Merck & Co.’s Keytruda’s sales. Additionally, Tagrisso, a lung cancer treatment, has surpassed $5 billion in annual sales.

AstraZeneca is also making strides in the field of cell therapy development with plans for a dual-acting therapy that can be produced in just a few days. This revolutionary approach contrasts with the lengthy production time involved in current CAR-T therapies.

Furthermore, the company expects Daopotamab Deruxtecan, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) for breast cancer, to generate nearly $6 billion in sales by 2030. AstraZeneca has six other clinical-stage ADCs in its pipeline that hold promise for treating 17 different types of cancer.

To reinforce its position in the pharmaceutical industry, AstraZeneca recently acquired Fusion Pharmaceuticals, focusing on radiopharmaceuticals. The acquisition includes a prostate cancer drug in Phase 2 development, highlighting AstraZeneca’s commitment to expanding its portfolio and addressing unmet medical needs.

With a global workforce of 61,500 employees, AstraZeneca is also driving significant change within its organization. The company has embraced Agile methodologies, resulting in faster time-to-value delivery, reduced team sizes, and improved output quality. Over 1000 staff members have received training and support in Agile practices, with AZ aiming to double its adoption of Agile in the coming year.

AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy for 2024 demonstrates its dedication to advancing healthcare, simplifying operations, and fostering innovation. As it continues to make groundbreaking advancements in medical science, AstraZeneca is poised to shape the future of the pharmaceutical industry.

AstraZeneca’s Strategic Priorities

AstraZeneca, a leading biopharmaceutical company, has set forth strategic priorities to drive growth, innovation, and transformation in the healthcare industry. These priorities align with the company’s commitment to transforming the future of healthcare through science and delivering life-changing medicines.

One of AstraZeneca’s key strategic priorities is to maximize the potential of their core therapy areas. The company focuses on therapeutic areas such as oncology, chronic diseases, and rare diseases to address the healthcare needs of billions of people worldwide. By leveraging their expertise and resources, they aim to make a significant impact on patients’ lives.

In line with their dedication to innovation, AstraZeneca places a strong emphasis on advancing their pipeline projects. They have a robust portfolio of pipeline projects, with a particular focus on biologics. Biologics, which represent half of AstraZeneca’s products in the research phase, offer a promising avenue for the development of biological treatments for complex diseases like cancer and autoimmune disorders.

The company’s strategic priorities also include rebuilding their research and development engine. AstraZeneca recognizes the importance of novel biology and personalized healthcare in delivering targeted treatments that address the mechanisms of diseases. To achieve this, they collaborate with various entities and universities to accelerate the development of innovative medicines and personalized treatments.

Furthermore, AstraZeneca aims to simplify their business operations while leveraging business development and acquisitions. By streamlining their processes and enhancing productivity, the company can allocate resources more efficiently and effectively, driving growth and innovation.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, AstraZeneca integrates environmental protection and ethics into its strategic priorities. The company recognizes the interconnection between business growth, societal needs, and environmental limitations, striving to operate in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Through their strategic priorities, AstraZeneca aims to position itself as an innovation-driven leader in biopharmaceuticals, delivering long-lasting immunity, improving patient outcomes, and transforming the lives of people affected by chronic and rare diseases.

The Biologics Portfolio

The image above represents AstraZeneca’s strong focus on developing biological treatments through its biologics portfolio. The company’s commitment to biologics underscores their dedication to addressing complex diseases and advancing medical science to improve patient care.

Achieving Scientific Leadership

AstraZeneca is dedicated to maintaining its position of scientific leadership within the pharmaceutical industry. Its unwavering commitment to innovation and research has propelled the company to the forefront of medical advancements.

With a strong focus on core therapy areas such as respiratory, inflammation & autoimmunity, cardiovascular & metabolic disease, and oncology, AstraZeneca continues to develop targeted treatments and innovative solutions that address the most pressing medical needs. By concentrating its efforts on these areas, AstraZeneca can make a significant impact on patient outcomes and drive advancements in healthcare.

One of AstraZeneca’s key strengths lies in its extensive portfolio of large and small molecules, immunotherapies, and protein engineering technologies. This diverse range of therapeutic modalities allows the company to explore new avenues of treatment and redefine what is possible in the field of medicine. By pushing the boundaries of science, AstraZeneca is paving the way for groundbreaking discoveries and life-saving interventions.

Furthermore, AstraZeneca’s research and development efforts are supported by a robust pipeline of promising candidates in various clinical development stages. This strong focus on R&D ensures a continuous stream of innovative medications that address unmet medical needs.

To optimize resource allocation and maximize patient impact and business success, AstraZeneca employs a strategic Product Portfolio Management (PPM) approach. By carefully managing its product portfolio, AstraZeneca ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and that the right medications reach the right patients at the right time.

AstraZeneca’s pursuit of scientific leadership extends beyond product development and encompasses its marketing strategies. The company has successfully launched global marketing campaigns that effectively reach diverse audiences, generating impressive media impressions and reaching millions of individuals worldwide. Campaigns such as “Your Heart Matters” and “Breathe Better” have had a substantial impact in raising awareness and improving patient outcomes.

In addition, AstraZeneca has forged strategic collaborations with renowned entities such as Daiichi Sankyo, Merck, Cellectis, and the University of Oxford. These partnerships have accelerated the delivery of life-changing medicines, facilitating innovation and granting access to cutting-edge scientific advancements.

AstraZeneca’s relentless pursuit of scientific leadership, combined with its commitment to research and development, targeted treatments, and innovative solutions, positions the company at the forefront of the pharmaceutical industry. With a distinguished track record of achievements and a promising pipeline, AstraZeneca is poised to continue making significant contributions to global healthcare.

Total Shareholder Return Launching Medicines in the Past 10 Years Blockbuster Medicines in 2022 Approvals for AstraZeneca Medicines in 2022
467% 20 14 34

Return to Growth

AstraZeneca is dedicated to returning to a path of sustained growth. As part of their strategic priorities, the company has set ambitious revenue targets and plans to launch new medicines to drive future growth.

With a vision to achieve $80 billion in total revenue by 2030, up from $45.8 billion in 2023, AstraZeneca is focused on maximizing the potential of its assets and expanding its presence in key markets.

One of the key assets contributing to AstraZeneca’s return to growth is Brilinta, its leading non-insulin diabetes therapy. Brilinta has established a strong position in the market, generating significant revenue for the company.

In addition to leveraging existing assets, AstraZeneca recognizes the growth potential in emerging markets, particularly in China. The company is actively expanding its presence in these markets, aiming to capture market share and drive revenue growth.

Furthermore, AstraZeneca’s respiratory portfolio remains a key focus area for the company. With brands like Symbicort and Pulmicort, AstraZeneca is committed to delivering innovative solutions for respiratory diseases, catering to the needs of patients worldwide.

To support its growth strategy, AstraZeneca is investing in technology and innovation. The company aims to equip its teams with the tools and resources needed to drive growth through innovation and foster deeper engagement with key decision-makers.

Through collaboration and creativity within the A.Catalyst Network, AstraZeneca is leveraging its global network of health innovation hubs to deliver growth and ensure patient access to medicines.

With their sights set on achieving a mid-30s percentage core operating margin by 2026, AstraZeneca is committed to delivering sustainable growth and value for its stakeholders.

Key Statistics Revenue Key Assets
AstraZeneca’s cancer portfolio $17.1 billion globally in 2023 Tagrisso (osimertinib) – $5.8 billion in sales in 2023
Rare diseases portfolio Soliris (eculizumab) – $3.1 billion in sales in 2023 Imfinzi (durvalumab) – $4.2 billion in revenue in 2023
Investment in cancer-focused antibody-drug conjugate portfolio $1.5 billion

AstraZeneca’s commitment to returning to growth is evident in its strategic priorities, investments, and partnerships. With a focus on innovation and patient access, AstraZeneca is poised to achieve its revenue targets and continue making a significant impact in the healthcare industry.

Simplification and Productivity

AstraZeneca is committed to enhancing its organizational efficiency and productivity by simplifying its processes and streamlining its operations. The company aims to eliminate unnecessary complexity to create headroom for growth and improve productivity across the organization.

Through strategic initiatives and restructuring efforts, AstraZeneca plans to optimize its operations and support its overall strategic priorities. By reducing complexity and aligning its resources, the company aims to drive productivity and achieve its goals.

AstraZeneca’s Streamlining Efforts

AstraZeneca has set ambitious goals for organizational simplification and productivity improvements. These efforts involve a global reduction in headcount, estimated to be around 2,300, through restructuring programs. By streamlining its workforce and operations, the company aims to enhance efficiency and create a more agile and responsive organization.

The restructuring programs are projected to result in a total headcount reduction of about 5,050 globally over the period of 2013-2016. While these changes may involve one-time restructuring charges and cash costs, AstraZeneca expects to reap the benefits of approximately $800 million annually by 2016 from these efforts.

In addition to workforce optimization, AstraZeneca plans to align its financial resources for reinvestment in research and development (R&D), external collaborations, in-licensing, and capital investment. This strategic allocation of resources will further enhance the company’s focus on innovation and growth.

The Impact of Simplification on AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca’s simplification and productivity efforts are expected to deliver significant benefits. The company estimates that by 2014, these initiatives will result in approximately $1.6 billion in annual benefits, with an estimated total cost of $2.1 billion.

As part of the restructuring program, AstraZeneca anticipates that around 7,300 positions within the company will be affected. This includes approximately 3,750 positions within the Selling, General, and Administrative (SG&A) category and about 2,200 positions in research and development (R&D), necessitating the closure of sites in Södertälje, Sweden, and Montreal, Canada.

Moreover, AstraZeneca plans to create a new “virtual” neuroscience Innovative Medicines unit (iMed) comprised of a small team of 40 to 50 scientists working externally. This innovative approach demonstrates AstraZeneca’s commitment to leveraging external expertise while maintaining its focus on therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, oncology, neuroscience, and respiratory & inflammation.

AstraZeneca’s Global Operations

AstraZeneca continues to be a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, operating in over 100 countries and serving millions of patients worldwide. With a focus on innovation and delivering effective medications, AstraZeneca strives to improve healthcare outcomes and positively impact lives.

The company’s dedication to simplifying content processes extends beyond its internal operations. AstraZeneca has deployed cloud-based enterprise tools that are natively integrated with Box, such as Salesforce, Office365, and DocuSign. This streamlined approach ensures seamless collaboration and enhances productivity for employees across different functions and geographies.

AstraZeneca’s global revenue target $21.5 billion by 2018
Projected annual benefits from simplification efforts $800 million by 2016
Anticipated reduction in headcount due to restructuring programs Approximately 5,050 globally over 2013-2016
Estimated total cost of simplification initiatives $2.1 billion
Estimated total one-time restructuring charges $2.3 billion

Enterprise-wide Alignment with Agile

AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company with 61,500 employees, has embarked on a significant Agile transformation journey. The organization aims to double its adoption of Agile within a year, highlighting its commitment to embracing Agile methodologies and practices for improved outcomes.

The initial adoption of Agile has already demonstrated substantial financial benefits for AstraZeneca. Teams that have adopted the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) have observed a remarkable 40-60% improvement in time-to-value delivery. This accelerated pace of delivery enables AstraZeneca to bring innovative healthcare solutions to market faster.

One notable advantage of Agile adoption is the reduced team sizes, leading to cost reductions of 25-40%. By leveraging Agile methodologies and practices, AstraZeneca has been able to optimize and streamline its teams, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.

AstraZeneca’s Agile transformation efforts, in collaboration with PA Consulting, have successfully improved the quality of outputs across the organization. The Agile way of working enhances collaboration, transparency, and accountability, ultimately leading to higher-quality products and services.

To support its Agile adoption, AstraZeneca has adopted the Adaptive Delivery Framework, which accommodates both Scrum and Scaled Agile approaches. This framework ensures that governance and approval processes align effectively with Agile ways of working, enabling seamless integration and synchronization across teams.

Face-to-face planning is considered a crucial element in the launch of a new Agile Release Train (ART) at AstraZeneca. This in-person collaboration fosters effective communication, alignment, and shared understanding among team members, laying a strong foundation for successful Agile delivery.

Iteration alignment and system demos play a vital role in achieving team synchronization, particularly for large, off-shore teams at AstraZeneca. These activities facilitate regular feedback, promote transparency, and ensure that the development process stays on track.

The Agile adoption efforts undertaken by AstraZeneca in the first year involve substantial transformation efforts as the organization shifts to Agile ways of working. The results have been promising, with strong adoption observed across all areas of its business.

Sharing Best Practices

As AstraZeneca underwent its journey towards Agile transformation, the organization embraced a variety of best practices to facilitate a successful transition. Recognizing that culture change is pivotal in Agile adoption, AstraZeneca focused on defining key organizational values and fostering an extensive network of Agile Culture Leaders.

The alignment of governance and procurement processes with Agile methodologies was another crucial aspect. By ensuring that funding and governance approval were in sync with Agile ways of working, AstraZeneca fostered an environment conducive to Agile team dynamics.

AstraZeneca also confronted the challenges associated with outsourced and offshore teams. Leveraging key elements of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), the organization optimized collaboration and coordination among teams spread across different locations. Task tracking and collaboration tools played a vital role in enabling effective communication and seamless collaboration.

Implementing Agile Best Practices

AstraZeneca’s adoption of Agile best practices has been instrumental in driving organization-wide change. By embracing Agile, the procurement function at AstraZeneca supports departments such as R&D, Commercial, Operations (manufacturing), Legal, HR, and Finance, amplifying the collective impact of Agile methodologies across multiple domains.

The Agile transformation at AstraZeneca was spearheaded by its Chief Procurement Officer, John Dickson. With close to 40 years of experience in procurement and an impressive track record at renowned companies like Diageo, Heinz, Rolls Royce, Network Rail, and BP, Dickson brought a wealth of expertise to the table.

Dickson’s extensive experience, including 13 years at GlaxoSmithKline in various senior procurement positions, has been invaluable in guiding AstraZeneca’s Agile journey. Being appointed just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Dickson navigated the challenging landscape to drive Agile adoption amidst unprecedented circumstances.

Value-driven Procurement Strategy

AstraZeneca’s procurement strategy is driven by the aim to support growth through innovation. The organization optimizes its ecosystem of partners across the value chain, leveraging collaborative relationships to unlock value and foster breakthrough innovation.

The Procurement Value Proposition at AstraZeneca highlights key focus areas, including generating financial value, optimizing supplier collaboration, achieving sustainable business practices, and enabling business agility. By aligning procurement objectives with these core principles, AstraZeneca ensures that Agile principles permeate its entire value chain.

AstraZeneca’s commitment to ethical practices extends beyond Agile adoption. The organization has implemented an AI Governance Framework, Risk Framework, and Playbook, providing developers and users with clear guidelines to navigate the ethical challenges associated with AI technologies.

Collaborations with leading entities such as BenevolentAI further emphasize AstraZeneca’s dedication to leveraging AI for transformative outcomes. The largest AI collaboration between AstraZeneca and BenevolentAI focuses on developing targeted drugs for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), exemplifying the organization’s commitment to innovation in healthcare.

Optimizing Agile Implementation

AstraZeneca’s Agile journey extends beyond its procurement function. The organization has leveraged HR Workforce Analytics to gain a deeper understanding of evolving collaboration patterns, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. By analyzing data-driven insights, AstraZeneca can adapt its Agile practices to impact workforce dynamics and enhance collaboration in a remote working environment.

The Sustainable AI to Drive Global Health white paper, authored in collaboration between AstraZeneca, AI Sweden, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM), recommends best practices for healthcare research using AI. This initiative highlights AstraZeneca’s commitment to drive advancements in medical research while upholding ethical standards.

AstraZeneca places a strong emphasis on privacy and data protection. By leveraging aggregated data instead of individual-level data in analytics tools, AstraZeneca ensures that data privacy is respected while still gaining valuable insights.

Moving Forward with Agile

AstraZeneca’s Agile journey has yielded impressive results. By embracing Agile methodologies, the organization has unlocked significant value, saved costs, and fostered innovation. The implementation of a five-step digital adoption playbook, coupled with continuous analysis of technology usage, user satisfaction, and feedback, has allowed AstraZeneca to optimize digital experiences and drive impactful outcomes.

Moreover, AstraZeneca recognizes the importance of not relying solely on the “best people” for pilots and experiments. Instead, the organization follows the advice of Steve Bloodworth and conducts extensive testing and feedback gathering among representative team members, ensuring that solutions are applicable and effective in diverse contexts.

Value Delivered in Year One

AstraZeneca’s Agile transformation has already proven to be a game-changer in its first year. As part of its commitment to embracing Agile methodologies, the company has successfully implemented Agile practices across twenty large teams, resulting in a significant boost to its Agile maturity.

With over 1000 staff members trained and supported through coaching, AstraZeneca has witnessed remarkable improvements in its delivery process. Notably, the adoption of Agile principles has led to a dramatic reduction in time-to-value delivery. By embracing shorter development cycles and iterative approaches, AstraZeneca has been able to bring products and solutions to market more efficiently, capitalizing on market opportunities swiftly.

In conjunction with streamlined Agile processes, AstraZeneca has also experienced the benefits of reduced team sizes. Agile teams are typically smaller and more focused, allowing for improved collaboration, faster decision-making, and greater accountability. Smaller teams lead to enhanced efficiency and productivity, facilitating faster feedback loops and enabling rapid adjustments to changing market dynamics.

Moreover, AstraZeneca’s Agile transformation has had a tangible impact on the quality of its outputs. By implementing Agile practices, the company has instilled a culture of continuous improvement and feedback, leading to refined processes, enhanced quality control measures, and increased customer satisfaction. This focus on quality ensures that AstraZeneca’s products and solutions meet the highest standards, ensuring patient safety and better healthcare outcomes.

In the coming year, AstraZeneca plans to double down on its Agile adoption, expanding the implementation of Agile methodologies across more teams and departments. This commitment to Agile ways of working is driven by the incredible value and positive outcomes realized within its first year of transformation.

As AstraZeneca continues its Agile journey, it remains dedicated to delivering value to its stakeholders and patients. Agile methodologies provide a clear pathway to optimizing processes, driving innovation, and achieving sustainable growth in today’s dynamic healthcare landscape.

Value Delivered in Year One
AstraZeneca’s Agile Transformation
Adoption of Agile in 20 large teams
Over 1000 staff trained and supported through coaching
Significantly faster time-to-value delivery
Reduced team sizes for enhanced efficiency
Improved quality of outputs
Continued commitment to Agile transformation
Expanding Agile adoption in the coming year


AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy for 2024, combined with their adoption of Agile practices, exemplifies their unwavering dedication to innovation, growth, and improving patient outcomes. Through their embrace of digital marketing, focus on core therapy areas, and implementation of Agile principles, AstraZeneca is revolutionizing pharmaceutical marketing and delivery. By strategically prioritizing their efforts, demonstrating scientific leadership, and prioritizing simplification and productivity, AstraZeneca has positioned itself as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

With a strong commitment to innovation, AstraZeneca is poised to make a significant impact on the future of healthcare. Their ambitious revenue targets for 2023 and beyond reflect their confidence in their pipeline of products and their ability to meet the evolving needs of patients worldwide. By leveraging their global presence and investing in transformative technologies, AstraZeneca is well-equipped to deliver on their financial ambitions and continue to develop groundbreaking medicines.

Furthermore, their commitment to sustainability, demonstrated by their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set carbon zero targets, showcases their dedication to environmental stewardship. AstraZeneca’s focus on accessibility and affordability of medications further reinforces their commitment to improving global healthcare outcomes.

In conclusion, AstraZeneca’s forward-thinking marketing strategy, innovative practices, and unwavering dedication to improving patient outcomes have positioned them as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry. With an ambitious vision for the future and a strong focus on innovation, AstraZeneca is poised to continue making a significant impact on the healthcare landscape, bringing hope and transformative treatments to patients around the world.


What is AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy for 2024?

AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy for 2024 focuses on digital marketing to drive growth and scientific leadership in the pharmaceutical industry.

What are AstraZeneca’s strategic priorities?

AstraZeneca’s strategic priorities include maximizing the potential of existing products, advancing their Phase II pipeline, and launching specialty care products for complex and rare diseases.

How is AstraZeneca achieving scientific leadership?

AstraZeneca is achieving scientific leadership by focusing on core therapy areas, developing targeted treatments, and pushing the boundaries of science through large and small molecules, immunotherapies, and protein engineering technologies.

How does AstraZeneca plan to return to growth?

AstraZeneca plans to return to growth by maximizing the potential of assets like Brilinta, expanding their presence in emerging markets, and maintaining a strong focus on their respiratory portfolio.

What is AstraZeneca’s approach to simplification and productivity?

AstraZeneca aims to enhance efficiency and productivity by streamlining its organization and processes, removing unnecessary complexity, and optimizing operations.

How is AstraZeneca aligning with Agile practices?

AstraZeneca has adopted Agile practices across its IT change portfolio and embraced the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to bring about a step change in delivery performance.

What are some best practices AstraZeneca has implemented during their Agile adoption?

AstraZeneca has addressed culture change, aligned governance and procurement processes with Agile, and overcome challenges related to outsourced and offshore teams by leveraging elements of SAFe and utilizing task tracking and collaboration tools.

What value has AstraZeneca’s Agile transformation delivered in its first year?

AstraZeneca’s Agile transformation has resulted in faster time-to-value delivery, reduced team sizes, and improved quality of outputs. Twenty large teams have adopted Agile, and over 1000 staff have been trained and supported through coaching.

How do AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy and Agile adoption demonstrate their commitment to innovation?

AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy and Agile adoption highlight their commitment to innovation, growth, and improving patient outcomes through digital marketing, strategic priorities, scientific leadership, and simplification and productivity efforts.

How does AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy position them as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry?

AstraZeneca’s marketing strategy, with its focus on core therapy areas, innovative solutions, and targeted treatments, positions them as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and solidifies their scientific leadership and commitment to patient outcomes.

How is AstraZeneca revolutionizing pharmaceutical marketing and delivery?

AstraZeneca is revolutionizing pharmaceutical marketing and delivery through digital marketing, Agile practices, and a commitment to innovation, growth, and improving patient outcomes.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.