The Pharmaceutical industry is an adult market and happens to be undergoing a crucial phase where there's been a decline in new innovations and there are now emergences of more diseases which can't be treated with a single pill. The industry is definitely put through various regulations pertaining the patenting, marketing, advertising and cost decrease making it very volatile and competitive industry to preserve in.
Pfizer is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and their 38, 000 person global sales team is a major contributor for this to achieve this position. Pfizer's solution to success is mass marketing which strategy worked very well for Pfizer when that they had a steady stream of blockbuster products in the offing which contributed to fifty two and half billion dollar sales in 2004.
Pfizer operational segment currently adopts an undifferentiated marketing strategy whereby their products are advertised aggressively on popular mags and broadcast multimedia with an gross annual advertisement budget of three billion us dollars per annum. Since all their drugs are prescription product, they advertise in mass media widely to create awareness and needs among consumers who subsequently puts pressure on doctors for Pfizer products.
Their massive sales team are given luxurious price accounts and other incentives for them to go all out to encourage the doctors in making Pfizer's selection of drugs the treatment of choice at their respective hospitals and clinics. Pfizer's sales force is also presently dominated by associates who pitch a diverse range of drugs to a broad group of doctors. This vibrant and competitive mass marketing strategy is currently being replicated by other rivals within the pharmaceutical industry.
With the convergence of Pfizer's sales consultant and other competition associates, it is showing difficult to get contact time with the doctors. The sales clubs are tripping over one another and doctors are put off at the fact that they sometimes have conferences with three Pfizer staff in one day. This has resulted in many practitioners adding stern coverage on when the agent could arrange for an appointment to meet them.
Describe Pfizer's targeting and placement strategies. Any kind of indications that changes may be needed concerning the strategies?
"The marketplace targeting decision recognizes the people or group in a product - market towards which an organization directs its positioning strategy initiatives" (Cravens, D. W. Piercy, N. F. (2009), pg. : 185)
Pfizer's current targeting strategy is dependant on an undifferentiated online marketing strategy which is also known as a mass marketing strategy. The company culture is always to think big and spend lavishly on marketing their products to their target market (Medical Practitioners)
In order to create a demand one of the doctors, they advertise aggressively in mags and multimedia and create the merchandise awareness among the buyer who in turn puts pressure to obtain the prescription medications.
Pfizer also has a very strong 38, 000 sales team globally who are given all the required support to persuade the doctors to make Pfizer's product their treatment of preference at their individual hospitals.
However this mass marketing strategy only worked perfectly when Pfizer experienced a steady stream of blockbuster products. At this time, the industry at a whole is facing a slowdown with new inventions and issues with patenting which only gives each product a levy for a decade before it is replicated by cheaper general products.
Therefore a business with such a diverse profile like Pfizer should take up a Differentiated Marketing Strategy instead whereby they have to focus on different unique segments within their marketplace where their product would reach. This marketing strategy allows the company to appeal with their target segments based on their field of expertise for example: cardiovascular, muscular and neurology and many other particular diseases.
This strategy allows Pfizer to make a good reputation, maintain a romantic relationship and build commitment with the clients rather than just making a sales. This romance building will subsequently help Pfizer to look for the desires of the sections and focus on satisfying the needs predicated on their requirements for the future. This gives Pfizer a competitive advantage among its competitors.
This concentrating on strategy would allow Pfizer to restructure the operations within the company as well. They can take a look at decentralization theory, creating a more concentrated set of business approach which can only help them produce more targeted sales strategies.
"The placement strategy is the mixture of marketing program (mix) strategies used to portray the positioning desired by management to the targeted purchasers" (Cravens, D. W. Piercy, N. F. (2009), pg. : 194)
Pfizer's tagline "Working for a wholesome world" aims to make their product the treatment of choice by medical practitioners and attain world medication domination. Their positioning strategy is basically marketing each of the product characteristics and useful advantages to generate a need among the consumers.
Pfizer was just lately embroiled in a legal turmoil when their medicine Celebrex and Bextra, one of the most widely advertised drugs was accused of not displaying important safe practices data and possessed high center risk. Therefore, to be able to position something in the imagination of the buyer, it is very important for Pfizer to acquire clearness in their product and on the ad for them to present the right meaning. The quality is very essential so that credibility of the product as well as the business is not at stake.
Decline in new inventions rings and security alarm bell within the business where it is now more difficult to treat new diseases with one tablet. The other major concern is the patenting issue encountered by Pfizer. A lot of the blockbuster products can only benefit from the patent protection for a decade before cheap universal replicas from competitors prowl the market. Pfizer shouldn't count on the" Cash Cow" products by themselves since they employ a limited life routine before they are really replicated. They need to uncover what are the future needs of the consumers by the targeted sales strategy and fulfill them. Pfizer must pump in more resources to their research and development for them to have a constant selection of drugs to appeal to their segments this gives the company a competitive advantage among the rivals.
Does Pfizer need to change the composition of its corporation? If so, what changes are needed and exactly how as long as they be applied?
Pfizer's current mass marketing methodology has helped them achieve the positioning to be one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. The aggressive sales and online marketing strategy created many opportunities to allow them to dominate and be leaders in the industry.
However, this strategy only worked well well when Pfizer was in the development level numerous blockbuster products in their pipeline and before their sales strategy was replicated by other competitors.
In my estimation, Pfizer should change its composition to a more targeted and targeted approach(Differentiated Marketing) instead of mass marketing just to make a sale. Pfizer should streamline their mega sales force to smaller more focal communities targeting to different unique segments based on specialization of diseases. This action will be more coordinated and will help reduce recurring pitches by various sales reps. This approach will also be highly professional and will produce a good relationship between your doctors and representatives which consumer marriage can help create a long term brand commitment and duplicate purchase.
Decentralization across all the departments within the company will give Pfizer an improved knowledge of the segments that they would like to cater to and anticipate marketing and advertising strategies to appeal to particular unique sections.
Pfizer should also reduce their cost in administrative and advertising and pump in more resources into the research and development section so that they will be able to come up with new and superior drugs. Due to the drop in blockbuster sales and new innovations within the pipeline, it would be wise to transfer to more personalized treatment such as tumor. Pfizer shouldn't only rely on the "Cash Cow "products because the industry is a now facing a switch and the one size will fit all strategy is not valid any more.
Pfizer should think about acquiring smaller medication companies to strengthen its collection since their labs aren't churning out enough blockbuster products. Acquisition of new companies will also give Pfizer better syndication channels to reach out within the market.
Finally, with a far more focused and targeted way, it will start more opportunity for Pfizer to analyse the industry and the mark market segments to beat the shortcomings and work on the opportunities that they can venture into.
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