Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. – The Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Pharmaceutical organisations regardless of where it sits within the supply chain or whether it focuses on a B2B or B2C audience will need to adapt a particular marketing strategy to effectively sell its products and services. Pharmaceutical marketers will have the power to predict what actions will yield what results. This, in turn, will improve credibility and the profitability from that will assist in building superior capabilities and financial results.
Most Common Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategies:
1. Market/Product Development Strategy
A product/market development strategy concerns developing new products or modifying existing products and offering those products to current or new markets. These strategies typically surface when there is little opportunity for growth in an organisation’s existing market. The four most common strategies in this category derive from the Ansoff Matrix:
Market penetration (growing sales of an existing product in existing markets).
Market development (launching an existing product in a new market).
Product development (introducing an existing product into a new market).
2. Revenue Strategy
A revenue model strategy (or business strategy) is a strategy usually focused on forming a product or service whereby advertising or licencing revenue can be generated subsequently, or more broadly, a strategy focused on generating revenue. Pharmaceutical organisations also outsource at least part of their R&D processes to other pharmaceutical organisations and according to AMR Research, today most pharmaceutical and biotech companies outsource at least a proportion of their clinical trial management process, another example of how pharmaceutical are perusing cost/revenue-based strategies.
3. Target Marketing Strategy
Every pharmaceutical marketing strategy will involve an element of targeting. Targeting enables organisations to narrow their focus and aim marketing campaigns and messages at a specific segment of the market, thus becoming more relevant to the audience and increasing the chances of conversion into a customer or client. Essentially focusing on customers that an organisation can serve best.
A targeting strategy often involves focusing on organisations via one or more of the following attributes:
- Most profitable customers
- Larger or smaller organisations
- Loyal customers
- Customers that are not brand-loyal
- Employees of a particular organisation
4. Positioning and Differentiation Strategy
Organisations can position their products and services according to four variables: Product quality, service quality, price and fulfilment time. Reviewing your internal strengths and comparing them to those of your competitors, a differentiation strategy that positions your offering above those of your competitors can be achieved giving the organisation a competitive advantage. To bring the strategy to life, the pharmaceutical organisation can define the product strategy.
“A product positioning statement is a series of phrases or sentences that articulate the drug’s unique selling proposition, typically including the brand name, product category, target customers, key benefit, and primary competitive differentiation.” – PharmExec
5. Customer Engagement Strategy
A popular strategy, that one way or another, most companies will adopt. The strategy aims to create compelling content and experiences and encourages interaction and participation. With the development of technologies and the growth of marketing platforms and channels, a customer engagement strategy is highly common for most B2C organisations, as well as B2B brands who are looking for a two-way dialogue with their audiences. This is certainly the case for us here at Orientation Marketing. The aim here is to develop a community around the brand whereby audiences can interact with certain content.
“More products, more messages, more noise. How can a company cut through this with the key messages for their product?” – PharmaPhorum
6. Multi-Channel Strategies
A multi-channel marketing communications strategy reviews the different types of customer contact with an organisation to then determine how these touchpoints can be incorporated within a marketing plan to reach objectives. Multi-channels strategies derive from an internal audit to determine customer channel preferences as well as the preferences of the organisation usually based on internal processes. Pharmaceutical organisations are required to consider many elements of the strategy, such as customer insight, the experience as well as its internal capability when adopting multi-channel strategies.
Two Common Strategies from Multi-Channel:
A customer acquisition strategy defines the best mix of media and engagement tools (lead generation and product offers) to gain new customers by targeting them and reaching them through online and offline customer journeys.
A customer retention strategy focuses less on generating new customers and focuses more on keeping current customers – customers who you’ve already invested in and earned
Lawson, C., (2020) The strategies and market approaches in the pharmaceutical sectors. Available at: https://www.orientation.agency/insights/pharmaceutical-marketing-strategies [Accessed 30 March 2021].
Rickwoord, S.,(2019) The changing face of pharma’s customer engagement. Available at: https://pharmaphorum.com/views-analysis-sales-marketing/the-changing-face-of-pharmas-customer-engagement/ [Accessed 30 March 2021].