The pharmaceutical industry is one of the growing industries in the world. The world’s largest industry because worldwide revenues is approximately US$ 3 trillion. Nowadays major changes in place high demands on buyers, suppliers and manufacturers. Nowadays Customers demand the same product from the same industry.
Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is high growth in upcoming years, based on various factors. Top Indian Companies like CIPLA, Ranbaxy and Dabour have already established their presence.
Most of the pharmaceutical industry is concentrate on Research and new product development (NPD) and growth. But research work will take more time and expensive process and it’s dominated by large global MNC’s.
Indian companies recently entered in this sector. In India Pharmaceutical industry started its maiden operation at Calcutta in 1901.India has more drug-manufacturing facilities, infrastructure and equipments. It has been approved by the U.S. FDA than any country other than the US.
2. Organizational perspective in performance related issues:
- Increased competition and shortened window of opportunity.
- Low level of customer knowledge (Doctors, Retailers, Wholesalers).
- Varying customer mindset and perception.
- Quality of medical representatives
- Territory development cost is very high
- Training costs of sales representative is very high.
- Very high attrition rate of the sales personnel.
- Unclear value prescription from each doctor
- Virtually no mechanism of sales forecasting from field sales level, leading to huge deviations
- Lack of time to share new ideas towards developing customer needs for future markets.
3. Traditional Methods
The pharmaceutical industry generally adopt three marketing strategies for promoting their products-
- Free samples to doctors;
- Details of their products explain through various articles and opinion of other doctors;
- Gifts that hold the company logo and details of one or more drugs; and
- In general Pharmaceutical representatives also called as medical representatives. The main strategy for drugs marketing is directly to the doctors. In product revenues Most of the expenses spent to sales force of any pharmaceutical company. It comprises anything ranging from 17-20%. Research and development process with times, most of the pharmaceutical industry facing various strategic problems.
4. Business Strategies in Pharmaceutical Industry
One of the pharmaceutical company strategy over the past decade has been increasing scale. Only by growing larger are companies able to afford the considerable costs of drug development and distribution. Within this broad approach at least two business models are discernable:
4.1 Super Core Model business strategy involving the search for, and the distribution of a small number of drugs that achieve substantial global sales. The success of this model depends on achieving large returns from a small number of drugs in order to pay for the high cost of the drug discovery and development process for a large number of patients. Total revenues are highly dependent on sales from a small number of drugs.
4.2 Core Model business strategy was larger number of drugs are marketed to big diversified markets. The advantage of this model is that its success is not dependant on sales of a small number of drugs.
4.1.1 Marketing approaches of Super Core Model
In pharmaceutical industry there has been a significant change. Medical representatives are rearranged throughout the new companies. For eg., same geographical location there are six sales executives for just one company, or different sales force or medical representative for the same drug in different settings of the environment. Finally the result of new aggressive strategy, the hard work and aggressiveness of representatives has also been increasing. Therefore, they intend to have more frequent visits to clinic and encourage doctors to prescribe drugs and thus increase the sales of the company.
In this method medical representatives interacting with doctors, and most of the sales executives are coming for a visit on a regular basis as this is the restriction put by doctors of meeting only once in a month that to on a fix time only, Using that opportunity usefulness of their products and push and pressurising clinicians towards the use of their drugs. It means that basically, there are at least three representatives every day in busy clinic asking for a small meeting to support their product.
Medical representative is backbone of pharma industry. A pharmaceutical company also select the medical representatives and assigning works to them. The representatives visit the clinic and meet doctors, noncore customer and stockiest as per company norms. Sales team or direct field teams try to influence prescription pattern of doctors in favour of their brands.
Industry stockist sends stocks to authorized stockists as per the requirement. Retail requirement depends on weekly or monthly basis from authorized stockiest as per demand. Patients visit medical shop for buying medicines prescribed by a doctor and advertised in the media. In India any pharmaceutical company doctor is direct customer and patient is end customer. But for doctor customer is more important so he prescribed good company medicine. In this supply chain model ultimately end-user (customer) is benefited out of this.
To sell these products companies require more skilled field force to develop good marketing with their direct customer. Moreover Sales representative should have good product knowledge about their products over other products and convince direct customer and PULL the demand for their products.
- CORE CUSTOMER
(C & FA)
Figure1. Pull System
4.2.1 Marketing approaches of Core Model
In present situation companies are focusing more and more on the availability of products.
For marketing of these products companies require more field force to remind their products on daily basis to their direct customer. The field force should have good knowledge about product schemes and offers. Also field force is required to have a good relation with retailers. Field force also required to ensure good availability of their products to convince doctors and PUSH their products.
It has been observed that sometimes there are more than twenty representatives in a day are meeting with their customer and requesting for same type of products.
(C & FA)
Figure2. Push System
5. New Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategies
Most of the pharmaceutical companies successfully achieved target in the present business and customer trends and mindset are continuously changed. So pharma industry should create new innovative ideas as well as opportunities for increasing market share and profitability. If they want improve the profitability initially they have to invest more money and adopt new technologies along with their direct sales force team. Reason for new marketing strategy,
The general concept of blockbuster model is big pharma industry where 2-3 drugs are enough to take initial investment for a huge quantity of manufactured drugs; Main focus on more specialized drugs sold in lower volumes. The low volume products, sales driven marketing strategy commonly not feasible.
If you take small pharma companies are concerned, they have small work force. However, adopting new technology like digital media will helpful to retain the initial investment which is already made.
Nowadays doctors’ behavior is rapidly changed. Doctors, who are getting busier with counting patients it means increasing patients, can be hardly seen by the sales team.
6. The Right Marketing Strategy for Pharma industry
The right marketing strategy for most of the pharmaceutical company would be to build a strong strategic marketing vision and principle, along with a focus on changing customer mindset and behavior. Use of new technologies through mobile, Internet marketing plan, social network sites is the best marketing strategy that will provide a good business model. There must be some planning for using new technologies for marketing strategy too. It must be a multidimensional channel marketing but should identify the target customer. Each and Every technology used for all people cannot be called as right marketing strategy. The focus must be on the high value audience segment for pharmaceutical products.
There can be various ways through which a business organization can achieve success in the market, but all those ways can be comprised into as above, then it can be rightly said that it revolves specifically around three parties or more; the triangular linkages or the relationship between these three parties (company, customers and competitors) determine the success and failure of business organization. The basis of success in any competitive context can be, at the most, elemental level commercial success; and commercial success can be derived either from a cost advantage or a value advantage or ideally from a combination of both. In other words, the organization with Competitive Advantage tends to be the cost leader in the industry or a seller of most differentiated products amongst all the players. Supply Chain Managers can provide considerable value to their companies by understanding the customers’ delivery requirements. A very powerful tool for understanding these requirements is account segmentation. A company can use account segmentation to identify market segments which is well positioned to serve and then organize its product range and even SKU’s and service in a superior way.