MARKETING OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS AND PHARMA COMPANIES
FEATURES OF THE INDUSTRY
The pharmaceutical market is quite complex and diverse, with a large number of specialized participants and a set of features that define its functioning and significantly distinguish it from other consumer goods markets. Accordingly, the marketing strategy and overall marketing of pharmaceutical products can vary significantly depending on the type of company. The main features of the pharmaceutical market include:
- Specialization. Unlike most markets, pharmaceutical products often reach the end consumer through the collaboration and cooperation of several pharmaceutical companies, each responsible for a specific stage of the process, such as research, development, testing, production, logistics, distribution, marketing, and sales. The specific knowledge and technologies required for pharmaceutical production make it almost impossible to find market participants who can handle the entire product journey independently.
- Number of powerful players. The market has a large number of players, including national manufacturers, large international corporations, and import companies specializing in lesser-known but cheaper brands and manufacturing countries. This situation leads to intense competition in both the public arena and the corridors of ministries and agencies.
- Alternative products. A significant portion of the population is inclined to use products with unproven or questionable effectiveness and various dietary supplements based on false habits, dubious recommendations, and poor knowledge of evidence-based medicine. In essence, there is competition in the market not only between effective drugs but across the spectrum of "conditionally effective" products.
- Stringent regulation. Unlike other industries, pharmaceutical production is subject to more rigorous regulation to ensure the quality, safety, and effectiveness of medicines. Regulatory bodies set standards and requirements for the production, distribution, and marketing of pharmaceuticals. Changes in regulatory norms can have a significant impact on the marketing strategy of pharmaceutical companies.
- Govermental and humanitarian procurement. A significant portion of the production is sold through direct purchases by government authorities and humanitarian organizations, requiring market participants to have specific knowledge and skills related to decision-making systems and procurement organization.
- Importance of reputation and public opinion. Health, both personal and that of loved ones, is the highest value for many consumers. This allows reputable manufacturers with flawless reputations to sell products at higher prices and maintain a stable customer base for an extended period.
- Innovation. Fierce competition requires market participants to be ahead of others not only in the application of advanced technologies in research, development, and production but also in sales and marketing. Innovative and creative marketing is one of the key success factors in pharmaceutical product marketing.
As we can see, the pharmaceutical market is indeed more complex than most other industries, which necessitates robust and creative marketing from market participants. Depending on the specific business conducted by a particular market participant (manufacturer-developer, clinical research company, importer-distributor, logistics company, pharmacy network, marketing platform, or agency, etc.), the marketing strategy, the structure of the marketing complex, and marketing tools can vary significantly.
SOME GENERAL STRATEGIES AND APPROACHESS
Nevertheless, marketing of pharmaceutical products for end consumers utilizes the following most popular tools and methods for comprehensive promotion of a pharmaceutical company's products in the market:
- Direct marketing through doctors. Pharmaceutical companies actively engage with doctors, providing them with information about new drugs, clinical trials, and the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, as well as creating the necessary motivation for the spread of their own products among patients.
- Direct marketing through pharmacies. Pharmacy staff often suggest replacing the prescribed drug with another brand or even recommend a different medication, influencing consumers' choices. Many consumers pay careful attention to such recommendations, providing pharmacies with the opportunity to actively engage in direct marketing of pharmaceutical products, including dietary supplements.
- Creative advertising. Powerful creative advertising campaigns on television, radio, and the internet are actively used by almost all major pharmaceutical companies. Consumer's keen interest in health issues is a key factor that adds effectiveness to such advertising. Recognizing their own needs and problems in advertising, consumers are likely to remember and purchase the advertised product.
- Native advertising. Advertising of pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements is widely used in the form of review articles and videos addressing various health issues. Often, consumers do not receive effective treatment in medical institutions and resort to self-treatment or seeking solutions independently, creating a broad field of opportunities for using native advertising on the internet.
- Public discussions and recommendations. Consumers with similar health issues actively communicate and share their experiences, providing an opportunity to cautiously use discussion platforms for pharmaceutical marketing.
- Patient interaction marketing. Some companies actively interact with patients through social media, websites, and other channels, providing information and support.
- Advertising in medical media. Advertising and articles in medical media allow pharmaceutical companies to present their products and research to medical professionals.
- Educational events and seminars. Organizing medical seminars, training programs, etc., contributes to the dissemination of knowledge about new drugs and technologies among the medical community.
- Event sponsorship. Large pharmaceutical companies often sponsor sports events, medical conferences, symposiums, and other events related to the industry.
- Loyalty programs and discounts. Pharmacy networks and some pharmaceutical companies use loyalty programs and discounts to boost demand and loyalty.
It should be noted that within one article, we cannot show all the pitfalls or demonstrate all the marketing methods and tools specific to the mentioned industry. In other words, these are just a few examples of quite general marketing approaches that can be applied to companies in the pharma sector. From a practical point of view, everything is much more complicated - the choice of a specific marketing strategy and tools depends on the target audience, competitive environment, and unique advantages of the company, etc. At the same time, it is desirable to understand that pharma marketing may encounter a number of specific problems that are unique to each individual case and require an individual approach to their solution.
Achieving the commercial objectives of a company through effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the market situation, consumer needs, the ability to analyze and explore alternatives, and a creative approach to problem-solving. Our company has extensive experience in defining optimal marketing strategies for our clients' businesses, creating a strong brand and market positioning, as well as developing a marketing mix and implementing the chosen strategy. You can familiarize yourself with the services and solutions our company offers on the "Services
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