Monday, June 11, 2007

Many Pharma Brand Managers Find Marketing Mix Lacking

Many Pharma Brand Managers Find Marketing Mix Lacking
by Tanya Irwin, Monday, Jun 11, 2007 5:00 AM ET
A FULL QUARTER OF PHARMACEUTICAL brand managers believe their current marketing mix is only performing "reasonably well" or "not well at all," while over 40% of the respondents say they are doing "very well" or "extremely well," a survey finds.

Over 80% of respondents say an integrated direct marketing program is an important part of promoting a brand, with almost half calling this extremely important. The results also show that almost three out of four respondents currently employ an integrated direct marketing program to promote their brands.

In addition, aside from face-to-face communication, respondents feel that tele-detailing (with offers for samples and/or literature, etc.) and teleconferencing (promotional or consultant advisory boards) are the most effective marketing tactics to drive a positive return on investment.

The study was conducted via phone and e-mail by PharmaKinnex, a New Jersey-based pharma marketing firm. It gauged the marketing communications preferences of 21 brand managers polled in April. The results represent the responses of a random sample of 10% of the managers working for key firms in the industry.

Turning the tables a bit, brand managers were also asked how they would like to be marketed to. The study reveals a split opinion on what brand managers feel is the best approach to help them learn more about integrated marketing approaches. Web, direct mail, and in-person presentations were the methods selected most often.

"It's revealing that so many brand managers are looking to integrated direct-mail marketing in their promotions, but that among this same group, not all of them are putting this approach into practice," says Michael White, PharmaKinnex CEO. "Clearly, there is an opportunity for growth in this area."

The difference between what brand managers say they think is effective and what they are doing could be due to the lag time in being able to make changes to previously implemented marketing programs, White tells Marketing Daily.

Pharmaceutical companies spend about $4 billion annually on direct-to-consumer advertising, according to IMS Health.

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