Case Study: "Marketing That Works" for a Stalled Brand

Kurt Kessler

Video Transcript – Kurt Kessler, Managing Principal


Client: Major Pharmaceutical Manafacturer

A client of ours, Sally, was appointed the new brand director. She had inherited a brand that was in trouble. Sales were disappointing, no one really knew why, least of all the brand director she was called in to replace.

Sally knew that it was going to take a long time for any action that she took, promotionally, to change the deflection positively for the sales of her brand, so she had a short time to diagnose what was wrong and make a plan. Sally called ZS.


ZS Identified Several Business Challenges

We were able to work with Sally and identify several areas that could definitely be improved. For one, the targeting plan wasn't optimal. For another, the incentive plan for the sales force was not at all aligned with the behavioral objectives that we had in mind.

But, our work with Sally's customers unearthed a much, much deeper problem. We found a fundamental mismatch between the reality of how customers were making their decisions, and what Sally, and other parts of her organization, thought was really going on in the marketplace.


Unforeseen Complication: The value proposition did not appeal to physicians and patients

It turned out that the benefit that they were going out with was one that was very short term in nature and, quite frankly, very abstract and not well understood by a lot of her customers. Worse, it was actually just imitating the strategy of the first to market competitor, who had already gone out with a similar value proposition and, quite frankly, their sales weren't that good either.

We worked with Sally's medical and regulatory teams to review all the information that was available. We could also see that there was an emerging view about how this particular viral disease worked, and it really changed the picture.


ZS Insight: The brand already had a major benefit the client had not considered

We thought, maybe there's a longer term benefit that we can identify. Maybe that benefit's real. Let's go out and test it with some of the customers.

We talked to key physicians, and it really resonated with them. Yeah, longer term rather than short term and, really, a higher value benefit.


ZS's Solution: Develop new skills and capabilities around a more powerful benefit for customers

We worked with Sally and her team to then sharply revise the promotional plan and create new capabilities that they needed. There were a whole set of accounts that operated that market under a completely different set of rules than they really understood at the outset.

We worked with her team, then, to develop new skills and capabilities, train their people, and enable them to engage in a much more longer term and deeper value added dialogue with these key accounts. Through that dialogue, they were able to establish so much value that, eventually, even in the tight economic times that Sally was facing, they were able to raise price.

If you look at the challenges that Sally faced, they're endemic to our industry. Overcoming the silos, driving the strategy into execution, that's what ZS does. We call it marketing that works. How can we help?