Pharmaceutical Marketing That Works: Marketing Mix

Video Transcript – John Bienko, Principal

What is Marketing Mix – and why is it so important?

Marketing mix, simply stated, is really just a set of promotional tactics that a product is using to sell and market itself. In the pharmaceutical industry, this can include a broad set of different kinds of promotional activities, things from very traditional tactics such as sales force promotion or sampling, to more recent advances, things like co-pay cards or digital media.

A very top of mind concern really for any brand manager or marketing executive is whether they’re investing in the brand promotion in the best possible way, and that has many different dimensions to it. Things like, “Are we using the right kinds of promotions? Are they aligned with the brand strategy and driving the right kinds of behaviors? Are we executing these promotions well?” And of course, the biggest question on anybody's mind is “What's the financial impact I'm getting from these promotions? What's the bang for the buck?”

What are the keys to improving Marketing Mix?

From my vantage point, I'm really seeing three different things that can significantly change how marketers approach mix decisions. One is better information, comprehensive tracking of promotional activities, and using new data sources are really key elements to measuring promotional impact.

The second item is better analytics. None of these tactics really operates in a vacuum. So you have to take a very sophisticated, multi-channel approach to evaluating them.

The third thing I'm seeing is better execution. While a good plan is a great start, the devil's really in the details. You need to put in place systems, processes that allow for you to uniquely promote at the individual customer level.

Case Study: Improving Results for a Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Through Marketing Mix

In the past, the client had no common way of evaluating promotions. And many of their programs weren't being evaluated at all. They also did not have a robust process for making spending allocation decisions or determining how to allocate budgets across different brands. In addition, their execution plans were highly standardized. They really didn't reflect local market differences.

Working with ZS, our client established a very different process, and the results were significant. To begin with, we modeled the promotion response of their marketing programs, breaking it down by physician segments and incorporating all the major elements that could possibly affect the physician's prescribing. This kind of historical analysis was then adapted to future market dynamics, and we determined then, the optimal spending for each brand by tactic.

We also worked with our clients to develop processes to execute these plans at the individual physician level. And this helped them put in place ongoing tracking and measurement programs. And since this process was being used for all products, senior management then was in a better position to make cross brand trade-offs.

Bottom Line Result: 7% Increase in Revenues

The bottom line impact of this project was very significant for this client. In the end, they saw a 7% increase in revenues, while still meeting targeted reductions in total spending.

Marketing mix is just one component of marketing that works, an end-to-end approach that takes into consideration all elements of marketing and factors in real-life conditions on the ground. There's no perfect solution, but we believe an effective marketing mix will maximize a pharmaceutical company's chances of achieving and exceeding their sales targets. This is just one of the ways ZS can help give them a competitive advantage.

This video is part of our "Pharmaceutical Marketing That Works - Part II" series.