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Pfizer – Marketing Case Study Essay Sample

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Pfizer – Marketing Case Study Essay Sample

Objective

The objective of this portfolio is to analyze whether Pfizer Inc. is a market leader of producing ethical products in the pharmaceutical industry in Hong Kong. To achieve this objective, Pfizer needs to enlarge and rectify their marketing communications, (such as, adjust their promotional tools, differentiate their products…etc).

Introduction

Pfizer Inc. is established since 1849 by Charles Pfizer and Charles Earhart and up till now, it has 150 countries using their pharmaceutical products. The headquarters is located in New York, NY(USA) and the research & development location in England, Japan, France and USA respectively. 120,000 employees in world-wide. Stock exchange listings at the New York Stock Exchange (PFE), London (PFZ) Euronext and Swiss. In 2002, the revenues is up to USD$32.4 billions. Pfizer operations are established in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, England, Mexico, Panama, and Puerto Rico.

The variety of their pharmaceutical products is large which covers cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, genito-urinary system diseases, upper and lower respiratory system diseases…….etc.

Hank McKinnell, Ph.D., Pfizer’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer leading a pharmaceutical company with $32.4 Billion revenues in 2002 and the Resources & Development budget in 2003 is $7.1 Billion. Pfizer Inc. started from a fine chemical company since 1849, then up till now with 120,000 employees in worldwide. Merger and acquisition allowed for rapid growth and international expansion as more than 150 countries use their product brought into Hank’s vision.

Pfizer Inc., discovers, develops, manufacturers, and markets leading prescription medicine for humans and animals and many of the world’s best-known consumer brands. Our innovative, value-added products improve the quality of life of people around the world and help them enjoy longer, healthier, and more productive lives. The company has three business segments: health care, animal health and consumer health care.

According to the figure from the Finanical Times (April 6th, 2000), the 3-top worldwide pharmaceutical companies in sales is from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer and Merck (MSD) respectively. However, in 2001, the top number one in sales is Pfizer and they maintain this top level for the next 2 years up till now. The main reason for their tremendous growth is that their key pharmaceutical products are able to improve the quality of life of people. Those products are Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) tablets, Celebux (celecoxib), Diflucan (fluconazole), Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) tablets, Neurontin (gabapentin), Norvasc (amlodipine besylate), Viagra (sildenafil citrate) tablet, Zithromax (azithromycin), Zoloft (sertraline HCI) and Zyrtec (certirizone HCI).

Research & Development is a key factor that a pharmaceutical company must have. Pfizer inc. spent USD7.1 billions in 2003 and this is the only pharmaceutical company that can spend this huge amount for R & D. Mission: Pfizer Inc wants to become the world’s most valued company to patients, customers, colleagues, investors, business partners, and the communities where we work and live. Their aggressive attitude would lead them to fulfill the task. Purpose: Pfizer dedicates ourselves to humanity’s quest for longer, healther, happier lives through innovation in pharmaceutical, consumer, and animal health products.

Current Situation of Pfizer Inc.

After the acquisition of Pharmacia, Pfizer Inc. is now the number one in terms of corporate size and sales in the pharmaceutical industry. The expansion of Pfizer, whose strong performance and wellspring of skills promise greater benefits to millions and millions of people and their animals. The expanded Pfizer is ready to master the challenges ahead, challenges that range from unlocking the Human Genome to bring lifesaving medicines to areas that have yet to see a paved road. Pfizer Inc. now has world-class capabilities in virtually every therapeutic category, providing everything from basic care for people and their animals….. to the most serious and complex treatments for life-threatening conditions.

Joining with Pharmacia moves Pfizer Inc. closer to that goal. Pfizer Inc. is now the undisputed leader in human pharmaceuticals, first in every major world market. Pfizer Inc. also has, by far, the world’s largest privately funded biomedical research group, visible around the world and investing more than USD$100 millions every week discovering and developing high-value medicines.

Pfizer Inc. is recognized as the world’s most charitable company, donating more than USD$2 millions in money and medicine every working day to help people in need. Much of their effort is devoted to providing people in need more access to the medicines they need.

The Pfizer brand now represents the efforts of more than 120,000 men and women responsible for many of the most important advances in human and animal health. They are now the undisputed leader in their industry. Their future, as one company, with a single purpose and mission, is sharply defined. Pfizer Inc. wants to be the company that does more good, for more people, than any other on the planet.

Values

To achieve our Purpose and Mission, we affirm our values of Intergrity, Leadership, Innovation, Performance, Teamwork, Customer Focus, Respect for People and Community.

We demand of ourselves and others the highest ethical standards, and our products and processes will be of highest quality.

Innovation is the key to improving health and sustaining Pfizer’s growth and profitability.

We recognize that people are the cornerstone of Pfizer’s success, we value our diversity as a source of strength, and we are proud of Pfizer’s history of treating people with respect and dignity.

We are deeply committed to meeting the needs of our customers, and we constantly focus on customer satisfaction.

We know that to be a successful company, we must work together by frequently transcending organizational and geographical boundaries to meet the changing needs of our customers.

We believe that leaders empower those around them by sharing knowledge and rewarding outstanding individual effort. Leaders are those who step forward to achieve difficult goals, envisioning what needs to happen and motivating others.

We strive for continuous improvement in our performance, measuring results carefully, and ensuring that integrity and respect for people are never compromised.

We play an active role in making every country and community in which we operate a better place to live and work, knowing that the ongoing vitality of our host nations and local communities has a direct impact on the long-term health of our business.

Rights & Responsibilities

The rights of the Company:

-To recruit the best professional people for the job

-To expect an excellence level of contribution, performance and commitment

-To expect respect for it values

-To dismiss sales people when every cycle target did not meet

-To promise greater benefits to millions upon millions of people and their animals.

The Responsibilities of the Company

-To do the best to provide enough support for their employees

-To train medical representatives for every new products to ensure the product knowledge is excellence

-To educate employees about the company’s business

-To provide adequate supportings such as leaflets, gimmicks….etc.

-To listen, care and support

-To be fair

-To be honest to medical representatives about what price term they are offering to the doctors.

-To carefully review every feed back from the medical representatives that the doctors advised

Focus on Performance

Pfizer is now implementing a strategy to drive performance within the global business, building on the business model and management ethic that they applied in USA. The most important priority is to improve sales performance across the business through the launch of new pharmaceutical products, keep on reminding doctors to continuously using existing products and try to increase consumption and enlarge the OTC market. Pfizer is a strong and reliable brand, with a strong competitive position and differentiated products into different types of diseases, especially in cardiovascular and hematopoietic system diseases, which appeal to a wide customer base. However, Pfizer needs to communicate with their clients more effectively in order to capitalize on their opportunities.

Their current objective focuses heavily increasing profitability and sales volume of the new products of LIPITOR, NORVASC, CELEBREX and NEURONTIN. They are seeking increased efficiency through improving much better relationship with cardiovascular professors and specialists, the sales network in HA and reorganization of the structure of the company.

Marketing Communication Planning Framework (MCPF)

The MCPF brings together the various elements into a logical sequence of activities where the rationale for promotional decisions is built upon information generated at a previous level in the framework. Another advantage of using the MCPF is that it provides a suitable checklist of activities that need to be considered.

The MCPF represents a sequence of decisions that marketing managers undertake when preparing, implementing and evaluating communication strategies and plans. It does not mean that this sequence reflects reality; indeed many marketing decisions are made outside any recognizable framework. Marketing communications require the satisfaction of promotional objectives through the explicit and deliberate development of communication strategy. The MCPF will be used to show first the key elements, second some of the linkages and third the integrated approach that is required.

Context Analysis

Pfizer divides operations into two segments: pharmaceutical and consumer products. Most recent full fiscal year sales were $32.259 billions, with 91% from human and animal health products and 9% from confectionary, shaving products, and pond and aquarium products:

Pharmaceuticals

Human pharmaceuticals79.0%

Animal health care4.5%

Total pharmaceuticals83.5%

Consumer Products

Consumer healthcare 7.5%

Confectionary 6.2%

Shaving Products 2.0%

Tetra Pond and Aquarium 0.8%

Total Consumer Products16.5%

Total Sales100.0%

Human Pharmaceuticals

With the acquisition of rival pharmaceutical firm Warner-Lambert in June 2000, driven by Pfizer’s desire to gain control of full profits from sales of Lipitor, Pfizer became the world’s largest ethical pharmaceutical (prescription drug) company based on sales. Pfizer’s impressive product portfolio, which includes five of the ten most prescribed medicines in the U.S. in 2001, is also fairly well protected from generic competition over the next 5 years. The company has a presence in nine drug segments:

*Cardiovascular–includes Lipitor, the world’s largest selling cholesterol lowering agent (sales of $6.4 billion in 2001); and anti-hypertensives such as Norvasc (sales of $3.6 billion) Cardura ($552 million), and Accupril ($605 million)

*Infectious Diseases Comprises Zithromax broad-spectrum quinilone antibiotic ($1.5 billion); anti-fungals Diflucan ($1.1 billion) and Vfend; and protease inhibitor Viracept for the treatment of HIV/AIDS ($364 million)

*Central Nervous System Zoloft anti-depressant ($2.4 billion); Neurotonin anti-convulsant ($1.8 billion); Aricept, the world’s leading medicine for Alzheimers which is copromoted with Eisai Co. Ltd; Geodon, a new treatment for schizophrenia ($150 million)

*Arthritis Celebrex and Bextra, copromoted with Pharmacia

*Urogenital Viagra ($1.5 billion)

*Allergy Zyrtec, the most widely-used second generation antihistamine worldwide ($990 million)

*Diabetes Glucotrol XL and Exubera

*Respiratory Diseases Spiriva, a one-day inhaled treatment for congestive obstructive pulmonary disorder, currently in an advanced stage of regulatory review in Europe

Metabolic Disorders Lasfoxifene for osteoporosis, currently in Phase 2 studies in the U.S

Business Context

Pfizer has built the world’s largest biomedical research and development organization to support its commitment to innovation, the major driver of the company’s remarkable growth. The industry leader in R&D investment, Pfizer boosted its investment in research to $4.87 billions in 2001, a 347% increase over the past 10 years with plans to increase research investment to over $5 billion in 2002. The Warner-Lambert acquisition allowed Pfizer to build on its significant advantage in research both by adding thousands of researchers and by providing expertise in several new areas: Pfizer’s library of compounds effectively doubled, substantially increasing the likelihood of drug discovery. At the beginning of 2002, the company had 94 new compounds in development together with 68 projects devoted to expanding the uses of current drugs for 162 ongoing projects. Pfizer’s strong research focus positions the company to successfully respond to patent expiration and challenges from generics by extending the life of existing products via formula or compounding modifications or conversion to over the counter (OTC) products.

Pfizer’s focus on R&D is matched by an equally strong emphasis on marketing. The company promotes its human pharmaceutical products to health care providers including doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), and managed care organizations (MCOs.) Pfizer also promotes its products directly to consumers in the U.S. via direct-to-consumer (DTC) print and television advertising. Pfizer has responded to the Food and Drug Administration’s 1997 decision to loosen restrictions on DTC advertising of prescription drugs by increasing DTC promotional spending each year

Promotional Objectives

The corporate goal is to become the most valued company in the world. Pfizer’s commitment to discovering and developing innovative treatments and cures for diseases has improved the lives of countless people around the world. Pfizer’s delication to continually enhancing its pipeline ensures that it will set the standard in new and current therapeutic areas for the future.

Promotional Strategy

It is a push strategy. Pfizer’s strong marketing and sales operations have enabled the company to become the “partner of choice” for the marketing innovative products developed by others. Pfizer has been extremely skilled in creating alliances with other pharmaceutical companies via co-promotion agreements. Through co-promotion and licensing agreements, Pfizer promotes and markets such highly promising products as Celebrex, Bextra, Aricept, and so on with alliance partners. Pfizer provides cash, staff, and other resources to further develop, market promote, and sell the products in exchange for a share of revenues.

Communication Strategy

Sound clinical research is the cornerstone of Pfizer marketing and lays the foundation for communicating scientific data to healthcare professionals and consumers. Marketing and medical personnel work closely throughout the entire life cycle of a product to provide appropriate information to the customers. This partnership ensures that all medical information from Pfizer is credible, relevant and useful to the healthcare professionals who use its products to care for their patients.

Target Market

Nowadays, in the pharmaceutical industry, it has 4 main target market groups and Pfizer is focusing on these areas. They are listed in details as follows:-

i)Public Hospital under HA (Hospital Authority)’s supervision. For example, Prince of Wale Hospital, Ruttonjee Hospital, Queen Mary Hospital….etc.

ii)Private Hospital such as St. Tersea Hospital, Evangel Hospital, Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital, Union Hospital…etc.

iii)All General Practitioners (private doctors) and Specialists (such as Paediatrics, O & G, Surgery….etc)

iv)OTC market, such as dispensary, Watson, Manning…etc.

Competitors

Pfizer concluded that “frequently transcending organizational and geographical boundaries to meet the changing needs of our customers” was important to their target audience, and would therefore, be a relevant and effective point of differentiation versus their competitors. Pfizer’s Research & Development department keeps on focusing on developing the medicines for coronary diseases, like the successful case of LIPITOR and NORVASC developed that is sharing at least 50% of the Pfizer’s total business per annum. The strategic of enlarging their selling network through different media such as magazine and public relations activities that identity themselves as a top-class pharmaceutical company in coronary diseases in world-wide other than the other competitors like AstraZeneca and Novartis. Because medicine development for coronary diseases is still the priority in the pharmaceutical market now.

Marketing Plans – Marketing Mix (4Ps – Product, Price, People and Place)

Pricing

For pricing strategy, as Pfizer Inc is selling ethical products. Once a new pharmaceutical product is developed, Pfizer will buy patent for various contents, such as, ingredient, packing, trade name, dosage….etc so the other pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to produce and sell within the patent period. Usually, the patent is at least for 5 years or even longer. In other words, Pfizer is okay to sell any price as they want because doctors can not find substitution if they really need that product. According to economic theory, Pfizer is in a monopolistic market. Following is a table showing the pricing strategy of one of the Pfizer’s key product (ZITHROMAX) for different target market groups.

ProductPublic HospitalPrivate HospitalGeneral PraditionersOTC

Zithromax HK$5.00 HK$8.00 HK$9.00 – HK$13.00 HK$15.00

(250mg per capsule)

The above price unit is based on Hong Kong Dollar . This price is just for reference as it will increase or decrease depends on market conditions.

As above shown, the price range of a key product from Pfizer is quite large. The percentage in between the lowest and the highest price can be 200%. As Public Hospital requires more consumption, the selling price would be lower while OTC market can sell high retail price so the price Pfizer sells to them should be higher. However, for General Practitioners, the price is flexible and the range is large. It all depends on the relationship between the medical representatives and the doctors and the monthly consumption. Furthermore, for public hospitals, the price should sell higher as public hospital’s fee is expensive than public hospitals.

For every product Pfizer sells to people, it has fixed term. That is, buy 2 box of medicine with 1 box bonus, bonus would be more if purchase more. It is not allowed to sell in net price. Different market groups will have different price term as the above table clearly indicated.

For example, anti-inflammatory medicine, COX 2 class, the price of one capsule Pfizer sells to doctors is approximately HK$5.50 while the price at OTC market is more than HK$10. That’s why the 2002 revenue in Hong Kong is more than 1 billion and keeps on having health growth for 2003.

Product

Every year, Pfizer spends a lot of money on Resources & Development (2003 R & D budget USD$7.1 billions), usually it has 2-3 new products developed. The variety of their pharmaceutical products is very large which covers cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, genito-urinary system diseases, upper and lower respiratory system diseases, neuropathic pain diseases, histamine diseases….etc. We are now listing the key product of each diseases group as followings:-

For cornary diseases

LIPITOR, Generic: Atorvastatin Ca. Indication: Adjunct to diet to reduce elevated total – C, LDC-C, apo B and TG levels and to increase HDL-C in patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia (heterozygous familial & non-familial) and mixed dyslipidaemia (Fredrickson Types IIa & IIb). Reduces total-C & LDL-C in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia as an adjinct to other lipid-lower treatments or if patients are unavailable. Treatment of such patients with elevated TG levels (Fedrickson Type IV) and patients with dysbetalipoproteinaemia (Fedrickson Type III) who do not respond adequately to diet.

NORVASC, Generic: Amlodipine besylate. Indication: 1st line treatment of hypertension. 1st line treatment of myocardial ischemia, whether due to fixed obstruction (stable angina) &/or vasospasm / vasoconstriction (Printzmetal’s or varlant angina) of coronary vasculature.

For central nervous system diseases

CELEBREX, Generic: Celecoxib. Indication: Relief of signs & symptoms of osteoarthritis & RA in adults.

For genito-urinary system diseases

VIAGRA, Generic: Sidenafil Citrate. Indication: Erection difficulties, such as erectile dysfunction (ED).

For upper and lower respiratory diseases

ZITHROMAX, Generic: Azithromycin Dihydrate. Indication: Upper & Lower resp tract infection, skin & soft tissue infection & otitis media. Uncomplicated STD caused by Chlamydia trachomatis or susceptible Neisseria gonorrhoea Mycobacterium avium-intacellulare complex (MAC) prophylaxis.

For neuropathic diseases

NEURONTIN, Generic: Gabapentin. Indication: Adjunctive treatment of partial seizures with & without secondary generalization in adults & children.

For histamine diseases

ZYRTEC, Generic: Cetirizine HCI. Indication: perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, acute & chronic urticaria & other allergic dermatological disorder, allergic conjunctivitis.

The product packaging is all in blister pack that is convenient for any patients to take. Product form is in capsule, tablet, supension, zyrup….etc for different patients. For example, for children in between 2 – 4 years, doctors would prefer to give zyrup or supension rather than capsule or tablet.

For all capsules and tablets, they should have the name “Pfizer” and the dosage (= mini-gram) indicated and also the generic name and trade name of that product are clearly printed at the back side of the blister. Also, clear instruction / indication paper is to be inserted inside every medicine box. Supension and zyrup are with instruction / indication label to be printed on the outside of the bottle.

Place/Distribution

Pfizer Inc’s Hong Kong office is called Pfizer Corporation Hong Kong Limited and the location is at Stanhope House, North Point. It is located in the commercial area that other top pharmaceutical companies like Aventis, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Astra Zeneca…etc are all located. The Hong Kong office is Pfizer Inc’s own office. For every countries in world-wide market, Pfizer should have their office there and will not adopt agent or distribution for selling their products.

Pfizer will not keep stocks at their end. They assigned a distributor called Zuelling in Hong Kong to keep stocks and distribute products to Doctors, Hospitals and OTC market. Commission is 5% per each order. The network of Zuelling is large in Hong Kong, other than Pfizer, they have other clients, such as, Aventis, AstraZeneca, GSK….etc using their services. Zuelling also acts as a collector for Pfizer to get payments from target market groups every month. Usually, the payment term is 30 days after the delivery of the products. Once the medical representatives received the sales orders from clients, it takes a maximum of 2 days for delivery no matter at country side or downtown. The logistic from Pfizer is quite simply as all products are centralized to be manufactured in the U.S.A. and import to Hong Kong and store at Zuelling’s warehouse for delivery.

For OTC market, such as, registered dispensary, every districts in Hong Kong should have registered dispensary so people is easily to purchase its products. Or, visit Mannings or Watsons with dispensary for purchasing. Both Watsons and Mannings have more than each 100 shops in Hong Kong. Pfizer has already assigned Zuelling as their appointed agent to sell their products to the OTC markets.

For General Practitioners and Specialists, according to the statistical figure from 2002 (source from the website: http://www/hkdoctors.org/english/index.asp), Hong Kong has more than 10,000 GP and 3,000 specialists so the distribution channel is rather extensive. They should have stock for regular medicine or, if no stock for some products, doctors would give “paper” for patient to purchase from the OTC market, such as, at the Watsons shop and registered dispensary Of course, in public and private hospitals, all medicine should be fully stock and is directly purchased from Pfizer not through agent.

Promotion

Advertising

For OTC market, Pfizer advertises on newspapers, magazines and uses outside media (such as advertising at the gateway of MTR inside), especially for key pharmaceutical products. Pfizer also have advertisements at newspapers and popular magazines. Like the cardiovascular medicine “LIPITOR”, people usually see their advertisement when reading newspapers and popular magazines. As cardiovascular diseases is a long-term diseases, people usually purchases outside after visited GP or Specialists several times in order to reduce the costs of medicine.

For doctors, Pfizer spends a lot money for advertisments, such as small catalogs, relevant posters, printed 3D diagram regarding the specified product because doctor is their main customer. Once the patient sees those things inside the clinic, they would have more knowledge about the product and build in the confidence of using the product

The image of Pfizer is good for cardiovascular and antibiotics products as their strength is in developing medicine of these two classes in the coming year, Pfizer’s R & D is focusing in this development in order to build up loyalty and confidence between people and the company.

Sales Promotions

Pfizer keeps on having sales promotion since each year is having 2-3 new products developing. The sales promotion focuses to Hospitals and General Practitoners. Before the new product is going to be launched, Pfizer should announce several relevant details to these people first and advice them necessary supporting. Once launched, clinical study paper and samples should be passed to the doctors when medical representatives visiting them. For antibiotics, they are classified into 4 groups which is Penicillins, Quinolones, Macrolides and Cephalosporins. Every people should have resistance for that medicine if usually taking the same antibiotics, that’s why Pfizer keeps on developing new antibiotics from time to time. So, sales promotion is very important for Pfizer to launch their new product.

Just give an example, Klacid and Zithromax are antibiotics under the same group of Macrolides but Klacid is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories Limited while Zithromax is from Pfizer Corporation. Klacid has been launched earlier than Pfizer but due to the aggressive spirit of sales promotion (selling point: shorter treatment course than Klacid which takes 3 days maximum and can specific to use one gram (= 4 capsules) for non-gonorrhoea diseases) from Pfizer’s medical representatives, the market share of Zithromax in Hong Kong is increasing now.

Direct Selling

Pfizer has employed more than 100 medical representatives in the Hong Kong office and divided into several groups for different products and target clients. Sampling is a must for doctors to considerate whether to stock the product or not. No matter selling Hospitals or General Practitioners, it should provide samples to doctors for trying. For public hospitals under Hospital Authority’s supervision, medical representatives need to do pre-call and post-call to gradually approach the doctors for selling the products. For General Practitioners and Specialists, face to face conversation to analyze the products is the regular process for selling. Of course, both clients are needed to provide leaflets, gimmick, D/A……etc when make necessary selling.

Personal Selling

Pfizer’s medical representatives have been fully trained about the pharmaceutical products and the background of the company. Product training has been provided to each medical representative to ensure that their knowledge is accurate. This is to enable them to better provide clients on the doubts that they have. Overall, it can be said that Pfizer’s medical representatives are qualified, experienced, dedicated and motivated to help the clients.

Marketing Public Relations

Publicity communicates a story the public wants to know. Stories are everywhere, in every organization. These stories are waiting to be told and made available to the media. Effective publicity can build brand identity and brand loyalty. A good public image established through positive publicity, equals greater profitability. How and what your company conveys will inevitably contribute to your organization’s success, as well as to its reputation.

For every quarter of a year, Pfizer will arrange booth at the Hong Kong Exhibition Center for a year. It should across week end in order to let more family to visit the booth thus deliver health care message about popular diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia….etc. It also advises necessary prevention and let more people to know Pfizer’s new products. Sometimes, Pfizer will invite Specialists to join the booth to present talk-show to people regarding the benefits of using Pfizer’s products.

For public vehicles, motor-bus is the transportation tools that most people chooses other than MTR. Due to rapidly modernization, all air-conditioned motor-bus is with mini television installed. “Road Show’ channel is popular now. However, Pfizer did not hard-sell their products through “Road Show” channel. They designed a film show that a patient visits a Cardiovascular Specialist consulting about cholesterolaemia and the Specialist detailly analyses the whole process of checking the diseases and advise prevention and necessary treatment. The sponsor of the film is Pfizer Corporation and the web-site of Pfizer will be disclosed at the end of the film show. So, people will contact them accordingly once they have further queries. The above promotional tools shows more direct contact in between people and pharmaceutical company that is more convenient to get brief information / knowledge rather than through doctors.

Personal selling (Face to Face meeting)

Advantages

1.Personal meeting is easily for medical representatives to introduce the new products to the doctors in details. Especially for the products for some special treatment, it needs time (might be at least 4-5 meetings) to clearly explain to the doctors how to use the medicine and what benefit to the patients in compare to other competitors and relevant side-effect. Face to
face conversation gives audience significant confidence for products selling.

2.Easily to build relationship for direct selling as medical representatives can directly get in touch with the end-user. For Pharmaceutical industry, convincing doctors to shift to use your product if they are using another competitor is difficult than to sell them a new product. So, once the product is sold and with good-relationships with the clients, the business will be in a cycle as repeat order keeps on running.

3.Can get more market information (or competitor’s info) from doctors. Will help company to change strategic and tactics in the market.

Disadvantages

1.High operational cost as it is costly to hire a medical representative. Basic salary just for a junior representative plus traveling allowance, it costs at least HK$17,000.00 per month. With commission that the target per month is met, the expense should be over HK$20,000.00 per month. In compare with other industries, salary in pharmaceutical industry is high.

2.Doctors only see medical representatives at most of the time so relationship is easily to be built in between these two parties. Company will highly rely on sales representatives to get orders. Sometimes, it is quite difficult to control in case some representatives have harsh requirement thus affect the operation of the company.

Magazines

Advantages

1.Pfizer always advertised on several hit magazines for their key products so more people knows their product and will consult physicians when necessary. Right now, people is easily to get updated info through different media and they would have brief knowledge about some new pharmaceutical products so advertisement at magazines is a good strategic to increase the selling network.

2.Long life as people might pass to their friends, relatives and families to re-read thus enlarge the selling network because more people will have further knowledge and understanding about Pfizer’s pharmaceutical products.

3.Cost is cheaper than advertising at Television but the feed back is also efficient in compare with TV advertisement. The variety of magazines in Hong Kong is quite large, from younger magazines up to luxury magazines so people from different level might see the AD.

Disadvantages

1.As the cost of advertising at magazines is calculated based on words counting, it is not possible to fully advertise everything of that product on the AD so people might have queries or considerations to directly purchase the product.

2.It loses the opportunity to demonstrate the product fully and can not see the actual product (such as size, packing….etc) and no sample to be provided to try. As the product is medicine, people should be more careful before buying.

3.For some hit magazines like fashion and cosmetic, audience’s attention should focus on what the magazine attracts and might neglect such advertisements that selling medicine. People might have no interest on that kind of AD.

Advertisement at MTR station inside

Advantages

1.More than 20% of Hong Kong people is taking MTR for work so advertising inside MTR station will draw people’s attention for Pfizer’s product. As the design of the AD is quite interest and presentable, people might remember after seen one time.

2.Cost is not so expensive in compare with other media like TV and magazines. Right now, in Hong Kong, it has trend for advertising inside MTR.

3.Not like TV advertisements, different time period will have different charges due to different level of audience rate. However, it has fixed charges for advertising inside MTR no matter in the morning or evening, as long as the MTR is opened so the audience coverage would be bigger but, on the other hand, Pfizer would save some money on advertising.

Disadvantages

1.Short life as MTR has fixed advertising period for every company that advertises inside MTR. Usually, it lasts for 1-2 weeks maximum. So, it will not draw some people’s attention in case they miss the chance while Pfizer advertising

2.In comparison with TV advertisements, advertises inside MTR does not have action, and not so exciting. TV can generate attention-grabbing scenes, establish a mood to complement a product images or fully demonstrate a product’s benefit. However, advertisement inside MTR can not do so.

Booth and public talk

Advantages

1.Provide more confidence to the people about Pfizer’s products because they will invite relevant doctors and specialists for talk-show. People can see the actual product at the booth, more understanding about the dosage and side-effect, make demonstration through video tape so people will have more understandings and knowledges about that product. Plus the professional advice, confidence will be built up.

2.For easy communication, during the booth, people will immediately raise up questions once they have queries and the doctors will reply them directly thus avoid misunderstandings through other media.

3.More attractive as booth is alive with action, more exciting and entertaining than those in any other medium.

Disadvantages

1.This kind of function is not so often. Only 1-2 times per year. Also, it is not so convenient to invite doctors or specialists to join from time to time as they have their own work. Without doctor’s support, confidence would be less.

2.Cost is not cheap as it needs to book the Hong Kong Exhibition Center and Government does not have any sponsorship.

3.It involves a lot of manpower to arrange the booth, at least the teammate of that product including product manager and sales manager need to attend. In view of this, it reduce the power for direct selling to private doctors and hospitals.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Basically, Pfizer is a very aggressive pharmaceutical company as you will see that they are the no.1 in sales starting from 2001 and maintain for 2 years up till now. Their strong Resources & Development department focusing the need of the pharmaceutical industry and creating up to date products for today’s market. Every topest doctor is willing to use Pfizer’s product as it represents they are the leader in the pharmaceutical industry but on the other hand, the price is quite expensive.

As Pfizer is so aggressive, the consumption no matter for hospitals and private doctors has already been over the target of the following years so it is quite difficult to have further growth. If the company keeps on adding target to medical representatives, the outcome would become negative. So, Pfizer is better to slow down their strategic a little bit that to let the outside consumption to be digest first than to make further increment.

Outside competitor like AstraZeneca is following Pfizer’s strategic to expand their business. AstraZeneca is very famous in United Kingdom and going to increase the market share in Hong Kong so Pfizer needs to aware this competitor and make necessary arrangements.

References/Bibliography

Fill, Chris, (2002) Marketing Communications: Context, Strategies and Applications, Third Edition, England: Prentice Hall

Pfizer Inc, Internet: . [Accessed on October – November 2003]

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