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How Marketers Employed in the Pharmaceutical Sector Can Ensure That the Company Is Positioned in the Industry as a Result of a Sustainable Competitive Advantage Being Achieved

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How Marketers Employed in the Pharmaceutical Sector Can Ensure That the Company Is Positioned in the Industry as a Result of a Sustainable Competitive Advantage Being Achieved

You are a product Manager of a leading pharmaceutical company where you have an opportunity to launch a brand in the market which has a growth of 30% every year & there is only one competitor who does not have the brand focused for promotion.

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to make explicit how marketers employed in the pharmaceutical sector can ensure that the company is positioned in the industry as a result of a sustainable competitive advantage being achieved. Various factors are highlighted, including high research and development costs, stringent government regulations and cultural factors such as religion.

Design/methodology/approach – The new product launch strategy model outlined in this paper was developed from both secondary and primary sources. A literature review was undertaken, a number of in-depth personal interviews and a focus group session were conducted, which involved managers within a pharmaceutical company. The research strategy encompassed the case study method and the NPLS model was validated and can be viewed as generalisable. Findings – It is clear from the research undertaken that some marketing models are viewed as being too complex; however, it is generally appreciated that marketing models can be used to interpret complex relationships that are evident in a marketing system. Research limitations/implications – Two weaknesses associated with the model were identi?ed. First, the assumption that there was a one-way relationship between the strategic launch decisions and the tactical launch decisions and, second, a feedback mechanism was absent that would provide users of the model with a means for evaluating their decisions and identifying alternative strategies and tactics. The model was amended and a feedback mechanism was introduced.

Practical implications – The NPLS model can be used by marketing practitioners to enhance communication between corporate level staff and subsidiary level staff, and can be used to implement and/or facilitate the strategic marketing concept within a pharmaceutical company. The model can also be used to focus attention on risk reduction/elimination associated with market entry. Originality/value – The NPLS model is an addition to marketing knowledge and can assist marketing academics and researchers to understand better how marketing models can be constructed and implemented. The model can also be used by marketing practitioners employed by pharmaceutical companies to make tactical and strategic decisions; to evaluate a new product launch strategy; and to devise international marketing entry plans and strategies.

Keywords Product launch, Marketing models, Pharmaceuticals industry, Decision making

Introduction

The pressure to develop new products has increased, and this has resulted in senior management thinking in terms of continuous (re)alignment, whereby there is a focus on internal and external factors Yeoh has noted that companies in the global pharmaceutical industry need to develop a sustainable competitive advantage through a reorientation of the new product development strategy, which results in a ?ow of successful new drugs. The marketing models that have been developed to date are useful with respect to explaining marketing phenomena, but marketers working for global pharmaceutical companies need to develop more focused marketing models that allow them to understand, interpret and predict events and issues relating to market performance.

It can be argued that more research is required in order to establish how a new product launch strategy model can be developed. Emphasis needs to be placed on predicting product performance via a relevant global marketing intelligence process. Hence, marketers working in the pharmaceutical industry need concepts, models and decision-making frameworks that allow them to implement effective new drug launch strategies. The new product launch strategy (NPLS) model for pharmaceutical companies that has been proposed in this paper will help marketing managers to formulate appropriate launch decisions (Pan, 1999), as it raises many issues relating to the decision-making process and how decisions can be formulated and implemented.

The key point being: that marketers can eliminate risk or reduce speci?c types of risk associated with a successful new pharmaceutical product strategy, and then develop a foundation on which to build a brand positioning strategy or strategies, that result in successful positioning within the industry.

The NPLS model outlined in this paper was constructed using both secondary data and primary data. Having undertaken a literature review; a number of in-depth personal interviews and a focus group session were

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