The success of pharmaceutical products are impacted by multiple factors, first and foremost being the clinical profile of a brand and the unique benefit it brings to the patient. However, in some crowded competitive markets, brands that have the same MOA with minuscule differences in profiles lead the market.
What makes market leaders and others lag in share?
We begin to look at the elements of the pharmaceutical marketing mix utilized driving that leadership position. Many time’s the leadership edge is anchored on marketing's successful deployment of the promotional sales force to execute a marketing strategy. The importance of the sales force in the success is paramount therefore every organization should always have a full assessment of their competitor’s sales force. Running competitive intelligence op's on your competitors’ sales force is a basic fundamental knowledge element to effectively counter and blunt their activity. Make no mistake, they are running competitive intelligence on your organization.
Pharmaceutical companies must examine the elements of the pharmaceutical marketing mix being leveraged by their competitors. Mixed marketing from their competitors and how it has impacted the drive of leadership positions. Many leadership positions are anchored by marketing’s successful deployment of promotional sales as well as the eloquent execution of an inventive marketing strategy. For any pharmaceutical organization, it is extremely important to have a full assessment of their competitor’s sales force. Running competitive intelligence operations on your competitor’s sales force is basic knowledge that can help your organization strive to be the best it can be. Make no mistake, your competitors are running competitive intelligence on your organization right now.
So, what type of intelligence should your company be gathering on a competitor’s organization? Would a retrospective audit of how many representatives be enough? Perhaps… it is a step in the right direction, but it is certainly not enough. To up your companies game, you should conduct targeted competitive intelligence gathering programs that can utilize primary research to gain the information on competitors that you are striving for.
Here are some critical aspects to know about your competitors:
- Size and structure of competitors’ brand
- Primary and secondary field targets
- Primary promotional messages related to their detailed position
- Their product vs your product:
o How do they create separation between their brands?
o What benefits do they promote versus your brand?
- Emotional aspects of competitor force:
o Motivation levels
o What is their bonus structure?
o What hurdles and frustrations are they encountering?
As you can see there are many layers beneath a retrospective size of a sales force audit to fully understand your competitors’ organizations. The other critical aspect you should remember is that if you have a bad gut feeling about your company’s substantial competitive assessment, start utilizing competitive intelligence research right away. Take the first step and begin the process of getting one in place before its requested by your company’s senior leadership.
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