Based on ”Gone,” BusinessWeek, December 20, 2004, 76-82.
In the 1990’s Pfizer experienced tremendous growth and strong financial performance. The success of its blockbuster drugs and newly released prescription drugs with a vast consumer market, allowed Pfizer to increase its customer base and raises its prices. Lately growth has slipped to just 2% a year. Pfizer’s pipeline of drugs has failed to provide a recent blockbuster. If no big drug releases occur before some of Pfizer’s current high dollar drugs lose their patent protection Pfizer could see an enormous drop in profits. To remain successful Pfizer must develop and release new drugs and successfully deploy its sales force, advertising, and sales promotion initiatives to bring the new drugs to market. Pfizer’s market and competitive environment is changing, requiring management to alter the pharmaceutical giant to alter its business and marketing strategies. Compounding the firm’s challenges are hearings by the Food and Drug Administration, concerns from critics, patent lawsuits by small competitors about potential side effects of its painkiller drugs, and generic competition. Many challenges are confronting the pharmaceutical industry. The industry is experiencing a transformation.
1. Discuss the role of market segmentation in guiding the efforts of Pfizer’s 38,000-person global sales force.
2. Describe Pfizer’s targeting and positioning strategies. Are there indications that changes may be needed concerning the strategies?
3. How is Pfizer’s diverse product portfolio likely to affect the company’s advertising and salesforce strategies?
4. Does Pfizer need to change the structure of its organization? If so, what changes are needed and how should they be implemented?
5. Critically examine the apparent weaknesses in Pfizer’s new product pipeline. What are possible initiatives to address these weaknesses?
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