1ST BATCH MBAE – MARKETING OPTION
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS TOWARDS PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS: THE STUDY OF HAEMATINICS (BLOOD TONICS) IN GHANA
Project Aims and Importance
The marketing of medication has a long history. The sale of miracle cures, many with little real potency, has always been common. Marketing of legitimate non-prescription medications, such as pain relievers, haematinics or allergy medicine, has also long been practiced. Mass marketing of prescription only medications is not allowed by law. Marketing of prescription only medications would involve ads in professional journals and visits by Medical Representatives to doctor’s offices and hospitals. Over the years, consumption of haematinics in Ghana has increased significantly and records one of the highest sales figures in the Pharmaceutical industries. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the haematinics of choice were the normal fersolate, FAC syrup, Galfer etc. But the trend has significantly changed from the mid 1990’s to date. There are various brands of haematinics on the Ghanaian market with similar composition or slightly different compositions all serving the same purpose. These drugs are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that patients or individuals could easily walk to the Pharmacy to purchase with or without a prescription. With the advent of mass marketing it is important to understand how consumer attitudes towards haematinic brands in Ghana and develop appropriate communications for the target audiences. The study therefore has the following objectives;
a) To understand consumer attitudes towards blood tonics in Ghana b) To determine which variables affect those attitudes
c) To determine which communications tools can help shape consumer purchase behaviours.
Obtaining Collaboration and Access
I am a Pharmacist and works with Oson’s Chemist and also have very good relations with a number of Pharmacies. I have the privilege of having access to information and relevant documentation for this study.
Background Information and Literature Review
Consumer behaviour (in consumer business context) referred to as the study of when, why, how, where and what people do or do not buy products (Foxall, 2005). It blends elements from psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology and economics. It attempts to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics and behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people's wants. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general.
Customer behaviour study is based on consumer buying behaviour, with the customer playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2004). Relationship marketing is an influential asset for customer behaviour analysis as it has a keen interest in the re-discovery of the true meaning of marketing through the re-affirmation of the importance of the customer or buyer (Kotler and Keller, 2006). A greater importance is also placed on consumer retention, customer relationship management, personalisation, customisation and one-to-one marketing. Social functions can be categorized into social choice and welfare functions.
Each method for vote counting is assumed as a social function but if Arrow’s impossibility theorem or Arrow’s paradox is used for a social function, social welfare function is achieved. Some specifications of the social functions are decisiveness, neutrality, anonymity, monotonocity, unanimity, homogeneity and weak and strong Pareto optimality (Luna and Gupta, 2001). No social choice function meets these requirements in an ordinal scale simultaneously. The most important characteristic of a social function is identification of the interactive effect of...