METABICAL – Positioning and Communications Strategy for a New Weight Loss Drug
WEIGHT LOSS ISSUES
The Target Customer
USP and Positioning
WEIGHT LOSS ISSUES
Excessive weight has become one of the major issues in today's world. This leads to all sorts of health riskssuch as coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and many more. Furthermore, a research has shown that death rates from cancer were 52% higher in men and 62 % higher in women with excessive weight than in people with normal weight (Eugenia E. Calle 2003). A large proportion of overweight people have been trying to lose their weight in every possible way. However, not every attempt was successful. Due to that, the pharmaceutical industry has been developing and testing a large variety of medicines that are specifically made to help people with weight issues. One of the newest drugs on the market is Metabical, a prescription drug developed by Cambridge Sciences Pharmaceuticals (CSP). Based on the results from clinical trials, Metabical has been proven effective for weight loss of overweight people. The question is how willMetabicalbe introduced to the market? PULL MARKETING
The main idea was to advertise Metabical directly to consumers in order to increase the awareness of the product. This strategy was based on pull marketing where the purpose was to attract the customers and make them approach the supplier or seller first. It is not an assertive way of marketing in comparison to push marketing where a seller calls potential customers on the telephone asking whether they would like to purchase a product they might not actually need. In 1997, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has reduced restrictions on direct-to-consumer-advertising concerning drugs. Therefore, the effect of the pull marketing was tremendously positive for the pharmaceutical industry. (Buckley 2003). It is also visible in a study made by Prevention magazine, where doctors whose patients came and asked for a medicine that they had previously seen being advertised, had the tendency to prescribe that same brand of medicine (even though they had different alternatives in mind).
Following pull marketing, the strategy included: advertisements on the internet, television and radio. Moreover, print media was being distributed at the same time as the drug was being launched. This distributionwas continued in the same manner throughoutthe first year of the campaign in order to maintain the brand awareness on a high level. After the initial advertisement strategy, additional 100 000 health care pamphlets were distributed. These pamphletscontained a reply card which, if sent, would provide the sender with a sample of the product.
The goal behind this campaign was to show the potential customers that Metabical is suitable for people belonging to the BMI range of 25-30. Body Mass index (BMI) is the most common index used for comparing weight and height. The calculations presents whether the weight is appropriate for the person’s height. If the weight is not appropriate,the person can fall in the group of overweight or underfed (Tim J Cole 2000). As mentioned in the article, an abundanceof weight loss pills were made for obese or severely obese people. However, the group of people with the BMI ranging from 25-30 were not suitable for these pillswhich, consequently, did not have any effect on their weight loss. Additionally, CPS has developed a support programme which will not only help in weight reduction but also help maintaining the healthy lifestyle. One of their key concepts in the campaign was: “Losing weight is tough. You don’t have to do it alone. Let Metabical and your health care provider start you on the road to a healthy weight and better life.” Regarding the support programme, Printup has...
Bibliography: Buckley, J. (2003). Pharmaceutical Marketing– Time for Change.Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies,9(2)
Eugenia E. C., Carmen Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H., Kimberly Walker-Thurmond, B.A., and Michael J. Thun, M.D. (2003). Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality from Cancer in a Prospectively Studied Cohort of U.S. Adults.N English Journal of Medicine (348), 1625-1638.
Tim J Cole., Katherine M Flegal, Dietz, H.W. (2000). Establishing a standard definition for child overweightand obesity worldwide: international survey.BMJ(320)
Hulbert-Williams, L., Mendieta-Tan, A., & Nicholls, W. (2013). Women 's experiences of using drugs in weight management. An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Appetite. (60)6, 221
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