Global Pharmaceutical Industry
The global pharmaceutical industry has grown a 1000 fold since the 1920s to over $5 Trillion in 2017 (Torreya, 2017). There has been an increase in turnover to over a $1 Trillion, after the expenditure on medication by the citizens of the 6 largest markets has increased to an all-time high in 2016 (Torreya, 2017). With over 30000 companies involved in research and marketing of pharmaceutical goods, the average per capita spending from 37 countries stands at $370 (Torreya, 2017). This spending is calculated by dividing the total spend from the 7 income brackets to the total number of income brackets. The industry, however has face a stagnant innovation output in the past where the lack of developing new procedures to research and develop more useful products has had a negative impact (PWC, 2012). As per the study, the 6 largest markets for the industry contribute to over 60% of its revenues, while the opportunities for growth in these markets is diminishing due to the ever increasing output demand from the consumers (PWC, 2012). It has been estimated that the most revenue possibilities that the industry can currently seek for is from emerging markets like South Asia, Africa and Latin America where the per capita spend on medication is still lower than the global average but which has a higher demanding population (PWC, 2012).
Marketing in the Pharmaceutical Industry
The average cost of bring a drug into market including the research, testing and post approval expenditure (Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, 2014). With such heavy investments made by the company, it is extremely important for the company to be able to get return on investment but moreover enough return to sustain in the future and pay for future projects to allow the cycle to operate. The pharmaceutical value chain by Deloitte describes the
process of marketing to be culmination of the drug development process and how crucial role it plays in making the investment a worthwhile and +NPV investment. However, the process if pharmaceutical marketing is not as easy as marketing for an FMCG or a consumer product. Higher levels of regulation (especially in Asia & Europe), growing competition and redundant and obsolete marketing practices are forcing the entities to re-think there existing strategies and identify new opportunities (Deloitte, 2009).
Direct to Consumer (DTC)
High levels of regulations and lack of a strong network possess challenges for companies to adopt this method (Deloitte, 2009). Since in many markets, directly marketing a drug is not possible companies aim to develop a community and network to increase awareness and guide the consumers towards making a purchase decision.
Various tools of internet marketing and SEO can be used by companies to develop the required networks and communities by being an active promote of their brand and products on the internet (Deloitte, 2009). This when coupled with the latest concept of social media marketing, can have a huge impact on how well companies can create a social community through these platforms.
This is one of the oldest techniques that is used as a medium of marketing pharmaceuticals. The growing regulation on this method means that the estimated $14 Billion that was used to market to doctors will have to be deployed partially to other mediums (Deloitte, 2009). It has be classified as unethical and manipulated influence over doctors to not prescribe a useful and valuable to them but those that have been marketed to them.
Social Media Marketing & Pharmaceutical Industry
This industry is one of the most regulated industries with only a few countries like US allowing for Direct-to-consumer advertising (Buckley, n.d.). In modern times, when costs are an important driver of an action plan many companies in this industry are turning to social media in order to fulfill the needs. Social media marketing provides similar but in most cases a better result to a company that aims to share content, information, brand awareness etc. to different communities. Some benefits of social media marketing in pharmaceutical industry can be found below (Neti, 2011)
â€¢ Increased reach for the company and its initiatives
â€¢ Saving in costs that can be used for research and development purposes
â€¢ Higher search engine rankings and scores
â€¢ Ancillary marketing â€“ Since pharmaceutical companies can have a problem in directly marketing their brand and products, this method on social media can allow them to market themselves through community building, awareness etc.
â€¢ Better generation of leads and possible customers
â€¢ Reaching farther and wider audiences without having to be physically present in that market
The current trends provide companies to use even more engaging and interactive content and efforts to build a global audience (Shaw, 2010).
Bayer is a global pharmaceutical company that was extablished in the year 1863 in Germany. The initial start as a dye company, the development of the chemical industry and venture into own research and development has led to Bayer become a global pharmaceutical giant. With presence in 79 countries, almost 100000 employees and a global turnover of over â‚¬35 Billion, its 4 key areas have been regarded as the leaders in the field of pharmaceutical research & development & also with highest quality and effective products catering to the 4 fields. Bayer Ireland is relatively small and young division of the company to cater specifically to the demand of Irish consumers and healthcare (Bayer, 2018). With 100+ employees in 3 divisions, Bayer finds itself among the top 1000 companies in Ireland in terms of turnover (Irish Times, 2018). The highly regulated industry has restricted Bayer Ireland to present itself on various social media platforms in the past, but a strong and dedicated marketing team along with a supporting compliance and legal team has now allowed it to present itself as Irelandâ€™s leading pharmaceutical supplier and company.
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