The Cambridge Sciences Pharmaceuticals (“CSP”) is an international healthcare company that had completed successful clinical trials for its newest weight loss prescription drug, Metabical. With the final FDA approval expected, Metabical’s launch was set for January 2009 and a clear marketing communications strategy needed to be in place before the launch. With 10 years and $400 million spent on research and development, it was imperative that CSP positions Metabical correctly in the marketplace. Optimal segmentation, targeting, and positioning were important factors to consider in order to ensure that the launch as well as post-launch marketing of the drug yielded strong sales and product longevity.
Analyzing the market and segmentation, and identifying the needs of the customers. The optimal marketing campaign would guarantee a better-off position of Metabical after the information search and alternative valuation that customers may perform. Furthermore, Metabical needs to be affordable and effective as it will only be available as a prescription drug and, at least initially, the patients would be required to purchase it as an “out of pocket” expense.
•General United Sates population struggling with excess weight (By 2000, 34% of the population was overweight, 25.8% classified as obese, and 4.7% was in the severely obese category) •End consumer (the patient): Moderately overweight people with the BMI of 25-30 •Men and women between the age 45-74
•Individuals with income between $40,000 and $80,000+ •Health care providers who would prescribe the medication as this is not a over-the-counter (“OTC”) drug •Managed healthcare insurance companies
Customer decision making process:
Need Recognition and problem awareness:
a. Overweight Consumers – Many health and social stigmas are centered around excess weight. 35% of the respondents of the CSP sponsored market research are trying to lose weight and 15% of those are comfortable using drugs to reach ideal weight. The campaign must be focused in activating the latent needs of this segment (see Table 1, Annex). b. Healthcare providers – Health care providers are already aware of the benefits that a reduction in weight would play in their client’s health. However, they are not successful in counseling them to establish long-term healthy diet habits and exercise routines.
a.Overweight consumers – Once the customer has recognized the information and the need then he/she can research through personal sources such as family, friends, testimonials, advertising, promotions, and sales persons or contact the expert healthcare providers. b.Healthcare providers – Healthcare providers receive information reading through medical journals, attending conferences, and speaking with science and medical sales representatives and other experts.
Evaluation of Alternatives:
An alternative for Metabical would be a plethora of OTC solutions such as Alli, the only FDA approved OTC drug, and a dietary supplement ephedra. These alternatives, however, are associated with various and serious negative side effects. The fact that Metabical is the only weight loss product that requires prescription may be a point in its favor, as a sign of safety and effectiveness. Metabical is also only required to be taken once a day.
The vast majority of alternatives for Metabical either have a negative effect or are not regulated by the FDA. Metabical represents a safer choice, in legal terms, to recommend its use. As the only FDA approved drug, Metabical can stimulate substantial weight loss in customers and provides a comprehensive support and long-term weight maintenance program that enhances the success of the drug.