If I were a Marketing Manager for an Indian pharmaceutical company
Posted Nov 18 2008 12:13am
Pharmaceutical marketing in India is in shambles ! It mostly consists of employing a large force of medical representatives whose primary job is to establish a cosy personal relationship with leading doctors, so that they can cajole or bribe them into prescribing their brand.
This is a billion dollar market, but it's still stuck in the 1950s. One of the reasons for this is that the marketing budget of pharmaceutical companies is in the hands of product managers, whose primary job is to sell a specified number of cartons of their product. All they care about is meeting this target - and that is something they are very good at doing , by pampering doctors and getting them to prescribe their product. Unfortunately, because these are relatively low level line managers with limited budgets, there is no one focussing on the big picture of building the brand of the company.
This is actually a big opportunity for a clever company. Rather than waste money by gifting a large numbers of doctors with silly trinkets; or a few doctors with expensive foreign junkets , they could make much more efficient use of their marketing budget by helping doctors to build their practise .
This is a win-win situation; and any company which can help a doctor to cultivate a thriving practise would have many grateful doctors .
So, what does a doctor need and want ? He needs to keep upto date , so that he can provide quality medical care to his patients. The trouble is that it's hard to do this in private practise, with the result that doctors are often hard-pressed to keep up with modern trends.
While there is a lot of information available on the web, a lot this is unreliable ! Doctors would rather look up standard medical textbooks or medical journals when they need to find information.
The good news is that the world's largest online medical library, with over 30 full-text medical books and 30 full-text medical journals is available online at www.mdconsult.com!
Smart pharmaceutical companies have started gifting subscriptions to MDConsult to doctors in India ! For information-starved doctors, this is an extremely useful gift, which they use on a daily basis. Interestingly, many doctors are now requesting their medical rep to gift them a subscription. Such a gift helps to create loyal doctors - and also helps to improve patient care !