Marketing Communication Case Study
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Marketing Communication Case Study Essay
The case study speaks about the Infol International Company that operates in the pharmaceutical sector of over the counter products. There are two main OTC product groups depending on the degree of regulation and supervision as shown in the case study:
- Pharmacy only (p) medicine are the medical products that are sold under much supervision
- General sale list (GSI) medicines that are sold widely with having only some regulations.
The case speaks about the main market sectors where Infol International operates (yet focuses primarily on analgesics):
- Analgesics/pain relief pills are used to alleviate pain.
- Vitamins and food additives
- Skin treatment includes oils, balms, salves etc.
- Cold/flu treatments.
- Sore throat treatment.
- Cough mixtures
- Smoking cessation medicine.
- Anti fungal.
- Sleep pills and sedatives.
- Gastro-intestinal, indigestion pills.
- Other (tonics, stimulant, anti-flea, chapped lips etc.)
Infol International Company was noted as to also being able to make use of the deregulation of the OTC market and the willingness of many customers to use self-medicine and take responsibility for their health by buying OTC products rather than wait for a doctor’s appointment. Such recent trends certainly make Infol to use more advertising to lure the customers rather then to remain somewhat passive relying on the physicians to offer these drugs to the customers before such trends to self-medicine started.
The most recent trends reflect the increased number of prescription pharmaceutical companies entering the OTC market to increase the brand loyalty. However the trend is expected to slow down because of the limited amount of sicknesses that can be cured with the OTC medicines.
The main analgesics are Paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen.
Speaking about the industry structure, it is of importance to note that there are only 4 main competitors:
1. Clearmill Laboratories. This company has both pharmacy and retail stores distribution channels with the Direx drug accounting for over 1/3 of the total revenues and assuming over 16% of the total market share.
2. Healthline offers Zendol, Nured and Fennadiene being the most popular drugs in 2003. Fennadiene is of great interest to Infol Company because it is a combo drug that has paracetamol and codeine.
3. Brookes, supplies branded analgesics to the UK drugstores. This company relies on much TV advertising and press coverage let alone the winsome drug Alophine (ibuprofen based) that had achieved good results in tests.
4. Infol international on the other hand markets its Clearlead (aspirin based) and Eradapain
One should remember that in order to properly market its products it is vital to use proper marketing strategies to meet the needs of the target market.
It has been estimated that 90% of adults use analgesics with females being twice as frequent users as males. Males see the analgesics as unnecessary or ineffective. Also the research proved that people discuss health matters as often as sports and usually 4 times as often as they discuss religion or politics.
The company should remember that the most frequent use of analgesics is for headache, and back pain and over 77% of families keep analgesics at home. The research does not envisage any drastic changes in the consumer market for analgesics simply because this is already a mature market in Great Britain.
Eradapen of Infol International Company combines paracetamol, ibuprofen with codeine by using some special technology unavailable to other companies. It is expected that Eradapen would achieve over 9% market share in 2005. Yet the Infol International Company decided to obtain over 16% of the total analgesics market by 2005 and thus proper advertising and promotion strategies had to be used.
Direct advertising was used to affect consumers across the country noting that this drug is of good quality and is monitored by proprietary association of Great Britain (PAGB) and the Medicines control agency (MCA).
The company would increase its advertising budget by 4% per annum and the case study perfectly illustrates the advertising budget trend of Infol International Company. Infol would advertise its analgesics as second most popular drugs after cold/flu remedies spending over GBP 12.7 million in 2003 alone.
The company interestingly continued to consider the flu remedy as the medicine that needs the most advertising despite the fact that flu medicine sales and market demand stabilizes.
In conclusion I find it necessary to note that Infol International Company should make proper advertising planning prior to actually advertising its drugs. In other words, if the drug is generally prescribed or can be sold without prescription, then the advertisement should target the user groups. If the drug is available on a prescription basis, then Infol International Company should target physicians and pharmacists who would recommend the drug to their clients. Certain small payments to these key people will motivate them to help Infol International Company’s products reach the largest audience possible.
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