15 October 2009

A complex business model for Bio-Pharma Industry

Customer focus, a core element of the marketing concept, is certainly a widely adopted buzzword today, one which is stressed in all introductory Bio-Tech marketing texts. While the marketing concept applies to all industries, it is particularly important in technologically driven industries that have been among the first to introduce quality techniques, many of which begin with capturing the "voice of the customer". Consequently, one would expect a customer focus to be integrated into new product development and marketing in technologically driven firms. Unfortunately, reviews have repeatedly concluded that the high tech product marketing concept often remains just that - a concept.

There are two issues relevant to the discussion of product launch in Bio-Tech markets. First, it is important to understand the difference between the customer's perspective and the manager's perspective that can exist in Bio-Tech markets. Second, there are specific features of Bio-Tech markets that are believed to distinguish them from other product categories. Examination of both of these sets of issues is necessary to understand the particular importance of the diffusion of innovation in the marketing of high tech products.

Perhaps there is something even more elementary which can explain the failure of high-tech companies to successfully adopt a customer focus (Amgen Inc. is no longer just a two-drug company, but that doesn't mean the biotechnology giant won't go to the mat to protect the market for Epogen, its first billion-dollar anemia-fighting blockbuster and still the core of its most profitable drug line.) The effectiveness of the Bio-Tech marketing strategy can be traced to how well the company focus with an understanding of the diffusion process. To put these specific examples in the right context, however, the nature of high tech markets must first be explored.

In addition, several Marketers have suggested that high tech markets, unlike low-tech markets, must focus on both demand-side marketing and supply-side marketing (e.g. Shanklin and Ryans 1984). Based upon the belief that supply can create its own demand, supply-side marketing is appealing to new product developers as it legitimizes a product orientation (e.g., Moore 1995). In practice, however, the supply-side can so dominate the demand-side that the needs of the consumers are ignored in strategy development. As a result product developers tend to be driven by their technology in determining the marketing mix.

The demise of several of Texas Instruments' product lines provides a glaring example of this phenomenon. For years, the firm has been known for its technical know-how. However, the fact that the linkage between technology and marketing was missing at Texas Instruments led to a failure to discern the need to change from a supply-side focus to a more market-driven orientation.

There is ample evidence pointing to specific ways in which Bio-Tech markets are different from consumer package goods markets. Because Bio-Tech companies exploit and create change rather than consolidate and defend existing conditions the interdependence between marketing and technology is of crucial importance. Companies regarded as low-tech may basically adjust their marketing strategies to reflect relatively unchanging technological conditions. Bio-Tech companies, however, must recognize that both technological and marketing conditions are rapidly changing. This dynamic environment necessitates stronger consideration for the marriage of marketing and technology. The Morden Marketing manger must know about Digital marketing mix not for sales purpose but interms of branding and CRM.

Research and practice indicate that Bio-Tech markets are characterized as dynamic and complex which results in a changing target market over the life cycle (THE PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE - Raymond Vernon, 1966) The complexity of the product also impacts market acceptance in different ways in high tech markets. As high tech products are more complicated, they require greater customer education and more product information. This necessity results in greater effort on the part of marketing to adequately convey the necessary information as well as greater effort on the part of the consumer to digest the information.

The requirement of greater customer education is not meant to imply an uneducated consumer. Consumers of high tech offerings, particularly those first to adopt a technology, are extremely sophisticated and product/technology savvy (twitting around daily business activity is already practicing by your potential customer, still you don't know what is twitter all about). The level of sophistication prevalent in high tech markets, however, demands developing an intimate knowledge of the consumer in order to ensure that the offering is captures what the customer considers to be desirable.

Target marketing is another critical factor for firms introducing Bio-Tech products. Complicating this factor is evidence that the customer base changes for each stage of the product life cycle as different segments of the market become interested in the product at different times.

Consequently, it is important to recognize the need to clearly identify and profile a target market as well as take into account that the profile of the target market will change over time. Social media marketing change the way to percive rquired inforamtion about high tech product and purchasing cycle. The buying decison is more dependant how you present your self virtually and how is yor testimonial speak loudly.

Bio-Tech markets may not be so different as to require different theories. However, there is ample evidence that their operating environments are more intense than consumer markets making attention to the nuances of product launch strategies particularly critical. Examination of the new product development process and the role of the diffusion of innovations followed by a review of several examples of recent high tech product launches will clarify why this is so.(ENBREL (etanercept) launch by Amgen and Wyeth for Reduction of signs and symptoms of active arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis)