Sr Head of Marketing, Cardio-metabolic division of Cipla Ltd.
Pharma marketing have witnessed various evolutions over last few decades & selling skills have consistently improved its value-added contribution along the journey.
The role of communication and the art of communication have still retained its pivotal position even in the era of diminishing belief in both.
The ‘Me too’ texture of brand mix of most of the pharma houses in India compelled the industry to adopt to Multi Product Selling Approach (MPSA), which in turn has undergone various transitions over a period& now arrived at a latest phase of maximising the impact with therapy interest.
Multi product selling skills (MPSA) evolution….
Era of MPSA linking to Product benefits
First few years of first decade of 2000, many pharma houses focused on strong linkage of features and benefits of products in their cohesive marketing and training approach. Few common approaches were…
Once a day daily dosing of Brand X is also offered by Brand Y
The superior drug release technology of Brand X is also extended by Brand Y
The state of art manufacturing facilities for Brand X are also applicable to Brand Y
Era of MPSA linked to activities
Next few years, as the patient centric approach or the disease awareness and diagnosis encouragement approach intensified, it observed a scale up of number of touch points with patients and subsequent mutations in the MPSA linkage.
MPSA started travelling the subtle activity route then. A diabetic detection camp started beautifully merging with BP detection and then bone density then ECG and on and on.
The educative initiatives through various compliant CMEs started becoming holistic from a single subject focus. Content started widening to various co morbid conditions and moving closer to portfolio needs.
And now the Era of MPSA linked to therapy
In recent times when most of the pharma houses tightened their focus on therapies, there was a natural diversion of the MPSA in this route. The treatment tree and place of drugs in the treatment tree started dominating divisional portfolios.
A typical situation where based on the treatment tree of diabetes or hypertension or heart failure or kidney disease positioning of various brands started.
For eg :
The treatment tree for Heart Failure drugs
The unique advantage of this was in terms of improving therapy impression of the pharma house & operating divisions. Channelizing the other marketing initiatives and linking various brands with same therapy & single treatment tree witnessed substantial improvement in the operating therapy focus.
Digital …. Expected to be a game changer
Even though the stages of evolution of digital are different in different pharma houses, the change in approach of MPSA can have a paradigm shift in the coming days. The innovations & experiments in digital by pharma is yet to define & decorate the path on this journey yet it represents lot of promise of change which is certain in coming days.
Just like a drip email campaign in other industries, pharma can define doctor behaviour and carve out a path of Digital & Multichannel marketing basis the customer behaviour. The communication customized as per doctor preference and walking him through therapy pathway in virtual channels could be a game changer. It’s no more a world of standardization but now a world of customization. MPSA setup into digital channels can be a great start.
(Archis H Joshi is Sr Head of Marketing at Cardio-metabolic division of Cipla Ltd. He also heads sales team of West and South zone for
the same division. He brings in a rich experience in sales and marketing from most reputed pharma companies like Pfizer, GSK & USV.)