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Cialis Case Report Essay

Situation Analysis

Lilly ICOS LLC plans to launch a new drug, Cialis, to treat Erectile Dysfunction amidst strong competition from Pfizer’s similar drug, Viagra which currently dominates the market. The company faces the problem of determining the marketing strategy for Cialis keeping in mind the competencies and resources of the product team and also the mountainous competition from Viagra. Cialis was medicinally a superior drug having a half life much greater than that of Viagra’s. People were not satisfied after using Viagra and a large proportion of its users had discontinued the usage thus providing an attractive market segment for Cialis to tap upon. Lilly ICOS has the advantage of knowing which group is using ED medications (data from PCP’s, urologists and pharmacies). By using this data, they can not only target the current users, but also the dropouts and dissatisfied customers.

Problem Statement
How to develop a marketing strategy for Cialis and position it against the competition?

Options
1. Follow a direct “compete” strategy and go head-to-head with Viagra’s positioning
2. Target the Viagra dropouts segment
3. Target the new customer segment which has not used Viagra.
4. Target the patients and their partners
5. Team up with the doctors

Criteria for Evaluation
1. Achieve the target of $500 million annual sales(wonder drug)
2. Affect the physician, patient and public in broad appeal
3. Manage competitor reactions

Evaluation of Options

1. Option 1
The company is more likely to reach its target of $500m sales per year. The “head-on” battle will force best practises and maximisation of resources. The superior product in competing against Viagra is suited to this strategy. However it’s a risky Strategy and could lead to attaining no market share. It might result in a marketing war with Pfizer and physicians may be unwilling to prescribe a second drug for a condition they don’t perceive as too serious. 2. Option 2

By the end of 2001, there were an estimated 6 to 7 million Viagra dropouts. The patients who are still suffering from ED and have discontinued the use of Viagra are prospective and to an extent assured customers. The company should be able to meet the wonder target of $500 million annual sales.

3. Option 3

The survey results depict a strong correlation between age and reason for not seeking treatment. With old patients it’s a naturally aging process and 50% of the world’s population suffering from ED falls under the age bracket of 40-70 years. ED is also associated with health risks high cholesterol, diabetes etc thus making the aged group a persuasive target segment.

4. Option 4

More often than not, the patients start the medication for ED upon the insistence of their partners. More awareness could be created through ad campaigns, health checkups, etc to directly target the patients and their partners. Partners could be convinced more easily as they would not have a bias towards Viagra or any other substitue. Thus, convincing the partners can also lead to an increase in the sales volumes of Cialis.

5. Option 5

The drug could only be sold to those to whom it had been prescribed to by a doctor. So the sales would inevitably increase if the doctors preferred Cialis over Viagra and prescribed the same to the patients. However, because of the initial “death scare” caused by Viagra persuading the doctors would be a bit tougher than normal. Therefore, the doctors would have to be convinced about the benefits of Cialis over Viagra.

Recommendations

On the basis of the huge potential market for Viagra dropouts and the ease of persuasion associated with them option 2 is recommended.

Action Plan
Advertise heavily to match the strong advertising strategy adopted by Pfizer.
Promote the benefits of Cialis over Viagra.
Advocate the benefits of Cialis to the doctors.

Contingency Plan
In case the action plan based on option 2 does not yield the desired results, option 1 should be implemented as a contingency plan along with the collaboration with the doctors.

References
* http://www.smi.ethz.ch/education/courses/lectureslides/M-I_Cialis_HiRes.pdf * www.scribd.com/doc/34102121/Strategic-Marketing-Management-Cialis-Case-Study-Christopher-Cashen


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