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Pfizer Marketing Strategies Essay

Pfizer Inc., discovers, develops, manufacturers, and markets leading prescription medicine for humans and animals and many of the world’s best-known consumer brands. Their innovative, value-added products improve the quality of life of people around the world and help them enjoy longer, healthier, and more productive lives. The company has three business segments: health care, animal health and consumer health care. The top three worldwide pharmaceutical companies in sales are from GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Merck respectively. In 2001, Pfizer increased its’ market share and became the sales leader. They have continued to lead the industry since. The main reason for their tremendous growth is that their pharmaceutical products are able to improve the quality of life of their customers. Those products are Aricept, Celebux, Diflucan, Lipitor, Neurontin, Norvasc, Viagra, Zithromax, Zoloft and Zyrtec.

Research and development is vital to the success of any pharmaceutical company. Pfizer spent 7.1 billion on research and development in 2003; this is the only pharmaceutical company that is capable of investing this much. Their future, as one company, with a single purpose and mission, is sharply defined. Pfizer Inc. wants to be the company that does more good, for more people, than any other on the planet. Innovation is critical to improving health and sustaining Pfizer’s growth and profitability. They are deeply committed to meeting the needs of their customers, and we constantly focus on customer satisfaction.

Pfizer is now implementing a strategy to drive performance within the global business, building on the business model and management ethic that they applied in the United States. The most important priority is to improve sales performance through the launch of new pharmaceutical products, encourage doctors to continue to prescribe existing products, and attempt to increase consumption and enlarge the over-the-counter market. Pfizer is a strong and reliable brand, with a solid competitive position and diversified product line that appeals to a wide customer base. However, Pfizer needs to communicate with their clients more effectively in order to capitalize on their opportunities. Their current objective focuses heavily on increasing profitability and sales volume of the new products, such as Lipitor, Norvasc, Celebrex and Neurontin. They are seeking to increase efficiency by reorganizing of the structure of the company.

Pfizers’ focus on research and development is matched by an equally strong emphasis on marketing. The company promotes its human pharmaceutical products to health care providers including doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, pharmacy benefits managers, and managed care organizations. Pfizer also promotes its products directly to consumers in the U.S. via direct-to-consumer (DTC) print and television advertising. Pfizer has responded to the Food and Drug Administration’s 1997 decision to loosen restrictions on DTC advertising of prescription drugs by increasing DTC promotional spending each year

Pfizer’s strong marketing and sales operations have enabled the company to become the “partner of choice” for the marketing of innovative products developed by others. Pfizer is extremely skilled in creating alliances with other pharmaceutical companies via co-promotion agreements. Through co-promotion and licensing agreements, Pfizer promotes and markets such highly promising products as Celebrex, Bextra, Aricept, and so on with alliance partners. Pfizer provides cash, staff, and other resources to further develop, market, promote, and sell the products in exchange for a share of revenues.

For the over-the-counter market, Pfizer advertises in newspapers, magazines and uses outside media, especially for essential pharmaceutical products. An example would be the cardiovascular medicine “LIPITOR”. Potential customers gain product knowledge through advertisements when reading newspapers and popular magazines. For doctors, Pfizer spends a substantial amount of money for physician-type advertisements, such as small catalogs, relevant posters, printed 3D diagram regarding the specified product because the doctor is their main customer. Once the patient is exposed to the advertisements inside the clinic, they have more product knowledge and confidence.

Pfizer continues to have sales promotions each year to support the 2-3 products they develop annually. These sales promotions are focused on hospitals and general practitioners. Before the new product is going to launch, Pfizer announces relevant details to these people first and advises them of all of the available support. Once launched, a clinical study paper and samples are delivered to the doctors when Pfizer representatives are visiting them. Antibiotics are classified into four groups: Penicillin, Quinolones, Macrolides and Cephalosporins. Patients will develop a resistance through continued use of same antibiotic, which is why Pfizer continually develops new antibiotics. Sales promotion, advertising, and product knowledge are all very important aspects of marketing for Pfizer to launch their new products.

While Pfizer has a number of strong products in its portfolio, it is Viagra that has received a large amount of attention recently and its success will be important for Pfizer. However, the huge cost of Viagra has been a highly discussed issue, with a number of governments struggling to reach decisions over reimbursement issues. However, Viagra’s high cost may lead to the use of cheaper, alternative treatment for the condition. There have also been a number of safety issues surrounding the use of Viagra. Because of the high consumer awareness of Viagra due to extensive media coverage, the continued safety concerns, combined with the impending launch of alternative oral treatments, this could have a significant adverse affect on the sales of Viagra. Pfizer appears to have continued high expectations for Viagra, possibly implying an over dependence on the success of one product. The high sales and marketing investment by Pfizer to promote Viagra could damage the company’s profitability if revenues from Viagra do not live up to expectations.

Pfizer is a company that has a stronghold on its’ market, due to having superior research and development department, as well as one of the most innovative ways to approaching potential customers and business partners. All of this contributes to their competitive advantage and enables the company to always stay a step ahead of their competitors. Although the health care industry is ever changing and threats and opportunities often appear, Pfizer has a stable base for the future in this business field. As the company motto states: “Life is our Life’s Work!”

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