13.11.08

Mixing for Perfection

Resources Allocation to Promotional Mix in Life Science Business


Every student who happened to attend to principles of marketing lecture can list the well-known elements of the promotional mix in a sheet of paper and start branching a list for the activities related to each. Yet, this shall never make him a marketer out of no where! The name of the Game here is to take resources allocation decision to invest in the right direction. Therefore, we will talk here about resources allocation to promotional mix elements, taking in consideration the different factors guiding these allocation decisions.

What Factors Control Your Resources Allocation?
Here-under, we will list the factors we found through appreciative inquiry research to be most dominant, according to its vitality achieving your commercial objectives in life-science industry.
  • Your Market
  • Your Product
  • Competitive Style
  • Lifecycle Phase
The Market:
We are all exposed day and night to thousands of promotional messages from FMCG, automotive, communication and consumer health sectors. This leads to a nice phenomenon in specialized markets like healthcare, agriculture or animal health. Whenever you mention the word "Marketing" or "Promotion" his minds goes directly to the ATL type of advertisement. Nevertheless ATL advertisement in normal conditions represents one of the least efficient tools in these markets! In all cases, you will need to tailor your mix according to your industry. Regarding all the factors influencing your target customer decision making process.
The Product:
Taking example from Veterinary market, the mix you shall prepare for a poultry broilers' vaccine will vary considerably from the one you need for a breeders' nutritional supplement. The degree of involvement in decision making in both cases will be different among your customers categories, producers, retailers, veterinarian prescribers, and key accounts. Accordingly your mix must vary.
Competitive Style:
In an ideal world, you should do what you see appropriate for your product promotional campaign. Nonetheless, your competitors sometimes influence your decision to a minor degree. If for instance your major competitor is heavily conducting aggressive sales promotions, bonus scheme, or sales contest, while you should not follow him entirely, you also can not in practical world ignore his deeds completely. If he is doubling his field-force, you can never deny the possible impact of this on your sales. In this sense, competitor behavior should be analyzed and kept in mind before you kick-off with your own budget.
Lifecycle Phase:
A product in a lunch phase will need further investment in branding tactics more than a maturating product. However, your success to determine and manipulate products' lifecycle is crucial here. Some times you might push your product to maturation or even decline if you assumed it is in that stage and promoted accordingly. Which equals wasting of growth opportunities.

EH-IMC Grid Model for Animal Health Operations
While we do not claim this tailored IMC tool for scientific marketing is the best in class. Yet, we can claim it was of a major contribution as a mind setting tool to our success over the past years in animal health market, that is one of life-science markets. This grid was a fruit of collective work, following appreciative inquiry methodology


  • Product Detailing: 16%
  • Supportive Publications: 12%
  • Seminars & Group Meetings: 12%
  • Lecturer Tours: 9%
  • Prescribers' Loyalty Program: 8%
  • Educational Activities: 8%
  • Trade Shows: 6%
  • Technical Bulletin: 6%
  • Direct Mailing: 4%
  • Specialized Advert.: 4%
  • Industry Relations: 4%
  • Sales Promotion: 3%
  • Sponsorship of Scientific Events: 3%
  • Sales Contest: 2%
  • Mass Advertisement & Websites: 2%
  • PR Events: 1%
However, these percents does not represent the share of each category in your budget. It is only an enlightenment tool, to keep in mind while preparing your budget based on a task approach. It also helps to evaluate your product manager's strategic orientation about his marketplace and its needs.

Copyrights© 2008. Eyad Harfoush

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