Dominick Cirigliano, Executive VP, Strategic Research and Robert Recobs, President and CEO
Imagine waking up to a world where suddenly everything looks just the same. Everyone is wearing identical outfits. Every house is of the same design, and every car seems just like the other one. Even scarier: every food tastes the same. Now, if this is ever to happen, how will the world look like?
Interestingly, there is a phrase for such instances in marketing—“Sea of Sameness.” So how does this situation play out in marketing? Businesses operating in the same domain often take an identical approach when engaging with their consumers. It is undoubtedly crucial to pay close attention to what’s resonating in a particular industry and capitalizing on it. However, businesses often do that to a fault, where their products fail to bring out their uniqueness.
On that note, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the worst sufferers. Laser-focused on the apparent clinical benefits, these marketing strategies often fall short in distinguishing the products on a granular level, especially in terms of its potential clinical and non-clinical information. But, the companies who do differentiate their products precisely reap an enormous benefit. Take AbbVie and their marketing campaigns for the rheumatoid arthritis medicine—HUMIRA—for example.
HUMIRA was the first humanized monoclonal antibody to treat rheumatoid arthritis. But only highlighting being first-of-its-kind wasn’t enough to capture the attention of physicians and patients. Therefore, AbbVie decided to focus on the drug’s self-administration aspect, (including the services associated with it) as patients are usually apprehensive about self-medication drugs. “The success of a marketing strategy always depends upon bringing out the unarticulated tensions around a certain product. And for HUMIRA, it was the shift from oral medication to self-injection mode of delivery,” underscores Dominick Cirigliano, Executive Vice President at OptiBrand Rx—a leading brand positioning firm. Notably, it was OptiBrand Rx that helped AbbVie identify this crucial information gap around self-medication, and understand the correlation between the insight and the key ‘customer performance indicators.’ Armed with the strategic market data, AbbVie built a comprehensive marketing strategy that involved patient and physician support, along with ‘24/7 nurses on-call services.’ They also developed HUMIRA Cares (now HUMIRA Complete or Abbvie Care in some countries), one of the first and most successful patient support programs ever. HUMIRA Cares offered in-home training for patients to show them how to use the product appropriately.
The success of a marketing strategy always depends upon bringing out the unarticulated tensions around a certain product
If one looks back, all these initiatives pushed AbbVie light-years ahead of its competitors who might have had promising drugs but failed to distinguish their products in the market.
Notably, while the partnership with AbbVie was a proud and significant moment for OptiBrand Rx, it is but one of the many successful projects for the marketing firm. OptiBrand Rx has worked on more than 500 pharmaceutical product marketing projects to date. “It has led us to an unprecedented experience around branding strategies that goes beyond the traditional marketing modules,” states Christopher Nikides, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and General Counsel of OptiBrand Rx. OptiBrand Rx helps translate the non-clinical factors, such as a medicine’s emotional and disease-specific outcomes, into key-differentiating factors of a particular pharmaceutical brand.
Positioning strategies at the core of healthcare brand marketing.
The novel idea behind OptiBrand Rx’s innovative approach in healthcare marketing is delivering the right drug to the right patient at the right time. To this end, the company connects every stakeholder of the healthcare sector, be it patients, caregivers, physicians, nurses, specialists, or other concerned medical practitioners, and models the most effective branding strategy. In the first step, OptiBrand Rx employs a multitude of standard and proprietary research tools to understand the areas of opportunity for a particular drug. Then, OptiBrand Rx leverages collated knowledge as a potential springboard for different brand positioning strategies. For this, Robert Recobs, President and CEO of OptiBrand Rx,states, “We have a number of tools that help us go beyond just the science and understand the emotional implications of strategies and how they can impact the branding outcomes.”
Once the emotional implications are identified, OptiBrand Rx develops a core set of positioning strategies and subsequently moves to quantitative modeling to test its early market response. At the end of such stringent testing, OptiBrand Rx presents the client with a preview of what will happen in the real world. “Our recommendation lies in the intersection of all the crucial factors that empower a successful brand positioning,” comments Cirigliano.
Such a robust and personalized approach has made OptiBrand Rx a popular name among all the leading pharmaceutical companies. Especially in the last five years, OptiBrand Rx’s market research business has grown exponentially. The company has evolved into more of a strategic consultant involved in holistic marketing and communication for brands. To this extent, OptiBrand Rx partners with clients’ in-house or third-party marketing teams to ensure a project’s success. OptiBrand Rx is poised to help the healthcare sector deliver the best services, now and in the future.