Pre-launch promotion crucial to brand strategy: Sanofi-Aventis marketing VP

Getting your brand noticed early in its lifespan is crucial to pharma product position strategy, said Corinne Le Goff, VP, marketing, at Sanofi-Aventis. 

“The most money we can make at the beginning, the better,” Le Goff said at the Center for Business Intelligence's 3rd Annual Pharmaceutical Market Research Summit in Philadelphia. Marketing strategy should begin in tandem with early-stage drug development, although investitures should be kept at a minimum until proof of concept is established, she said.

Average marketing research budgets were $2.5 million in 2007, down 22.7% from 2006, according to Le Goff. “If it won't cost you much to be wrong, you should not spend much on market research.” 

Le Goff cited the growing importance of managed care organizations and pharmacy benefits management, and noted that government is now the largest payer for pharmaceuticals. She also questioned sales reps ability to impact individual physicians, given limited access. “Are we really teaching physicians in four minutes?” wondered Le Goff.

Regarding DTC TV campaigns, marketers should “test at least three executions per winning concept,” said Le Goff. “If we put everything in one bucket —we think patients will be market drivers solely—that may not be true.” 
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