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  • Pages: 9
  • Word count: 2003
  • Category: Medicine

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The hierarchy of effect (HOE) is a marketing communication model. It suggests that there are six steps from viewing a product advertisement to product purchase. The goal is to encourage the customer to go through the six steps and purchase the product. Awareness: The customer becomes aware of the product through advertising. Since the customers see many adverts each day, there is no guarantee that the they will be aware of the product brand after they view the advert. People see hundreds of adverts each day but will only remember the brand of a tiny fraction of products. In the drug industry, the direct-to-consumer advertising is a new tool. Printup’s strategy included all the known DTC tools: television, online, radio and print media. The marketing people of the company dedicated the half of the first year’s budget to the new, direct-to-customer method. At the other hand, Printup aimed also the professional medical communities and healthcare centres throughout leading medical publications and interactive online ads. Knowledge: In today’s digital world this step has become more important as consumers expect to gather product knowledge at the click of a button.

All the patients who have access to internet can find all the relevant information. Online physician-resources are the tools to raise awareness. Throughout print ads and health-care supporters all the become can get informed of the release of the new drug. Liking: As the clinical tests show, Metabical is super-effective and has only few, not that seroius side-effects. As the surveys show, 12% of the respondents said that they are not only willing to, but wanted to request a prescription of Metabical. People would love to give a try to Metabical. Preference: The main rival, Alli is also an approved weight-loss drug and has strong marketing. The ’’little brother’’ of Alli is called Xenical, which is a weaker drug. Both Alli and Xenical have negative side effects that get even worse if the patient consumes products that include more calories and fat. Loose stools, increased defecation, incontinence, abdominal pain and even liver-failure are common problems that are reported by the people who take one of these products on daily basis. These side-effects might come up when taking Metabical but only less severe. Conviction: CSP holds so called Lunch &
Learn seminars for health care providers.

They receive positive feedback. They offer on these seminars free lunch which an additional tool to make more people to gather. Sales representatives visit four institutions each day on average. They also focus on offices that are easily geographically accessible. CSP also offer the consumers online-support for several months and provides them diets, grocery list and exercise plans. Purchase: Since the retail price is not finalized, it is hard to discuss this point. Many health insurance plans exclude weight-loss drugs and majority of them are purchased by patients ’’out-of-pocket’’. Few prescription drug plans would cover the cost of Metabical. Printup is trying to persuade those plans to include their product after the first six months of sale. It is clearly seen, that Printup uses push strategy. This method means communication between seller and buyer.

Their communication is both interactive or non-interactive. Their promotions by television or radio is a non-interactive one since it is not possible for the buyer to interact with. On the other hand they use also the interactive method, their communication is also made by phone and internet, so the buyer has possibilities to interact with the seller. In the first case information is pushed toward the buyer, while in the second case it is possible for the buyer to demand the needed information according to their requirements. Since the prices are not established yet, I would say that the push and pull strategy is more likely to be impressive for the customer.

Metabical is a prescription drug for weight loss which can only be bought by having a prescription, so the overweight patients are not the only decision makers involved. The health care providers are also decision makers in this process, since they prescribe the drug. The decision-making process involves the following steps: (Management, Stephen P. Robbins and Mary Coulter,Prentice Hall, Ch 2., p 68.) 1. Need recognition According to the case, 65 % of Americans are overweight. Lot of them see themselves as social outcasts. A recognition occurs that consumers are unhappy with their current body image, their weight or their unhealthy lifestyle. This can origin from consumers’ existing, continuous dissatisfaction in terms of their weight physical appearance. It can also be triggered by external media sources such as TV, Outdoor, Radio or Magazine advertisements whereby a variety different visuals, articles, messages can lead to consumer awareness that there is a problem, and a need, that must be satisfied. At this point, both the consumer and the respective media agents are involved in process.

2. Information search

In order to solve their problem and satisfy their ‘recognized’ need, consumers try to gain information. Given the high-involvement with Metabical, with its direct impact on consumers’ health and high possible personal risk, consumers will consult various sources.

3. Evaluation of alternatives

Here the consumers compare the advantages and disadvantages of using Metabical to the competitive products. (i.e. Alli, Ephedra). Ephedra for example, is linked to several cases of heart death .Ali, although FDA approved, has side effects such as liver damage, if consumed with too much fat, while Metabical has the least side effects Besides costumers highly lightly will consider the prices.The price of Metabical seems to be the best, alongside with the 24 month support program.

4. Purchase:

After evaluating all the choices, the consumer would decide whether or not to buy Metabical. Healt providers would convince the patient to purchase Metabical, so the customers will be aware of the advantages of the product over the disadvantages.The more the advantages of safety,FDA approval and long term results due to the support program are advertised the easier it becomes for the consumer to like Metabical, and prefer it over Alli, or others. Media and the TV ads would spread knowledge and awareness too.

5. Post purchase evaluation:

Here the consumers may experience consumer dissonance,or concerns over whether the choice was the best one.

If Printup wants to start the segmentation of customers, they should consider the demographic and psychographic factors. As we take a look at the surveys in the study, we can realize that the obesity is the most common for people aged 55 to 74. In the case of these people, we have to say that consideration of offering them a less difficult exercise-plan would be suggested, since they might be in worse health conditions. For the younger generation that is fighting against obesity a recommendation of a more effective and efficient training would be a better way to help them to lose weight. For the people who want to lose weight but are not comfortable with taking pills, they should recommend a lower doses with more training and strict diet. They should provide more seminars and lecture for those who need more information so the people with lower education would understand the importance of losing weight.

Metabical will be marketed to overweight women of the age from 25-65. According to a 2007 marketing survey, it was determined that women are dissatisfied with their current weight by 10% over men, 20% more women then men visited a healthcare provider, 15% more women then men want to change their way of living to a healthy lifestyle. These clarifies that women are the most likely gender to purchase Metabical. The age group of 25-65 is determined by the income of women which allows them to purchase an expensive prescription weight loss drug. They need to have a college education as a lowest level of education, due to the fact that, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet when taking Metabical and understanding the intake of nutritions and importance of exercising. This age demographic is quite large but it is necessary to target all of these potential customers in order understand who is buying into the product as the marketing plan evolves over the next few years. We anticipate that other demographics will also purchase the product and this is a major consideration in the ensuing years in what the final evolution of the product will be.

Clinical trials show the effectiveness of Metabical. None of the other weight-loss drugs’ tests show this rate of effectiveness among people with obesity: people with higher than 28 BMI lost an average of 26, while the others with lower than 28 lost an average of 15 pounds. The subjects from the control group who had been taking the placebo drug only lost 2 to 6 pounds during the testing weeks. This is definitely an impressive comparative advantage. As it is mention above, Metabical has fewer negative sideeffect than other similar drugs on the market. As these side effects come up by taking more calories and fat, it helps people not to lose their self control and take more healthy food. Since Metabical is not effective for people with higher than 30 BMI, taking this drug is not recommended for them. CSP offers support program for the customers. Although Alli, the other weight-loss drug also has this service, the one for the buyers of Metabical is a broader one: they offer diets, exercise plans, grocery list of recommended products and a contest for people who managed to lose weight via taking Metabical: the ones who lose the highest BMI are the winners. This contest is unique in the world of drug industry.

Metabical is a unique product to market due to the fact that a message has to be conveyed to the end user as well as health care providers who recommend and write prescriptions. The target market as stated above is overweight women aged 25-65. It is important to reach the market through a variety of venues to instill the importance of purchasing the prescription. A mix of Print media, television, radio and online advertising will be exploited to reach the majority of the target market. Print advertising will come in the form of pamphlets and other informative documents that will be placed at medical clinics, weight loss facilities, doctors offices and other relevant institutions that promote weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Online Advertising is effective for targeting the specific target market of women who are searching for weight loss supplements and are of age 25-65. The success of these campaigns can be measured by the amount of impressions the advertisement has received as well as successful requests for more information when an advertisement is clicked an an interaction takes place. Television and radio will be utilized weeks before the drug is released to the public in order to create hype and a viral marketing effect. The types of channels that the advertisements will be shown are news channels, channels relating to health and also channels that women watch frequently in order to reach our target market. Targeting the professional and medical community requires a different approach.

We will utilize print ads in leading medical publications (journal of the American medical association) and interactive ads adjacent to online physician resource information (PDR.net) to raise awareness about the drug and its benefits. The marketing communication geared towards professionals will be formulated to educate them about the safety, research and development, and compliance. It is important to include the consumer message, whic is consistent in that it is meant to shock the doctor by listing the actual diseases associated with weight loss. The end of the message gives credibility to the product by i.e. announcing that the FDA approves the drug. It is essential to be equally successful in the marketing to doctors as patients because if the Medical Community accepts the drug as an effective and safe method of loosing weight, more and more doctors will recommend it to patients and positive PR will follow.

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