Monday, October 06, 2008

Our 100th Post: 3 Recession Tips from Harvard (For Pharma)

Just as 2009 plans start to gel, the economy takes a dive. Harvard Business Publishing puts it all in context - and provides some good advice on how to survive it, in "Downturn 2008: A Manager's Survival Guide". LINK

Of the 7 short essays, I found the most useful for pharma marketers to be John Quelch's "How Marketers Can Manage Price Inflation", LINK which offers the following pearls (applicable to pharma):

(Get to know your patients again)
"...discard your existing customer segmentation assumptions and segment consumers around product usage behavior and price sensitivity. You must get out into the marketplace yourself and talk to consumers directly to understand... how they are changing attitudes and behaviors..."

(Don't give away the store)
"... more customers than usual will be looking out for price promotions, but don't give away the store to those who don't need the discount, and cut prices not across the board but only on items selected as your inflation-busters..."

(Encourage patients to cut back on chocolate, not Chantix)
"... persuade customers to cut back their expenditures on other products, not on yours. In tough times, consumers more than ever need and deserve the occasional treat. So, if you are Haagen Dazs, tell the consumer to substitute private label peas for the name brand... Strong brands can hold consumer loyalty while increasing retail price points. Weaker brands risk private label and generic substitution."

Another short inspiring read is "10 Ways Digital Can Help You Survive in a Recession" LINK