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Eli Lily’s firm is a pharmaceutical sales representative company dealing with selling and giving advices about drugs to the medical community. The help doctors get vital information concerning the drugs so that they can make informed information. Eli Lily’s company will target as many doctors as possible in order to improve their sales.
With increased competition from the excessively growing number of pharmaceutical companies, Eli Lily’s sales representative force, the company has adopted a strategic change in their marketing policies so that they can provide as much information as possible about the drugs to the medical community. In the strategy, the company will demarcate the marketing territories into smaller units, which can be conveniently served by a group of its sales representatives. Eli’s company will also carry out comprehensive training to the sales people on various drugs so that her firm will reduce the number of different representatives calling on the same doctor, hence drastically cutting costs. Moreover, the company is planning to strengthen its customer service and giving its representatives more time to respond comprehensively to the doctor’s request for any kind of information. Lily’s company also hopes to reduce its sales representative’s costs so that it can make the drugs prices lower.
Eli’s company wants to improve its relations with the medical community by providing information on drugs, which is necessary. It wants to improve its reputation be following the required policies in the pharmaceutical field. Unlike other pharmaceutical companies which offer gifts and office suppliers to attract doctors into buying their drugs, Lily’s company wants to limit as much as possible the issues of the company giving out gifts and money to attract more doctors to like its product but to employment professionalism in the sales field.
Introduction to the case
Improving marketing strategies is always the primary objectives of many firms. Large customer base is found by aggressive marketing strategies. When a company adopts improved marketing strategies, the company will be able to outdo the other competitors in the same field. Strict adherence to the marketing policies always yield good results, but this is affected by the way the company evaluates its policies in relation to what the competitors do. Lily’s case show a situation where sales representatives want to have more impact on the medical community y adopting strategies that will enable them to garner and uphold reputation in their business. In marketing, what are considered are the professionalism of practices and the aggressiveness of how the sales people make their products known?
Eli’s case can be easily understood because her company sticks to basic marketing principles. She wants her sales representatives to focus on only one thing –satisfy the customers (medical community). By so doing, the sales force will be able to build a good image for the company. According to marketing principles, knowing your customers is needed before you can establish a particular marketing strategy. Eli understands that the customers require more information about the drugs, so in a bid to satisfy their concerns, she begins to divide the marketing area into small units so that each customer considered. This is unlike other companies in the same field who wants to increase their sales levels by dishing out gifts and money. Eli understands that great businesses do m market research first before they carry out the rigorous marketing strategies. She finds one gap, which becomes her opportunity- doctors not getting clear information about the drugs from other pharmaceutical companies.
Eli wants to place her customer priorities at the forefront. She understands that satisfying the customer is important. With that I mind, she makes priorities to be her own, and that is why we are told that she wants to reorganize her sales force to reach out for more doctors. Eli understands that effective marketing needs strategic planning in some levels in her organization. Since she is the head of her company, she is concerned with macro issues like the corporate issues, resource acquisition, corporate policy decisions, and management of the different strategic units. At the lower level, her marketing strategy is to ensure that her sales forces become tactical- that is the parties involved (sales forces) become more concerned with marketing plans development(Dole, et al, 2008).
Eli also understands that social responsibility and ethics are paramount if her company is to increase sales. This is shown by her trying to make her sales people to give more information about the drug to the doctors rather than enticing them with gifts and money, just like what her competitors in the field do. She wants to address the overall effect of her company’s marketing activity to the medical community. That is why she wants to ensure that her sales people to follow strictly the marketing ethics, which will enable the company to build a long-term trust and good relationship with her customers.
Eli’s decision is reflected by the rhetorical questions in the case study. It is indicated that currently, her sales force represents barely 5% of the entire sales representative community. Her decision dilemma is whether the other companies will not cut their sales forces so that they can reach out to more individual doctors than before. Her decision to reduce her sales force will affect her company adversely if her competitors never follow suit. This is because she will be covering a small area and getting few customers, unlike her competitors. This makes her profit motive to be secondary. Therefore, other firms will take advantage of her decision. However, the good news is that her decision will make her customers develop confidence in her products and will become loyal to her. Her decision dilemma also portrays her fears as to whether the decision she made will reduce sales or not.
In some situations, reducing the number of sales force means that geographical coverage will be small. It is imperative to understand that rigorous marketers want to improve the scope of geographical locations they want to cover and this is possible through increasing the sales people. Eli’s decision, however, reveals that her basic business objective is not to cover a wider geographical area and fail to provide comprehensive information about the product, but to cover small area and give detailed information concerning the product. Her marketing decision is to ensure that the relationship between her and the clients is sustained. The decision she made is enshrined in ethical marketing principles, which states that customers have a right to be given comprehensive information concerning the product before they carry out actual sales. Her decision, however, seems to be contrary to what her competitors do- we are told that they want to push for more pills, even if they are under public fire. This indicates that her competitors marketing plans are unethical and Eli’s pans will surely be applauded by the customers since her decisions shows that she wants to follow ethical practices.
Factors to be considered in the decision situation
Marketing affects both customers and the companies even when they are not aware of its existence. Eli’s decision should consider the extent to which the customers get satisfied. If, even after deciding to cut the number of the sales force, the customers still will not get satisfied, then other strategic decisions will be made. It will amount to great loss if customers will not respond positively to the plans implemented by the company.
The important decision factor to be considered in this decision situation is the strategy assessment. Eli should understand whether the target market selected is within her capability to serve, given the reduced sales force. She would then make recommendations concerning the potential changes she have made in her company and reposition herself with respect to their desires or preferences, like adjustment in product offerings, product information and if possible, modifying pricing policies that are effectively possible to apply in the new strategy(Mercer, 1996).
She also needs to consider cost and financial effects of her decision. This will help her to identify the true costs of her strategy. The cost analysis will be used to determine the profit impacts of strategy changes and any modification so far made. If the strategy is costly to implement, then she is advised not to adopt it. If however it will lead to low sales volume, the wisest decision for Eli is to use the existing, policy, and not to think about reducing the workforce she has. She needs to consider that costs must not be more than the revenues in undertaking any changes in the marketing strategies, otherwise she will not be able to realize her primary objectives I business.
Demand estimation simulating market trends should also be considered. Eli should first examine the medical community’s demand for her product. If the situation is pro9mising, then a change in marketing strategy should be implemented. By evaluating the customers’ preferences and decisions about the product and its information, and the sales channels behaviors, a demand model will be developed which can be used to fore cast how many of her drug’s sales, market shares and even profits will change after the strategy change(Armstrong, et al, 2009).
Eli should also consider what information, which the other companies have not given, should he tell the doctors concerning her product. She needs to tell them the benefits of her drugs, direction of use, and other vital information about the drug like contraindications. Her target market will be well informed about her product hence will develop confidence on the drugs, leading to more sale.
She also needs to define her market. Since she is planning to divide the marketing territory into smaller units to be conveniently served by her proposed small sales, force, the market segment itself should be easily controlled and assessed by Eli’s company. She needs to challenge herself, including the marketing team, to describe the type of customers that will have problems and what solutions can be given to them. High level of focus in this section will determine how her sales will be (Fisk et al, 2007). Lack of focus, alternatively, will result in a business strategy, which is tricky, ineffective, and unstructured, hence giving her competitors a chance to outdo her.
Finally yet importantly, reviewing the desired outcome is mandatory. She needs to ask herself her business objectives and what she wants the marketing plan to achieve for her, both in the long term or short term. If she wants to develop customer high satisfaction, then she is advised to go ahead and implement the strategy. By her understanding the yields of her chosen marketing strategy , she will be in a good position to evaluate whether or not marketing activities she is using are working or not. The marketing strategies have the potential to take her either closer to anticipated outcomes or even further a way (Bradley, 1995).
Some times marketing decisions taken may not yield fruits and therefore other alternatives are sought which can improve business performance. Some times the strategies taken, which may appear to be promising, sometimes bring adverse consequences on company sales revenue.
One of the alternatives is advertising and promotions. Besides using sales people, advertising and caring out promotions concerning the drug will make Eli reach her customers. She has to choose a media of advertisement like TV, radio, magazine, medical journals, or even newspapers to put her advertisement about her drugs. Her product statement, analysis of its developed competitive features and customer satisfaction, are the main points in ensuring that she reaches out to more customers. Conversely, she may learn that doctors like the current drugs they are normally using at the expense of hers. In this situation, she needs to emphasize on more specific features and benefits of the drug. Hence, building print ads in the local newspaper’s advertisement section or medical editions will ensure that the drug gets positive reception.
Consumer analysis is also another alternative if the earlier decisions will not work. Eli, instead of reducing her workforce, can just assess her customers in the market segments that she is targeting. She need to get information like-drug features and information that the doctors want, choices made with regards to competing products, ability of the consumers to purchase, geographical situation of the customers and the demand pattern of the drug.
I will recommend Eli to first analyze the effects of her change in strategy on sales revenue. She needs to understand that marketing is all about increasing the sales of the products, and there fore any strategy she undertakes must result in improved drug performance in the market. Let her carry out market research, analyze her competitor’s actions and come up with making the product known even with the existing workforce. What she needs to know is that she cannot cover a large geographical area where her customers are situated with the reduced workforce.
Ways of implementing Recommendations
Marketing strategies should be implemented in several ways. First, Eli should research the most recent ways and methods of implementing workable marketing strategies. She needs to know how to manage her marketing activities. Let her write down what she wants to do and when. A chart to keep track of sales performance under new strategy is recommended. If she finds it worthwhile, use of marketing plan as a tool for reviewing her marketing projects can be used. She can also use a checklist to follow or to track the performance of the sales people if she recommends using the new strategy of using few sales workforces. If the performance is OK and pleasing, she continues with the strategy, if it gives negative results, she is advised to change her strategy as soon as possible.