Consistently achieving business objectives without month end sales closing pressure is dream of perhaps every pharma sales and marketing personnel.
I mentioned this in my previous blog post What Every Pharma Marketer Dreams Of and How To Make It Come True – Part 1. I also stated that it’s only through brand building process one can be assured of sustainable growth. I ended the post stating that brand building can happen only through “pull”.
To understand what pull means, I will once again take you to a typical scenario in my workshop.
“A prescription can be generated through two routes. Either through push or through pull. Can anyone tell me what does generating prescription through pull means?” I see lots of blank faces.
“Okay. Let me explain it”
“How many of you have worked in the field?” Almost all hands are raised.
“How many of you had been really good in the field?” I see surprised expressions on many faces, gradually all hands are raised.
“It was in a lighter vein, I know, as a Medical Representative, each one of you had been awesome or else you would not have been here” I assure them.
I have couple of more questions for you. “During your field stint, have you ever come across a doctor who is a prolific prescriber of competitor’s brand?”
“Not just one but a plenty of them.” Comes the answer in chorus
“And could you convert any of them?”
“Most of them” Chorus continues.
“Now imagine that you once again have a challenge to convert one such doctor. How would you go about it? I want you to bring out all your arsenals. Let us begin”
At this stage I am ready with the whiteboard marker. Responses start pouring in. During next few minutes the white board is full of scribble. Almost always, responses are like this:
Heavy sampling…gifts…CRM…CME…sharing my brands superiority vis-à-vis competitors’…repeated visits…understanding and fulfilling his need…sponsorship…daily reminders…SMSs…phone calls…emotional appeal and the list is endless with similar answers…
“Thank you very much. It was a great participation” I normally break at this stage and announce that “Everything that you told me is the PUSH way of generating prescription.”
Group seems to be surprised.
“Are these not the only ways of generating prescription?
If this is push, then what is pull?” Gradually this question starts trickling in.
“This was a great exercise; it helped you to understand what is NOT “pull”. Now let us try to understand what IS “pull”.
“When you create your brand communication based on sound marketing principles and maintain consistency with it, your brand occupies distinct and valued place in the mind of your customer. The doctor then no more prescribes your brand by remembering it consciously. It penetrates deep into his subconscious and this is when you have succeeded in generating prescription through the pull.”
Now coming back to you, after reading this post, I want you to think on the following questions:
How sharp is your brand positioning?
Is it distinct from the rest?
How consistent are you with your communication?
How far it has penetrated in the mind of your customer?
What is the dominating element of your present business? Push or pull?
If it is push then you have years of struggle ahead.
If your answer is pull, Congratulations. You are on your way to build a big brand!