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Cambridge Science Pharmaceuticals (CSP) is an international health care company with
a focus on developing, manufacturing, and marketing products that treat metabolic
disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, immune deficiencies, as well as other chronic and
acute medical conditions. The company captured over $25 billion in sales for the year
2007. Barbara Printup is the senior director of marketing of CSP who is responsible for
one of the most successful products by CSP, Zimistat. CSP has assigned Printup to be incharged of the upcoming U.S product launch of CSPs newest prescription drug,

Barbara Printup, Senior Director of Marketing for Cambridge Science Pharmaceuticals

(CSP) was appointed in February 2008 to be responsible in developing a viable
positioning strategy and associated marketing communications plan. The product launch
of Metabical was scheduled in January 2009.

Metabical was the first prescription drug approved by the FDA that targeted specifically
for overweight individuals produced by Cambridge Science Pharmaceuticals (CSP). The
majority of Metabical trials participants reached their weight-loss goals by week 12.
Although pricing had not been finalised, CSP estimated the retail price would be
approximately $3 to $5 per day, with the average course of treatment lasting for 12


Excess weight is considered a public health crisis in the U.S, with approximately 65% of
the entire adult population categorised as overweight, obese or severely obese. Being
overweight often related to a number of serious health problems. According to the
American Obesity Association in 2005, it is one of the top leading causes of death in
U.S. In addition to health risks, overweight individuals always feel like social outcasts.
They endure a significant social stigma as well as discrimination. Laziness and selfindulgence are common stereotypes associated with this group. Their professional life
could also be negatively affected, as excess weight has been found to adversely influence
hiring decisions, wages and promotions.

Researchers and health care professionals measure excess weight using the Body Mass
Index (BMI) scale. The BMI scale is appropriate for both men and women. It calculates
the relationship between weight and height associated with body fat and health risk.
There are three BMI categories of excess weight for adults: overweight (25 to 30); obese
(30 to 40); and severely, or morbid obese (over 40).

There was no prescription-drug targeted specifically for overweight segment (BMI of 25

to 30) was available in 2008. Though, Alli was the only one over-the-counter (OTC)
weight-loss drug was approved by FDA, it has a lot of negative side effects. These side
effects include gastrointestinal conditions such as loose stools, increased defecation,
incontinence, and abdominal pain. The effects will get worsened when the patients diet
included too much fat. The drug industry faced safety concerns when about 30 reports of
liver damaged came into surfaced; including six cased of liver failure were testified. This
had dampened the production for the weight-loss products.

Other OTC solutions such as green tea extract, conjugated linoleic acid, bitter orange,
etc. were categorised as herbal or dietary supplement which did not require stringent
FDA approvals. Thus complications from these would only be discovered until
individual consumed it. One serious case, ephedra was linked to several cases of sudden
cardiac death and other serious health problems. This hurt the industry credibility as a
whole. CSP believed that Metabical could be the only superior product in the market at
that time.



The problem is in identifying and establishing brand positioning and market
segmentation to use based on the market analysis surveyed by CSP. The marketing mix
should have a sufficient initial impact and long term viability on sales so as to recover
CSP initial investment of $400 million in 10 years. CSP had spent so much time and
money in R&D and on FDA trails for Metabical. Printup was well aware that in order to
recover this massive investment, the drug need not only a successful launch, but also a
long term and steady demand. If Metabical were not successful within its initial
consumers, credibility of the drug would be in question and FDA approval would mean

To decide the best positioning strategy and marketing communication plan, Printup
needed to plan the optimal segmentation, targeting and positioning of the drug. She could
then move on to assessing her current marketing communication strategy and develop a
timeline for the key activities.



Market Research

There was an increased percentage of obese and overweight based on the statistic on adult
population in United States between 1976 and 2000. The percentage of overweight group who
had BMI between 25 and 30 was 34% in year 2000, while 25.8% categorised as obese and 4.7%
in the severely obese respectively. The percentage of obesity rose steadily with age in both
genders; the highest occurrence among men age 65 to 74 and women age 55 to 64 with overall
more prevalence in men rather than women. The percentage of obese had also inversely related
with the education level and income level. The highest obesity percentage was those in less than
$25,000 with 32% and level of education less than high school with 27.4%.


Marketing Survey

An extensive market survey had been conducted in 2007 which included 1,000 men and 1,000
women age ranging from 18 to 70 with BMIs of 25 to 29.9 from various socioeconomic levels.
About 70% of respondents were not satisfied with their current weight. The Figure 1 below
shows that 35% said they were actively trying to lose weight, but just 15% from that sub-segment
mentioned that they were comfortable using drugs to help reach their weight-loss goals. When
being described about the features and benefits of Metabical, 12% of respondents immediately
asked to make an appointment with their health care providers and request a prescription.

Marketing Survey
15% ready

65% to use35%



Figure 1: 65% non-active; 35% actively trying to lose weight, 15% ready to take drug

Categorising between genders, 75% of women and 65% of men were dissatisfied with their
current weight and appearance. 50% of women and 30% of men visited a health care provider for
annual physical test, whereas 55% of women and 40% of men wanted to change their behaviour
to live a healthy lifestyle. While 60% of women and 30% of men surveyed had tried and failed to
lose weight in the past five years, the survey revealed about 65% and 35% of respondents were
dissatisfied with the current weight-loss options in the market for women and men respectively.

Based on the report, 75% hold a college degree and 45% hold a high school diploma were aware
of the health risks associated with being moderately overweight. About 65% of 18 to 35 years old
wanted to lose weight to look better, while 60% age 35+ said they wanted to lose weight improve
their overall health. Furthermore, 5% of respondent with income less than $40,000, 11% from
respondents with income between $40,000 to $80,000, and with 20% of respondents with income
more than $80,000 were willing to pay out of pocket for a prescription weight-loss drug
(Figure 2).

< $40,000


$40,000 - $80, 000

> $80,000


Figure 2: Respondents willing to pay for a prescription weight-loss drugs.


Target Market

Based on the findings from the market research and marketing survey carried out by
CSP, we suggest that the target market for Metabical are as following:

End User

Health Care Provider

Market Segment: I want to wear my skinny

Individuals with age 25 to 40, college
education, household income $50,000 $80,000

Physician and medical care that

will act as health consultant.

The table above shows the type of different segments that we will focus to market
Metabical. From the table above depicts two main target markets which are End User
and Health Care Provider. The end user will focus on overweight female who has BMI of
25 to 30; age between 25 to 40 years old; with college education and income level
between $50,000 to $80,000. The health care provider will focus on physician and
medical care practitioners. These practitioners will act as CSP agents who would
prescribe Metabical for the patients.


For this section, we will identify and analyse the barriers and opportunities for the
Metabical products towards the target market.


SWOT Analysis


Metabical gain the FDA approval

Less negative effects compared with
others competitor products
Less consume pills
Reducing stress on heart or liver
Train people with healthier eating

Potential Market
High demands
Overweight people feel like social

The effects of Gastrointestinal

when consume high levels of fat or
Not suitable for individual with
BMI more than 30

Trauma from the dietary drugs
Competitions with OTC products
and herbal supplements.

Swot analysis above show the internal strength and weaknesses of the products. Then the
second row of Swot table depicts the external opportunities and threat by comparing with
the other competitors and the industry itself. From the analysis above shows Metabical has
low threats to them compare with many opportunities of the products. Other than that, the
weaknesses of the products also low if compare with the strength of the products itself.
From analysis above give some hints that this product will help CSP to gain more profits
and benefits in the future.

5.2 Competitor Analysis





loss Yes
Approved by Yes
Side Effects
Gastrointestinal and Gastrointestinal and Gastrointestinal
liver damage
liver damage
weeks weight loss
From the competitor analysis will show that Metabical have less side effects compared
with ALLI and Xenical drugs that cause negative impact to customer health. Other than
that, Metabical have clinically proven and previous user who took this product maintained
for three years, with weight loss levels of 10% from what clinical trial participants had

5.3 Perceptual Mapping

Health Risk

Clinically Proven
Other OTC
weight loss

Others herbals and


The perceptual mapping above shows the placement of every weight loss products. It
depicts that Metabical placed as a leader from the other competitors. It show that
Metabical at the best point which is clinically proven with the low risk. The conclusion
is, Metabical can monopoly big market share in the weight loss industry and with the
exclusivity for 10 years will help CSP to gain better profits for future.


Based on the Metabical case study, Barbara Printup forecasting three types of marketing
style that she will applies for the first year of January 2009.



Direct to consumer (DTC) advertising is the way how to influence people to buy the
products. In drug industry, it was quite uncommon and DTC was the new phenomena for
the industry. Printup strategy included a DTC television, online, radio and print media
blitz at the time of the drug lunch for the first year to establish the Metabical names. The
primary target was patients knowledge and the awareness of Metabical products that can
help to solve all their weight problems. Example of initial concepts for the DTC ads:

Losing weight is though. You dont have to do it alone. Let Metabical and your
health care provider start you on the road to a healthy weight and better life.

Look your best. Shed excess pounds with Metabical and discover a happier, more
attractive you. Metabical- all you need to succeed.

Those extra 20 pounds could be killing you. Being overweight leads to heart
disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and gallbladder disease. Its time to get
healthy- Metabical can help.


Promotions and Public Relation

Promotions Strategies
Health care provider and Physician

End consumer

Through campaign to provide information

Through Campaigns to create awareness

Mailing to 100,000 health care provider





Metabical Challenge

Medical education events and series of Social networking sites

podcast aimed at physicians
Medical research symposium

Contestant blog s to create buzz about


The table above shows the focus of marketing strategy to the primary and secondary
targets. During the first year launch will cost CSP approximately $4.3 mill to cover all of
the campaigns and marketing activities. These campaigns will help the company to raise
awareness among the people about Metabical benefits that can solve the overweight


Sales Force

According to the case, the Metabical sales team consists of 32 sales representatives who
called on approximately 3,200 medical offices. This sales team will focusing the most
geographically accessible and responsive to drug-rep visits. Each CSP sales
representative visited four practices per day, on average. CSP sales team responsible for
two gastrointestinal drugs was directed to detail Metabical to health care providers in
their territories. Printup will work with the director of sales for this team to develop sales
scripts and presentations providing clinical information.

For established drugs, CSP sales reps will visited targeted medical offices four time a
year to discuss the drug and provide samples. CSP sales rep also sponsored promotional
Lunch & Learn seminars for health care providers. This events objective is to distribute
the information about the featured drug.




Timeline Marketing Strategy

According to the case, Metabical will receive 10 years exclusivity in market that others
cannot to imitate the products. Here is the timeline for 10 years for Metabical to generate
back the profits after the CSP spent in R&D and on FDA that cost 400 million to the

0 -2 Years

Year 2 Year

Push Strategy: (Primary and

secondary target)
i) Promotion
ii) Advertising
iii) Public Relations
iv) Sales Force

Year 5 Year

Pull Strategy: (Primary target)

i) Testimony Results
ii) Road Show
iii) Promotions Campaign
iv) Support Program

0 2 Years Strategy (Push Strategy)

During this time phase, Printup needs to expose the information and benefits to their
Primary and Secondary target:

Advertising and Public relation: Primary and Secondary target

a) Physician and medical care

Both of these two parties will be exposed on Metabical information during the public
relation strategy. Under this program will have two events, first is roundtable
discussion about the drugs with prominent thought leaders in the medical community.
Printup will also discussed coverage of this event with several leading news
organizations to ensure they will gain the information and publish the information to

Second event would be a medical research symposium that was open to members of
the media and to medical professional. This event would occur the same week as the
drugs lunch. The participants that will involve in the programs are come from
medical researcher in cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology, depression therapy, and
oncology that will serve as keynote speakers, and a series of breakout session
focusing on health issues for overweight patients.

Advertising will be also use to target the professional medical community. This part
of the campaign would include print ads in leading medical publications (E.g.,
Journal of the American Medical association) and interactive ads adjacent to online
physician resource information (E.g., PDR.net) to raise awareness about the drug and
its benefits. CSP will launch the three different advertising concepts aimed at health
care providers:

Give your overweight patients a safe alternative to fad diets and dangerous
OTC drugs. Introducing Metabical Clinically proven weight-loss drug.

Atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and

gallbladder disease. Your overweight patients are dying for help. Introducing
Metabical FDA approved weight-loss drug.

Empower your patients to lose excess weight, change their unhealthy eating
habits, and achieve long-term success. Introducing Metabical short-term
drug therapy and comprehensive support program for overweight patients. It
gets results.

b) People with BMI 30 and below

To expose the information about the Metabical to public, the advertising, promotion
and direct selling strategy will be implemented to ensure they will get much
information about Metabical drugs weight loss.

For the advertising strategy, direct to consumer (DTC) advertising is the way how to
influence people to buy the products. In drug industry, it was quite uncommon and
DTC was the new phenomena for the industry. Printup strategy included a DTC
television, online, radio and print media blitz at the time of the drug lunch for the first
year to establish the Metabical names. The primary target was patients knowledge
and the awareness of Metabical products that can help to solve all their weight
problems. Example of initial concepts for the DTC ads:

Losing weight is though. You dont have to do it alone. Let Metabical and
your health care provider start you on the road to a healthy weight and better

Look your best. Shed excess pounds with Metabical and discover a
happier, more attractive you. Metabical- all you need to succeed.


Those extra 20 pounds could be killing you. Being overweight leads to

heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and gallbladder disease. Its time
to get healthy- Metabical can help.

Health care campaign: Primary and Secondary target

Through this campaign will aim at both the health care providers and the end consumers.
Approximately $1.3 million will be earmarked for these promotional activities during
this phase year. Other than that, the mailing strategies for 100,000 health care providers
will also include during this campaign which included an information pamphlet about the
drug and reply card offering a sample of the support program.

For the customer, the viral marketing strategy will be applied to attract customer to buy
the drugs. This viral marketing should be in online contest The Metabical Challenge to
challenge the people who can achieve their aim weight by using this drug. Other than
that, the viral marketing will be implementing through social networking sites such as
Facebooks, Twitter, Instagram and Blog to create buzz about Metabical.

Sales Force: Secondary Target

A CSP Sales team will responsible for two gastrointestinal drugs directed to give details
of Metabical to the health care providers in their territories, and add it to their existing
portfolios. CSP sales reps typically visited targeted medical offices four times a year to
discuss the drug and provide samples. The sales force will focus on offices that were the
most geographically accessible and responsive to drug-rep visits. Each CSP sales
representative visited four practices per day, on average.

During this time, the both targeted group will be know the existing of Metabical in the
weight loss industry. They will gain enough information about the Metabical and slowly
will be influence to try the products.


Year 2 to Year 10 (Pull Strategy)

Testimony Results

During this phase, we will only focusing on primary target which is people with BMI 30
and below. On the year 2, obviously CSP will gain the permanent customer who already

bought and tried the Metabical drugs. Through the previous user will help the CSP to
gain enough information and experiences from them. This experience will be known as
testimony user to attract the new customer to buy the Metabical Products. By using the
testimony results, CSP will put it in their pamphlets and distributed to the overweight
group that will influence them to buy the Metabical drugs.

Road Show

CSP sales team will start to promote the drug to other places within the U.S country to
promote the Metabical weight loss drugs. During this road show, customer will be
attending the talk session to get the more information about the drugs that can fight and
block the fats. The Metabical also will be sold on this road show with discounted price
and the customer will get the free e-books that will teach them a healthy life style. CSP
teams will gain the prominent information especially customer email and home address
so that it will be easily to send them any promotion events.

Promotions Campaign

For every year, CSP will have to do a promotion campaign that will focus on urban area
such as the big cities at United States. As we know, under this region the group of people
that have the weight problems are huge and this is the good place to tackle the problems
through the selling of Metabical drugs. Therefore, CSP will have the collaboration with
health care provider to help them make this campaign success.

Support Programs

All customers who are buying the Metabical products will be registered under the
support programs. This support program will include reference material such as online
weight control tools. Under this weight control tools will have a weight loss tracker, food
diary, nutritional and calories calculator. Other than that, this support program will have
the personal support, meals plans, and exercise plan that will help the user to chive their
weight goals. Every user can access this program for two years starting from their
purchasing products.



Type of people

Survey Results

(Total of people)



78.2 Mill

Actively trying to lose weight (refer


27.3 Mill


4.106 Mill

to Figure 1)
Ready to use drugs (refer to Figure 1)

*U.S adult population was approximately 230 Million in 2008, 34% were known as
overweight group.
The table above depicts that only 34% from the overall 230 million of people is
overweight; from which, only 27.3 million people are actively trying to lose weight.
However there are only 4.106 million of people ready to use prescription weight-loss
drugs. Below is the projected profit that CSP will gain from the customer in the first



Per Pill Price


Course of Treatments

12 weeks (84 days)

Daily Usage

One pill each day

Total Price Spending by Customer (A)


Possibility of potential customer (B)

4.106 million people

Total possibility of profits (A x B)

1.724 billion people

Total of overall cost (R&D, Marketing Budget and

$ 423,146,000

The total net profit after the overall cost

$ 1. 301 billion

From the table above shows that with projected sales, CSP will enjoy a big profit margin
by gaining approximately $ 1.724 billion. Therefore, it can already pay back the overall
total cost for Metabical in terms of R&D, FDA trials and marketing cost; with a total net
profit of $ 1.301 billion. According to the ABC news, the annual revenue of U.S weight-


loss industry contributed to approximately $20 billion. This means that Metabical can
gain more profit from the total of net profit based on the table above.
Printup could strategically planned strong and comprehensive marketing communication
approaches that focus on creating the brand awareness and benefits to the targeted group.
Being the only approved prescription drug for weight-loss by FDA will definitely gain
the customers attention thus improve the stability of the already dampened industry.
With the market research and market survey done, the marketing communication
approaches of Metabical would be successful in creating a high demand for the product
and ensure a sustainable growth for many years to come.


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