The Effectiveness of Promotional Mix of Pharmaceutical Companies in the Philippines: The Sales Force Perspective
The emergence of several pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines both multi-national and local has increased the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry in the country. The medical representatives (sales force) are the key point of contact between pharmaceutical companies and physicians promoting brand awareness, building business relationships and achieving sales target through the implementation of promotional activities. While maintaining its competitiveness, the industry is also facing challenges on ethics and compliance issues in pharmaceutical marketing. Thus, it is important for pharmaceutical companies to evaluate the effectiveness of promotional mix in the achievement of overall sales and marketing objectives while complying with the requirements on ethical promotion. This research used the descriptive study design to identify the promotional mix based on the activities of pharmaceutical companies promoting prescription drugs. A self-administered questionnaire was applied to collect data from 75 medical representatives from different pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines. The effectiveness of promotional activities was marked in a four point Likert Scale. An open-ended question was included to identify the challenges being encountered in implementing promotional activities. In this study, it was found that pharmaceutical companies used different tools in promoting products to physicians both in-clinic and out-of-clinic promotional efforts. In creating product awareness and building rapport with physicians, “personal selling and public relations” were found to be the most effective in pharmaceutical marketing while in the achievement of sales target, “sales promotion and public relations” were found to be the most effective. Among all promotional mix “direct marketing and advertisement” were found to be the least effective. Both external and internal policies were named by the respondents as major challenges in implementing promotional activities. Pharmaceutical companies impose restrictions to comply with existing international and local guidelines in ethical promotion.
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