Pharmaceutical Marketing Costs Are Staggering

#drugs #pharmaceutical #marketing #business  — I’m currently on a pharmaceutical sales consulting project for a major company and went over one sales territory with all of the drug representative’s promotional materials this morning.  We went over all the drug samples, detail aids, dosage cards, posters, patient information handouts, presenter binders and a ton of other related items.

Much of these sales materials were already outdated and no longer needed for the current selling cycle.  As a result, the bulk of this material will be trashed.  Now multiply this same thing by the total number of drug representative territories across the country and one could only imagine the amount of materials that will be wasted.

Most of these materials are still shrink wrapped in packets too.  If you haven’t seen such literature, they are usually colourful, glossy pieces with a lot of design and effort gone into their production.  I know this because at one point in my pharmaceutical career, I was a product marketing manager who was involved in designing such materials for the sales force.

High Pharmaceutical Marketing Costs

These selling materials do not come cheap either.  The agencies that help major pharmaceutical companies produce these literature are making a fortune.  It’s such a shame that much of these marketing costs will be wasted.

Product marketing managers in the pharmaceutical industry and any other field for that matter must produce materials that the sales force will want to use.  Otherwise, they will be wasted.

If you are hoping to get into the field of pharmaceutical sales, you will be introduced to such promotional materials if you end up working as a drug representative.  When we think about the high costs that go into producing such sales aids, it really puts some things into perspective for small business people and entrepreneurs who have to watch their budgets.

Those who are hoping to work with such fancy pharmaceutical marketing materials should take my free webinar on drug representative jobs.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Dominique Godbout

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  • Clint,

    As a pharmaceutical rep of 6 years, I know millions are spent on glossy promotional items like dosing cards, pens, pads, posters, detail aids, coffee mugs, etc. Some of these promotional pieces had value and found their way into the office.

    Many of them languished in the drug rep’s storage unit for various reasons. Sometimes the office did not want or have space for the information. Other times the rep did not deem the item worthy of giving to their customers.

    Management’s stance on this was: “Push these items into your customer’s offices, why? Because these promotional items are selling (albeit subliminally) when you are not there.”

  • Very true Dedric. When I was a product marketing manager, I always maintained close communications with the sales force to understand their needs. I made sure that I spend time out on in the field with reps so I can see how certain materials worked in doctors’ offices.

    I wanted to make sure that pharmaceutical marketing costs were justified knowing darn well that if something was produced that the sales reps didn’t like, they will not use it.