How can smaller marketing budgets be structured to create strong product launches within highly competitive markets?

By Charles Stuart

Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly’s Tradjenta, Merck’s Juvisync, and Amylin’s Bydureon are three new diabetes drugs that launched during the past year into a market that saw a nearly 30% increase in promotional spending between the second quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. The three campaigns have been substantial contributors to this increase with promotional spending budgets of $40.6 million, $24.5 million, and $19.3 million, respectfully. Though each marketing campaign has sought to promote a message that generates awareness for their product, they have varied in how they’ve allocated those dollars. While each approach has achieved varying degrees of success, Bydureon in particular has stood out after achieving an exponential increase in sales despite having the smallest promotional launch budget. Through a comparison of the differences in spending behavior for each product’s promotional campaign, Bydureon’s standout success is explained by devoting a much larger chunk of its budget to developing interpersonal exchanges – engaging physicians through meetings and events.

Figure 1: Promotion Spending Breakdown for Diabetes Product Launches

Figure 1: Promotion Spending Breakdown for Diabetes Product Launches

Figure 1 distinguishes the promotional spending for Tradjenta, Bydureon, and Juvisync by each budgeted area dedicated to a different media outlet. While all companies devoted dollars to each channel, product detail expenditures represented 70% of promotional spending for Tradjenta, ePromotion was a top focus for Juvisync and Bydureon spent proportionately more of their budget on professional education activities via meetings and events.

Figure 2: Increase in Diabetes Products Sales

Figure 2: Increase in Diabetes Products Sales

Indications of successes for each promotional campaign can be measured by comparing the budget allocations in Figure 1 to a quarterly increase in sales,. Figure 2 presents the first and second quarter sales of the 2012 fiscal year for Tradjenta, Juvisync, and Bydureon. Through an increased focus of the campaign’s interaction with healthcare professionals through meetings and events, Bydureon’s promotional campaign had the greatest level of success by increasing earning 423%. While focusing on product details did have positive results, Tradjenta saw only a 23% increase in sales. The promotional campaign of Juvisync was the least successful. While it did experience a 21% increase in sales, the $1.24 million in product earnings over two quarters was drastically less than the $24.5 million budget of the entire promotional campaign.

The product earnings of diabetes products in conjunction with the media distribution of their product spend suggests a possible connection between successful sales performance and budgets focused on professional education, meetings and events.

As marketers look to finalize their budget allocations for the coming year, studies like these may provide some insight into how to potentially get the biggest bang out of the proverbial buck.

If you’re looking for ideas for how to make your product launch a stand-out, contact The Matchstick Group. We’d be more than happy to share with you what we’re doing with some of our medical device clients.

3 thoughts on “How can smaller marketing budgets be structured to create strong product launches within highly competitive markets?

  1. I just wanted to comenmt and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more in the future

    • Sure, feel free to repost, just please credit the author and include a link back to our site. Thanks for asking – glad that you found the post useful.

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