The pharmaceutical market in India is growing at a breakneck speed. The intense competition here comes from all spheres — small, medium and big companies, their franchises, suppliers and marketers. The industry itself is now highly specialised with sub categories like Ayurveda, herbal medicine, naturopathy and conventional medicine. Remarkable, each category has done exceptionally well and now the Indian pharma sector is one of the world’s most dominating forces.
This also means that every company now has to pay attention to pharma marketing. Increased competition means that every business, whether small or large, has to now pay attention to its marketing. The common myth here is that this is an unnecessary expense, too much for a small firm to bear and unnecessary for a larger firm.
However, there are many advantages of hiring a marketing firm. Marketing firms allow us to work with the experts in the field, people who understand the pulse and working of the industry. With the kind of leads that a marketing firm provides, a business can also realise its investment in a short time. For many smaller firms, hiring a top marketing team may be too expensive. But a marketing firm will offer the same services at a much more reasonable cost.
The problem though is how to hire the right firm, one that can be the right fit for the organisation. You need to start with a thorough research on all marketing firms in your areas. Some areas that you are looking for are:
- Be clear on what you want
Before you start a partnership, you will clearly lay down what you want from it. The same principle applies when you are looking for a partnership with a marketing firm. Without a clear mandate, your partner will not know what you are looking for, the direction of growth that your firm needs. Is it increased sales? A bigger online presence? More leads? Reaching new markets? Or a change in strategy?
You also have to be clear with the pharma marketing firm on your goals and expectation. Giving them a clear goal helps them to visualise and come up with a strategy that achieves this growth in a sustainable and organic fashion. Being clear on your objective can also help you in narrowing down the firm as you look for a firm that specialises in your desired field. For instance, if it is digital sales that you are aiming for, look for a firm with expertise in online marketing.
- Understand specialisation and range of services offered
All too often you will find marketing firm websites where they seem to offer the entire gamut of services. A lot of time this is just window dressing. You have to look for what they really specialise in — it could be digital marketing, propaganda services or reaching out to newer markets. The specialisation is critical if you don’t wish to be an experimental case!
An experienced firm is not necessarily the best choice and a new firm is not necessarily the worst! Old firms often stick to their tried and tested methods without trying to innovate, while new firms have an energy and need to prove themselves. They are also more likely to think out of box. However, older firms have proven their mettle and have an established network in place. So, what should be the criteria? You should look for the best idea that excites you. Instead of the firm’s history, look at the team that is working for you. Even if it’s a new firm, an experienced man/woman at the helm can do the job for you. Do not hesitate to ask for references so that you can check up on their past work.
- The right fit
Ultimately, this is all about finding a connection. Your marketing firm is your partner and it must reflect your own philosophy. If your firm deals with naturopathy, the marketing service must also believe and have experience in promoting this medicine. There are other important cues like communication. How responsive is the team to your suggestion, requirements and ideas? Are they able to make you understand their own plan and strategy? Even their strategies must make sense to you. Remember the pharma marketing firm represents your brand and hence, must fit into your own philosophy.