Marketing at GM Pharma – Part III
The following part of my research is to evaluate the strategic position and development of a firm’s brand portfolio, in which the BCG matrix and the product-market expansion grid help me. Firstly, I want to start with a BCG matrix, also referred to as the product portfolio matrix, that classifies a firm’s product and/or services into a two-by-two matrix by two criteria: market growth rate and market share.
The second and one of the most important components of the company’s strategic and sustainable development is the market operation plan, which can be discussed in detail according to the GMP product-market expansion grid. The first part of this division is market penetration: if at the initial stage of the establishment of the GMP its products were sold only in Georgia, over time the medicines were exported and thus expanded the market and increased the number of consumers. And today it is already possible to buy GMP medicines in 10 countries except for Georgia.
The next part of this expansion grid is product development. Today the company produces 150 brands and 250 releases, still, in 2018 In total 16 products were implemented in 10 medical specialties. As of today, the medicines produced by the company include 22 groups of medicines. The company is also conducting experiments and working on creating new drugs to attract customers from other segments.
Regarding the development of the market, we can say that the products produced by GMP are available today and are sold in any part of Georgia or in the region, in any pharmacy chain. Over time, through the intermediaries, the company managed to expand its market geographically and make its products accessible across all of Georgia.
The last part of this distribution is diversification. It can be said that the company is only a manufacturer of products and does not own any service business, so we cannot diversify it by profile.
All of the above include the company activities and production process, however, in addition to the production of products, consumers are an essential part and starting point of every business. As the customer is the most important part of the existence, development, income, and profit of all companies any large or small business and company must first of all take care of customer satisfaction, identify and keep an eye on the customers’ needs, wants, and demands. The fact that every person is an individual, and all of them have different criteria for evaluating a product or service, is true, although there are general principles of using and requiring medicines and they are the same and irreplaceable for any person. People need medication to improve their health, to treat, to take a course of prevention, to be well, to protect, and to prolong life. What about the wants, first of all, everyone pays attention to quality. Specifically, in the case of medication, the consumer pays attention to its usefulness, specifically how safe it is for health, whether it causes side effects. The main requirement of consumers is the usability of the medication and that it relieves pain, treats and improves health, without any contraindications.
Consumers also pay great attention to the price which meantime determines people’s demands. Although people should think less about saving money for drug use or health, due to their financial situation, a pharmaceutical company should also offer its products to consumers at a relatively low and maximum affordable price. If prices won’t be high, more customers will be able and willing to pay for it.
What’s more, B2C (business to customers) companies should be customer-focused and tailored to their interests, desires, and requirements. With all this in mind, GM Pharma also analyzes and takes care of considering and meeting the needs of its target customers and protects the interests of consumers. The company’s marketing managers divide customers into segments and conduct research on each segment and make offers that exactly match the needs of the target customers. The company aims to raise the level of public health, therefore the main aspect of the company’s production and the most important part is the consumers. And the company’s Value-Driven Marketing is quality for its customers. The company properly formulates and then meets customer expectations that are also an integral part of CRM (customer relationship management). All medicines are made in accordance with the standards. Imported raw materials are not accepted only on the basis of a certificate, but on the spot, it is still inspected, tested and analyzed. This of course affects the quality and customer satisfaction and adds value to the products produced and offered by the company.
After all of this it’s also interesting how GMP is gaining and maintaining customer trust and loyalty? Because the company’s main goal is to improve the quality of life for people, the company tries and succeeds in gaining the trust and loyalty of its customers by producing the highest quality products. This is evidenced by the fact that GMP is constantly focused on product quality control, takes full responsibility for quality, takes into account public opinion and supplies the pharmaceutical market with high quality medicines tailored to the needs of consumers.
Also, the company does not stop developing and tries to increase and improve its capabilities, gets even more international level certification, and occupies an important place among international pharmaceutical companies. The company also manages to gain the trust and loyalty of its customers by observing security measures. I mean, the company uses non-hazardous resources and materials in the production of medicines, which also affects the usefulness of their products. As for maintaining the gained trust, the company is steadfast in this regard and does not lose the gained customers by constantly trying to protect the interests of patients, conducting surveys, sharing and understanding customer feedback, complaints, and opinions about certain products, and later GMP team working on the correcting of deficiencies. That also is an example of good CRM strategy. The company also works with a team of doctors to maintain quality or increase the number of customers, in addition, the company conducts a survey of doctors and pharmacists to create a realistic representation. Based on all the above, it can be said that the company guarantees quality and safety.
However, in the light of the company’s performance, efforts and activities, it is interesting what the attitude of consumers towards it is. That is why I tried to conduct qualitative research to get an idea of the general attitude of consumers.
The number of respondents I interviewed was evenly distributed by gender. According to age, it was divided as follows:
As for their lifestyle, each of the respondents has a different lifestyle, however, what they have in common is a healthy lifestyle and taking care of their health. According to the survey, the majority of respondents (63.6%) buy medicines several times a year when needed, and in terms of the trust, almost half (54.5%) trust Georgian-made medicines. As for the production of GMP company directly, 59.1% of respondents buy its products and 50% positively evaluate the effect of medicines. The question about the prices of GMP products has caused a difference of opinion. 36.4% of the respondents think that GMP medicines have normal prices, 27.3% think that they are very high, and 22.7% think that they have very high prices given the financial situation of the population. In the small list of products produced by GMP, which ones were bought most often, the votes were distributed as follows:
The question about which product features of the GMP they liked, the respondents answered as follows:
I would also like to mention the fact that most of the respondents who were faced with a choice between Georgian and foreign preferred foreign medicines because they considered them to be more reliable, high quality, effective and cheap. We should also take into account the fact that some defendants trust Georgian products only with the trust and advice of a doctor. As for the advice and remarks about the company and its production are as follows: lowering prices, improving and maintaining quality and introducing new effective medicines.
Finally, to summarize all the above, the company should try and not slow down the pace of development, better adapt to the interests of local people, increase the degree of credibility in them and take care of price regulation.