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Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company and Its Market Relations

Introduction

International Marketing is a very complicated net of relations, and the processes, which occur there, are not so easy to understand. Local markets have a less complicated systems. It is easier to enter local markets and to remain there. In spite of the lots of differences, international and local markets function almost in the same way. It may be agreed that although domestic and international markets differ in nature and character, generic marketing principles are equally applicable in both contexts. Generic marketing principles, which are common for both, local and international markets, are segmentation, branding, communications, marketing research, and pricing. To prove the position, which was taken, our task will be to consider the segmentation and branding generic marketing principles of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. The concrete example of the company may help us to consider properly the first-hand experience in the marketing tools of Pfizer Company in branding and market segmentation.

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Pfizer as a pharmaceutical company

Pfizer is a world-known company which aim is to provide medicines to people and to protect their health. Pfizer produces the medicaments in all spheres of people’s health and is the leading company in the production of treatments in such areas as oncology, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The company provides researches in the treatment sphere in order to provide innovations in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. The company cares about its reputation and only qualitative products are delivered to the world and local markets. The main aim of the Pfizer Company is to make medicine accessible to all, and it works in this direction. The Company is customer-led, as its main consideration is the customers’ feedbacks, offers, and ideas, which are taken as the basis for further development. (Pfizer Company)

The health of the people is the main consideration of the Pfizer Company, so all its strategic planning is directed on meeting customers’ needs and providing them with qualitative and useful medicines which may help to live an active and happy life, to be able to lengthen their lives and enjoy every day without pain.

Brand on the local and world markets

Pfizer Company is a world brand. It produces the medicines with the highest quality and it has earned its name, and this brand name is supported and proved every day. Founded in 1849, Pfizer first presented its products to the local markets (Spar, 2003, page 340). At the very beginning of the company work, its motto was “think globally, act locally”. (Pfizer Company) The company’s intentions were to enter the world markets, but to be able to operate there the infrastructures had to be developed on the local level. The Company worked hard in the invention field in order to enter the world market with new innovations and to show their company as a brand in pharmaceutical researches. Terramycin (Oxytetracycline) was the first antibiotic that allowed the company to enter the world market under its brand name. (Spar, 2003, page 340)

The brand name and the research investigations made it possible for the company to be recognized both, in the local markets and in the world. (Lindström, 2005, pages 83-84) Having entered the world market, the company began to provide the other policy, as the world market requires more responsibility. This responsibility is economical, in no way medical. Medicine, which is presented on the local market and in the world is of the same high quality as the brand company cannot allow losing the clients even on the local level.

Goonewardena and Lefebvre (2008) state that “the world market involves a territorial distribution” but at the same time “it is not detached from space” (page 87). The world market is more difficult to follow, so the only brand and big companies are eager to operate on the world market. Size and income of the company (as exported products cost more) are two main factors that distinguish local and world markets.

The world market includes cultural differences, customer behavior, different market development issues, and strategies.

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To promote the product on the world market, all these requirements should be met. The brand name on the world market and on the local market sound almost the same, with the only difference that the brand name is trusted more in the world than the other trademark. (Ereaut, Imms, & Callingham, 2002, page 104) Trust is one of the reasons why people choose this or that trademark and to lose this trust on the local level means to lose it in the world.

Ereaut, Imms, & Callingham (2002) are sure that “as long as there is diversity within and between cultures than there is fertile ground for the development of new and different brands at local, national and international levels and for the re-framing and development of the existing brands” (page 128). People of the different countries have their peculiarities and it is always easier to satisfy the local consumers than the world, but the development and the strategy of the company are the main supporters in this question.

The company plans its strategy, calculates its expenses and income, and builds its policy with the aim to satisfy customers, as customers’ satisfaction with the products is the main way to the development and success. The company’s strategy is oriented toward its consumers and markets in general, without considering whether this market is global or local. The brand name sounds significant in all countries. Entering the world market with the brand name the company should wait for increasing of the sales on the local one as people understand that the trademark of low quality doubtfully may reach the international level.

Entering the world market the company as if confirms its high quality of products. The strategy changes, as the world market requires more economic and strategic attention. The strategy and the brand name on the local level also change as the company with the world brand name is perceived better and by higher sales. In general, the strategies of the local and world markets change with the brand name appreciation, but these changes occur parallel, and it is impossible to say that the brand generic marketing principle influences the local and world market development differently.

It is visual that the differences between the world and local markets exist, but these differences are not so important. The more important fact is that the brand name is crucial for the consumers’ choice both on the local market and on the world one. People understand brand as the trademark with the high quality and prefer it on both, world and local markets.

Market segmentation, local and world

It has already been proved that people have different tastes and priorities in product purchase. Market segmentation has a lot of definitions, but if to take all of them into one sentence it could be mentioned that “market segmentation involves aggregating prospective buyers into groups that (1) have common needs and (2) will respond similarly to a marketing action” (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2003, page 187). In other words, the market is divided into several parts (segments) and every company has its own segment, according to which it structures its business and provides the customers with the necessary products.

There are some different strategies according to which modern market is segmented, such as geographic segmentation (divide large markets into regional and local), demographic segmentation (divide the customers according to their age), product segmentation (division according to products which are sold) and sales-channel segmentation (which way the product is sold). One company may use one or several strategies in order to segment the market (Gorman, 2003, pages 250-251).

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Focusing on Weinstein (2004, pages 214-215), it is crucial to say that the pharmaceutical industry uses more broadened tools for market segmentation. These strategies are heavy versus light users (prescription volume), buying styles segmentation (includes control and choice, attention and approval, quality and correctness, safety and security), demographic (being old people also want to enjoy quick life and the rage of such people grow), managed care segmentation, and region-based segment.

Considering the Pfizer annual financial report (2008) it is crucial to notify that Pfizer had reorganized the market segmentation in another way. Pfizer has entered the customer-focused business and reached new market segments such as Emerging Markets, Primary Care, Oncology, Specialty Care, and Established Products. Turning to the question of the equality and difference of the segmentation notion either in the local market or in the world, it should be mentioned that this market segmentation is for both, world and local markets.

The company does not direct its strategy to local and international markets separately. There are still some differences between the world and local markets that deal with the cultural peculiarities of the country, customer behavior, and market strategies, but still, the global Pfizer Company marketing plans and strategies are directed to both markets, what is seen from the annual financial report of the company. (2008)

Pfizer Company works hard in order to occupy as many segments of the market as possible. Recent activities show that the Pfizer Company managed to raise their world market share from 4 to 12%, which is a good activity that shows that the company does not stand in one place and continues its development even having reached the world appreciation. These numbers are very impressive and they show that the company has its goal and wants to reach it (Weinstein, 2004, page 211).

Chakravorti (2003, page 91) introduces such an example of market segmentation. Two brand names, Prozac and Pfizer, have already occupied the market and the intentions of the third trademark, Paxil, were not optimistic in the pharmaceutics market segmentation. Such situations frequently occur, especially in the fields of specific manufacturing and close to monopolization markets.

The pharmaceutical industry is very specific in nature and existing companies on the world and local levels have already taken their segments and they do not want to lose them. It is not so easy to enter the world market and get the segment there. The market segments have already been occupied by the companies and they do not want to lose their sales in order to let the strangers on the market. This deals both with the local and world markets. In the modern world, it is very difficult to start a new pharmaceutical business as the whole market segments have already been divided and the market segmentation occurs on the local and world markets without differences in this question.

Generic marketing principles are equally applicable in the world and local markets

Considering the segments shares of the Pfizer Company, it may be concluded that its parts in the world and local markets are Emerging Markets, Primary Care, Oncology, Specialty Care, and Established Products. The other fields are not in consideration by now. So, both local and world markets are going to be delivered with the products of these types and there is no any distinguishing whether it is world or local. The difference is going to be in price, as exporting products the company’s expenses are higher and the sale price should also be higher. But the principle of the price building is the same. The number of products which are going to be exported on the local and world markets is different as the world market is eager to consume much more products than local.

The brand name of the Pfizer Company is used as the advertising campaign both on the world market and on the local one. People on the local markets consume better the products which have already entered the world market as it is the brand name that pushes them to it. The company uses its brand name to influence people in both local and world markets. The difference may be in the perception of the brand name by local markets as the native products are cheaper and have a higher degree of trust. But in general, these differences are not so huge and the specifics of the generic marketing principles are used equally in the world and local markets.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, although domestic and international markets differ in nature and character, generic marketing principles are equally applicable in both contexts. The example of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company and the investigation which was provided we managed to prove this. The company has its strategic plan, it differs in some way according to the local and market goals, as they are different in the means of price policy, the target audience, and some other activities, but in general the generic marketing principles are common as the strategy of the company is directed to one and the same aim. Being the most profitable, pharmaceutical business attracts the attention of a lot of businesses men but to become the brand company and to get its segment on the local and world market is very difficult as big companies, such as Pfizer provide their business equally on these markets in order not to give other companies the opportunity to capture their places.

References

  1. Chakravorti, B 2003, The slow pace of fast change: bringing innovations to market in a connected world, Harvard Business Press
  2. Ereaut, G, Imms, M, & Callingham, M 2002, Qualitative market research: principle and practice, SAGE
  3. Goonewardena, K & Lefebvre, H 2008, Space, difference, everyday life: reading Henri Lefebvre, Routledge.
  4. Gorman, T 2003, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to MBA Basics, Alpha Books
  5. Kerin, RA, Hartley, SW, Rudelius, W 2003, Marketing: The Core. McGraw Hill Professional
  6. Lindström, M 2005, Brand sense: how to build powerful brands through touch, taste, smell, sight & sound, Kogan Page Publishers.
  7. Pfizer Annual Financial Report 2008.
  8. Pfizer Company. Online. 2009. Web.
  9. Spar, DL 2003, Managing international trade and investment: casebook, Imperial College Press,
  10. Weinstein, A 2004, Handbook of market segmentation: strategic targeting for business and technology firms, Routledge

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