Friday, June 17, 2011



Trilogy refers to a series of three related works, for eg., a trilogy of dramas or literary works. Amitav Ghosh is now on a trilogy literary work (Ibis trilogy), first book: SEA OF POPPIES, second book: RIVER OF SMOKE. Third is in the pipeline.

Joseph Juran whose name is synonymous with QUALITY, has given a quality based, 'trilogy of related activities' that will help any business enterprise (the Juran trilogy is represented below):

The first of the triad (above) is identifying the customers and their needs - to satisfy. Thus, value delivery system begins with, identifying needs to be satisfied. When it comes to doctors, what are the main needs to be satisfied?

The broad framework of needs are:
  1. Doctor's need for a reassurance that he is prescribing a quality product which will deliver the brand promise
  2. Doctor's need to prescribe an appropriate product after weighing the pros and cons, risk to benefit aspects
  3. Doctor's need to make the patient healthy and happy (delight patients)
  4. Doctor's need to ensure that the patient recommends him/her so it may enlarge his practice
  5. Doctor's need to be seen as a responsible, trustworthy, and confident professional by his patients
  6. Doctor's need to have inputs and tools that will help in diagnosis and providing the best-in-class therapy to his patients
  7. Doctor's need for a comfort level with material nick-knacks that will help him concentrate and deliver good care to his patients; doctor's need to sponsorships that help him
  8. Doctor's need to be updated with knowledge, provide the same in an easily assimilable form
  9. Reinforce the doctor's confidence with SEEING IS BELIEVING based marketing stories
  10. Doctor's need for status, ego-satisfaction and 'positive strokes'
  11. Constant emphasis that the company and brand is of HIGH QUALITY and of up-to-date technology
In the pharma marketing process, the pharmacist (chemist) retailer and patient too are customers, although doctors are prime customers.

The concerns of pharmacist are

1) Knowing the brand availability and its technical features (in a nutshell)
2) Commercial aspects of the product (MRP, bonus offers, retailer margin etc)

The patient's concerns are the:

1) side effect profile
2) efficacy
3) palatability and organoleptic qualities that affect patient compliance
4) affordability
5) availability
6) quality
7) confidence that he is on the right track!
8) dosage convenience

The second part of the Juran trilogy: is developing processes to produce goods and services, to deliver the value and satisfy above needs.

It is here that pharmaceutical companies invent and manufacture products that deliver efficacy, safety, purity, quality and other value concepts that satisfy the stakeholders including, doctors, retailers, patients and stockists.

The special focus of marketing processes is on attractive and to-the-point communication (messaging), to enhance sales and perceived value. This in turn, strengthens, brand equity, profits, increases market penetration and demand, prescribing and purchasing habits, goodwill, brand image, market share enhancement; gives ideas for further product improvements, better innovations (success breeds success), word-of-mouth and the WOW factor. Creating the market buzz and captivating target audiences in a world where there is severe competition for attention, is the focus of marketing activities. Thus, marketing facilitates the exchange process, sales, prescription generation and retail shelf space availability.

The third component of the Juran trilogy of activities, is the most difficult one! It is about challenging one's comfort zone and taking on complacency. The third point is: CONSTANTLY IMPROVING THESE PROCESSES!

For marketers, it means constant market study, seeking to understand customer perceptions, positioning and repositioning exercises, understanding present and future competition, getting to know the market trends, revisiting marketing strategies, planning new directions for investment of efforts and resources, investing in marketing technologies, new product working ... and finally, constantly improving perceived value and delighting the customer in a surprising way.

There are other trilogies that one can think of:

For example the following is a market structure trilogy.

On one corner, we have the buyer (the patient or patient's attender), the second point of the triangle, we have the seller (trader or manufacturer), and the third most important entity who often goes un-noticed in FMCG marketing, but has a sacred spot in pharmaceutical selling - it is the INFLUENCER (doctor).

In different contexts, the buyer-seller-influencer vary. For eg., it can be

Situation A

Buyer: stockist
Seller: Pharma company C & F
Influencer: Medical Representative (or field personnel)

Situation B

Buyer: Chemist retailer
Seller: Distributor or stockist
Influencer: MR or stockist salesboy or doctor (his prescriptions) or patient (who is insisting on a brand)

Hence, it is important for marketers to take all three points in to consideration for value communication and delivery. The marketer should not be focused only on the influencer doctor, there are also situations A & B (above) which require value delivery.

The other interesting trilogy is one of DEMAND-SUPPLY AND PROFIT.

Often marketers are obsessed with demand creation, there can be a mismatch between supply and demand, and profit is not on the radar! However, when enterprise activities are in line with all three components DEMAND-SUPPLY-PROFITS, there is a healthy organization!

The 'trilogy model' is an effective management tool to represent and clarify ideas. Clarity leads to better action! Thanks for reading this blogpost, please recommend this blog to your acquaintances, read all other blogposts, click on 'older posts' as and when required.

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