Marketing Buyer Behavior Term Paper

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Buying Behavior and the Buying Process

Interviews, company website, company brochure, press releases

Buyers use a variety of factors in selecting a company to provide them with a product or service, including the value proposition, reputation, pricing, and benefits.

Start by identifying a company that markets a common, higher-involvement product offered to other businesses.

The company that will be discussed in this paper is PDI. PDI has been in operation since 1987 and was originally formed as a division of a medical advertising agency, DF Communications. In early 1990, the founder traded his equity position in DF Communications for full ownership of PDI and created an entrepreneurial company focused on developing innovative solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Over the years, PDI successfully provided sales and marketing solutions for 19 of the top 20 pharmaceutical manufacturers and implemented many "firsts" that revolutionized the way prescription drugs were sold and marketed.

Today, PDI is a commercialization partner providing innovative sales and marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device and diagnostics industries. The company offers sales and marketing solutions to the healthcare products industry, particularly in the form of contract sales representatives. The company holds the number one spot in the industry for providing this service, coupled with additional solutions.

PDI offers four innovative solutions that are designed to meet sales and marketing objectives for products in any phase of the lifecycle.

PDI Contract Sales - provides dedicated or shared sales teams aligned to a client's sales and marketing objectives, enabling clients to flexibly resource their sales force needs

PDI Copromotion - provides performance-driven sales and marketing initiatives, enabling clients to customize deal structures to meet their budgetary needs

PDI Lifecycle Extension - provides total sales, marketing, and brand management services for promotionally responsive maturing brands, enabling clients to reallocate internal resources to meet their overall portfolio needs

PDI Product Commercialization - provides turn-key commercialization services for companies in the pre-launch and launch phases of their product's development, enabling clients to tap into an established infrastructure to meet their sales and marketing needs

Plus, their solutions offer flexible financial arrangements so that they can create a financial structure that will contribute the greatest amount of potential revenue to a client's bottom line.

Fee-for-service - flat fee for service

Shared risk - a lower up-front fee, with performance incentives for PDI

Equity investment - PDI makes an equity investment, taking on complete responsibility for product sales and marketing, in exchange for a percentage of top-line sales

Interview 4 people. These can be friends, relatives, or even classmates, as long as they are in a business and have participated in buying the thing you are studying. Determine their company's needs and wants, who is involved in the buying center, and how the buying center goes through the decision process when buying this kind of product.

From these interviews, describe a "typical" customer scenario in terms of needs, wants, buying center, and decision process.

A interviewed two employees who have been in positions that required them to purchase this service and also, two customers who would have the need for this Contract Sales Organization service.

Generally this service would be used by a pharmaceutical, biotech or medical device & diagnostics company who would want to add to their existing sales force without increasing their own headcount or impacting their budget and financials. An individual considering this service would have a bottom line need to generate revenue for an existing product, a new product or a maturing product. Their key buying strategy would be show me how you can make me money. The target customer would be a Product Manager or someone who would be responsible for moving market share and making money.

People who are in a position of power are looking for a return on investment. The buying process includes some type of support justification that supports the decision buying decision. The process includes:

Comparing the product (s)

Their positioning

Their cost

Their competitors

What makes them better, i.e. reputation

Benefits to my business

The typical customer is looking for a way to enhance the sale and marketing of their product. The typical scenario includes a needs assessment, a presentation based on those needs, a budget analysis, a competitive analysis of those companies that are offering services and a final summary based on all the information.

PDI makes every effort possible to understand their client's needs and continually refine their processes, systems, and way of doing business to offer the best solutions. PDI capitalizes on attitude and approach. And maximizes their success in the past and their tenacity over the years. They started as a service provider who listened to what the client wanted and did what they needed. But today, PDI has evolved into the commercial partner of choice to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices and diagnostics industries. A proactive partner who not only listens to their customer's needs but makes strategic recommendations about the best way to handle their business challenges.

Meanwhile, determine how the company constructs and markets its offering. You can get this information from the company's web site and from articles in the business and trade press. If you desire (you don't have to do this), you can contact the company or resellers who carry the company's product and interview them to learn more about their strategy and tactics. If you contact the company or retailers, tell them exactly what you are doing, why you are doing it, and offer them a copy of your final paper. Don' t use this as a way to get competitive information. Describe these marketing activities in your paper.

The company uses an interactive approach. They describe themselves as a commercialization partner providing innovative sales and marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device and diagnostics industries. They combine their sales and marketing capabilities to offer new solutions to clients and partners. In short, they deliver maximum incremental value for their product portfolios.

PDI constructs its service offerings as a partner providing innovative sales and marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device and diagnostics industries. PDI is a company that knows how to combine our sales and marketing capabilities to offer new solutions to our clients and partners. It means we know how to maximize our resources -- whether offering a standalone service or an integrated solution -- to meet their needs. Offering solutions for managing their portfolios and bringing value to our clients. In short, delivering maximum incremental value for their product portfolios.

What distinguishes them from their competitors is the fact that they offer complete solutions not just contract sales. PDI has a suite of integrated services that allows them to provide customized solutions. A lot of their competitors cannot make that same claim and are only in the business of providing additional sales representatives in the field.

Evaluate how well the company addresses the needs, wants, and decision process of your targeted customer. Describe how the company could improve its marketing. Be reasonable don't recommend things that would obviously cost more than the company or its resellers could afford.

PDI works with each client to determine what solution would best meet their needs. Each one of the solutions can be customized or a client can use just one of the standalone services to promote their product. What helps PDI be so successful is the fact that they really only sell what the client needs.

However, what works against PDI is the fact that they have not been able to successfully move beyond being perceived as a Contract Sales Organization (CSO). Because they were so successful at being named number one in the industry, it is now hard for them to be considered as more than just a sales partner.

So PDI has been changing their business model and now describes themselves as partners to the healthcare products industry and has recently moved into medical devices and diagnostics.

The company needs to promote itself more by working with a top-notch advertising agency that can get their name in the papers via press releases and announcements. They also need to expand the content on their web site and add case studies and industry white papers written by their subject matter experts.

PDI has a lot of untapped potential and is not maximizing the talent that exists in their organization. Their senior level management should be speaking at more industry conferences and should be interviewed in trade papers.

They should also be doing more in the community. Walks for charities and health-related organizations. They need to have more strategic alliances with partners so they can co-promote some blockbuster products and get their name out more in the industry.

PDI can offer the breadth and depth needed to create a very specific product campaign but they need to market that more to their clients. Their new business plan will move them away from being viewed as just a CSO and help to bring them to the forefront as a…[continue]

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