You're the PM at a pharmaceutical company. How would you go about launching a new sleeping pill?
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in Product Launch by (28 points) | 183 views

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First, I'd like to clarify the scope of the problem. We're launching a new sleeping pill. Clarifying questions before providing my answer -[Question] Is the product launching everywhere in the world or just US…See more

by (60 points)
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Here is how I would approach this problem:

1. Ask clarifying questions: Where are we launching this product? How is it different from existing products? What is the goal of launching this product?

Here, I am assuming that we are launching this product in India. It is not different from existing products. The purpose of launching this product is just to increase brand awareness.

2. Pre-launch strategy: In this phase of the product, we need to first segment the market into suitable personas and then, position the product to target the right persona. For our product, the possible customer segments are:

  • Elderly people (>50 years)
  • Middle-aged working people (25-50 years)
  • College students (18-25 years)
  • Insomnia patients

We should not target college students because they are too young to be using pills to sleep. This will neither be ethical nor be accepted in society. We should not target insomnia patients since it will be a very niche segment. If we want to increase our brand awareness, we need to target a big segment. Elderly people are usually the ones retired from the jobs and also from household duties. They have a lot of free time, so, even if they can't sleep at night, they don't mind sleeping in the afternoon. Further, they may already be on some other medication, which will be helping them to sleep. Therefore, the only potential segment that we should target is middle-aged working people.

Once we have selected our target segment, let's use the 4P framework to formulate our strategy:

  • Product: As already discussed, our product is a sleeping pill.
  • Price: The price can be decided based on three models: cost-based, value-based or competitor-based. Since this is a highly competitive market, I would recommend going for the competitor-based pricing model.
  • Place: The sleeping pill will be mainly sold through pharmacies, however, we would also need to collaborate with doctors since they would be the ones prescribing the drug to the patients.
  • Promotion: Since this segment is busy in their works, they would be spending very less time on social media. So, heavy investments should not be done on social media advertisements. Instead, Google advertisements should be used to increase efficiency through targetted marketing.

3. During-launch strategy: Following metrics should be regularly checked during this phase:

 

Offline mode (Through pharmacies):

  • Number of pharmacies who collaborated
  • Number of customers reached (Number of customers who bought sleeping pills not necessarily of our brand in those pharmacies)
  • Number of customers converted

Online mode (Through Google pharmacies):

  • Number of customers who were shown the advertisement
  • Click-through rate of advertisements
  • Number of online orders (Through all the apps like 1mg, Amazon etc.)

4. Post-launch strategy: After the launch, the following metrics should be taken into consideration to gauge the success of the launch:

  • Brand awareness achieved in comparison to the brand awareness intended
  • The efficiency of the online vs offline modes
  • Online customer reviews about the product 
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