Decision Making Process Over the last few decades, the percentage of the population that is overweight has increased. But even with this trend, a significant portion of these individuals are unhappy with their body image. Many are looking to lose weight but don’t know how to go about it (where to start, who to turn to, what will work for them). There are different motivations for losing weight (e. g. to look better, feel better, become more healthy, etc. ). The decision making process under the hierarchy of effects model in this situation is feel, think, do.
The decision to pursue a some weight loss strategy begins with the feeling that they are not happy in their current state. These feelings will motivate individuals to research and seek information regarding weight loss options. The action they take will depend upon the a direct marketing strategy by the company or a recommendation by their healthcare practitioner. Who is Involved? An individual who is thinking to lose weight will be influenced by friends and family, health care professionals, and Metabical’s advertisements.
Friends and family provide the “pull” because they are intimately aware of how excess weight is affecting their well-being. These individuals would likely provide personal encouragement to undergo the Metabical process and move from the “think” to the “do” stage. Metabical’s advertisements also provide the “pull” by providing information that is needed to educate consumers on the benefits and points of differentiation that Metabical offers its customers.
Health care professionals provide the “push” for individuals to begin taking a prescription drugs for weight loss. People tend to rely on the advice and recommendations of their physicians in determining a course of action to treat a medical condition. Positioning Metabical As of 2008, there were no available prescription weight loss drugs specifically for individuals with a BMI of 25 to 30. Consumers will buy this product because clinical trials proved successful in achieving significant weight loss for overweight individuals.
Positioning Statement For moderately overweight women and men, Metabical is the weight loss prescription drug that delivers effective weight loss with fewer side effects because only Metabical offers a new appetite suppressant, fat blocking and calorie absorption agent. Market Segmentation Metabical has the opportunity to segment its potential consumers by gender, age, income level, and benefits. Gender segmentation will divide potential customers by male and female, with the majority of effort focused on potential female customers.
Segmentation by age illustrates that middle-aged and older individuals are more likely to think about their health and weight issues. Individuals within the higher-income brackets will likely choose this product as its costs are out-of-pocket and those who can afford it will be more likely to take advantage. Metabical can segment its market through benefits, or those who will consume the products to enhance their appearance and others who want to lose weight for health reasons.
The optimal target consumer is a middle to higher income, middle and older aged woman who is looking to lose weight in order to enhance their appearance or become healthier. Target Audience Communications Strategy (Marketing, Promotions, and Public Relations) Communication strategies will be focused around the various target audiences. The direct or end consumer (patient) will require marketing efforts differentiated from those aimed at the health care providers within the medical community. The actual end consumer can then be divided by gender (e. . male and female), age (i. e. middle and older aged), and benefit (e. g. body image and health motivations). Direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing will require television, online, radio and print media to increase patient awareness and knowledge throughout pre-launch, launch, and post-launch activities. The content of these messages will be allocated to include gender related issues (e. g. television advertisements targeted at women and men separately) and benefits (e. g. emotional appeal of looking better and functional appeal of feeling healthier).
These strategies are intended to build the frequency of the message, can be allocated during television or radio segments related to weight loss issues, and can reach the widest audience possible. Contrary to senior executives’ initial opposition to the addition of a celebrity endorser, the marketing plan will also include such an endorsement. Evidence suggests that the success of celebrity endorsements in previous marketing campaigns will more than offset the additional budgetary expense. This endorsement will begin post-launch (June 2009), following the mass hype brought by direct-to-consumer marketing earlier in the year.
Attracting health care professionals is extremely important and therefore the initial budget allocated to this segment (e. g. less than 5%) will be increased to 10%. The initial strategies will be maintained, and print advertisements will become available within medical publications during pre-launch (September to November 2008), launch, and post-launch activities. This will allow for the dissemination of information about Metabical’s new appetite suppressant compound and fat blocking calorie absorption agent.
Moreover, health care professionals will learn about Metabical’s support program which was designed to complement an individual’s weight loss experience. Interactive online advertisements will attract the attention of health care providers on their own time, and will provide only the necessary information that needs to be conveyed. All of these initiatives will help to ensure that post purchase compliance (i. e. , ensuring that the medication was taken properly, refilled on time, accompanied with an improved lifestyle) will play an important role in Metabical’s initial and continued success.
Promotion activities will also be allocated based on end consumers (patients) and healthcare professionals (doctors). Consumers will be targeted through a social marketing campaign. Because Barbara Printup has very little experience with social media, it is important that financial resources are directed towards hiring a social media expert that can effectively develop a strategy that will address both functional (e. g. how it works and why it is successful) and emotional benefits (e. g. feeling and looking better to enhance self-esteem).
Direct mail will also be utilized around the beginning of the summer months that will appeal to those target consumers looking to lose excess weight before summer. A direct mail campaign will also be targeted towards doctors, and functional benefits of Metabical will be illustrated through an information card and a reply card offering a sample of the support program. Metabical has the potential to be a resounding success in the prescription weight loss industry. Its success will, however, depend on the success roll out of the marketing, promotion and public relations strategies.