What unique challenges do marketers in the life sciences face that require industry-specific knowledge development? Although marketing scholars often seek to contribute new knowledge that is applicable across industries, the authors argue that specific knowledge development is necessary for the life sciences industry, which is defined as companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and therapeutic medical devices.
Through a study of prior literature and through surveys of marketing experts, Stremersch and Van Dyck identify industry specific decision areas that life sciences marketers must deal with, including therapy creation, therapy review, and therapy promotion. In therapy creation, marketers face decisions concerning therapy pipeline optimization, innovation alliance formation, and product positioning. Therapy review involves marketing decisions concerning global market entry timing and key opinion leader selection. Therapy promotion centers mostly on salesforce management, communication management, and stimulation of patient compliance. The authors qualify these decision areas according to their practical importance and academic potential.
Based on prior research and practice, the authors formulate preliminary generalizations for key decision areas, to evaluate early streams of research and develop propositions to direct future research. Offering a clear definition of life sciences and discerning the boundaries of the domain, the authors suggest that the field of life sciences marketing needs to establish itself not only practically but also theoretically and methodologically.
A fertile area of future research, life sciences marketing presents unique and often challenging marketing problems, for which high quality data are available. The authors note that investment in research on life sciences marketing as a research program would also address concerns across disciplines such as business, medicine, and economics. Research on life sciences marketing will have a broad social influence, on public policy, companies, the press, and people’s quality of life.
About the authors
Stefan Stremersch is Chaired Professor of Marketing and Desiderius Erasmus Distinguished Chair of Economics at the Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Visiting Professor of Marketing at IESE, Universidad de Navarra, Spain. Walter Van Dyck is Associate Professor of Technology and Innovation Management, TiasNimbas Business School, Tilburg University.
Comments from membersPlease login to view and/or submit comments