When marketing becomes strategy (or a key strategic pillar) – the case of Cialis’ challenge of Viagra’s market

The strategic question for Lilly Icos was whether it could influence how physicians perceived the importance of the criteria (longer lasting effects). The positioning was hotly debated prior to launch: Should the company centre its marketing strategy on Cialis’s lack of side effects, given that safety was already one of the two key criteria (met by the incumbents including the market leader viagra)?

I have come to believe that strategic advantage -a better product, a better means of production, a better brand etc.  – may exist for a business, but communicating these advantage(s) well may in turn lead to or increase the opportunity to sell this advantage(s) to customers.

Marketing can thus be a strategic advantage.

A careful marketing adventure may result in careful associations – which may inturn turn out to be a clear advantage.

Viagra was marketed as an erectile dysfunction (ED) drug. ED is real and serious, a lot of men (young and old) struggle with it daily, globally. Viagra’s marketing worked until a competitor that addressed a fundamental psychological need came along.

Enter Cialis.

When Cialis showed up, it showed up as a romance enhancer – almost equal in measure to sending your partners flowers and chocolates and/or executing on a candle lit dinner for two – to the man’s ego that is :-).

…The new criterion of purchase—marketed as romance and intimacy rather than sex—caught on.

Young men love pissing contests.  Filling out your subscription for an ED med is almost like admitting you can not piss that far or that much. Right there is the psychological encumbrance that Cialis helped young men with ED avoid – albeit making treating ED seem like a walk in the park.

…In 2012 Cialis passed Viagra’s $1.9 billion in annual sales, with duration supplanting efficacy as the key criterion of purchase in the erectile dysfunction market.

–End–

Note – in writing this piece, I relied on (was actually inspired by):

And the featured image attached to this post was unashamedly copied from http://cliffsriffs.blogspot.com/2017/04/why-we-need-more-women-in-office-to-put.html

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