Japan: A pharmaceutical viewpoint

[intro music] >> BRENT MCCAIN: Hi there. I’m Brent McCain.
I’m the Head of Marketing Excellence for sanofi-aventis in Japan. >> GABRIELLE PASTORE: My name is Gabrielle
Pastore. I’m a Managed Markets Brand Director in the US business for AstraZeneca, and have
worked in the past in the UK as a Global Brand Manager; as well as in Japan for three years
recently… [music] >> GABRIELLE PASTORE: Japan is the second
largest market in the world for pharmaceuticals, and it is continuing to grow; which makes
it a very exciting place to be. [music] >> BRENT MCCAIN: What is really interesting
when we look at Japan, is that even more Japanese patients – than overseas – are accessing the
Internet. Not only accessing the Internet, but actually creating content.
I think this provides a real opportunity for us to do some free market research. >> GABRIELLE PASTORE: There is an opportunity
to bring some of the Western thinking and the new ideas from the West to Japan. I think
a lot of what has been done here is more around – what we saw – “marketing by spreadsheets”,
so really getting lost in the data; with an opportunity to bring really interesting ideas
around how to do unique focus groups and how to do unique market research studies to answer
‘What is the emotional essence that really drives prescribing?’ [music] >> GABRIELLE PASTORE: Certainly language comes
to mind. I think there’s a couple of things. There is a significant language barrier; We
all tried to learn Japanese as best we can. Certainly the Japanese environment is an island,
and an island unto itself in that they are very happy with the way that they do things
here, and to bring ideas can be a challenge. To get them to think differently and to try
new things and change is really a significant challenge for any ex-pat coming to Japan for
a short period of time. >> BRENT MCCAIN: We’ve had a lot of discussions
over the past couple of days about the role of the Internet, and the role of social media.
Really, what I think it comes down to is, the role is going to become a little bit different
to what we thought before, and I think here in Japan that is going to be very important.
So what do I mean by that? I think it is going to be a lot more about learning from social
media and the Internet, than it is about getting our message out to customers; Because let’s
face it – patients don’t necessarily want to hear from the pharmaceutical industry about
their products and their disease; They want to hear it from people who are actually suffering
with the disease, or who are actually treating patients. I think that may be a more credible
source of information, and that is where we are going to get the insights about the industry.

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