Future Pharma 2020

September 14 - 15, 2020

Boston Marriott Long Wharf, Boston, MA

Here's How Takeda Pharmaceuticals is Keeping Established Brands Fresh

Brought to you by WBR Insights



Keeping well-established brands fresh is a constant challenge for sales and marketing teams - evidenced by the constant rebrands we see consumer products go through. However, the process is essential to ensure the continued popularity of these products.

Sometimes these changes are small, such as offering limited promotions or a renewed marketing push. On other occasions, something more drastic is required, such as completely changing the branding of a product or a complete campaign overhaul designed to reach new audiences and demographics.

For pharmaceutical companies, however, the process of keeping established brands fresh is more complex. As they don't normally sell directly to consumers, the needs of their customers are very different, as are their strategies for selling to those customers. Nonetheless, this hasn't stopped Takeda Pharmaceuticals from restructuring its marketing and sales teams to breathe new life into two of its own established products.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

The two brands Takeda Pharmaceuticals wanted to revitalize were Amitiza, a treatment for various types of constipation in adults, and Dexilant, a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) treatment. These two products are for entirely different and unrelated conditions, but they share the fact they are in the later stages of their respective life cycles and in desperate need of new marketing ideas.

To answer this need, Takeda Pharmaceuticals brought together two of its most experienced marketing and sales teams - with a combined century of experience - and tasked them with injecting new life into these two tenured brands.

Starting with Amitiza, the GenMed GI Marketing Team, as it was dubbed, wanted to focus on the very latest digital marketing strategies to give the constipation brand a much-needed boost.

As a relatively minor condition - although try telling that to sufferers - constipation can often be managed effectively from the comfort of a patient's own home. However, this can only be achieved effectively if patients are provided with the right support from experienced and qualified physicians. To this end, Takeda Pharmaceuticals implemented a new customer relationship platform (CRM) designed to assist Amitiza users with their recovery. The main factor underpinning recovery from a condition such as constipation is adherence to drug taking schedules, so the focus of the CRM was on this, offering reminders and advice about when to take the medication.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals also used digital display advertising and search engine marketing to make sure the product was visible, and people were drawn to the Amitiza website when searching for related terms (which we'll spare you from the examples of here). Also, location-based geo-targeting was employed to get advertisements for Amitiza in front of the right people when they were waiting in the doctor's office.

Finally, a $0 co-pay Savings Card was introduced to act as a beyond-the-pill differentiator in an increasingly crowded market, allowing patients to save money on their essential medication - something surely to be welcomed in a world where the ever-rising price of pharmaceuticals can put added strain on people already suffering with debilitating conditions.

Renewed Marketing

The proton pump inhibitor market has seen a slow decline in products over the last few years and now Dexilant remains the last brand standing to offer this essential piece of equipment for GERD treatments.

Because of this, the Takeda Pharmaceuticals marketing team wanted to find an efficient way of targeting the very niche and specialist audience who would be receptive to it. It was decided that the best way of achieving this was through the intelligent application of data.

The team used artificial intelligence technology to establish data-based buyer personas of the patients who needed Dexilant to manage their condition. These personas - hypothetical profiles of ideal demographics - could then be used to make sure marketing efforts were being aimed in the right direction.

The buyer personas generated by the data were also combined with opportunity-based variables and data from the Human Connectome Project - a five-year project with a mission to find new explanations behind some of the world's most challenging medical conditions - to add further depth to Takeda Pharmaceuticals' efforts to target very specific demographics.

Final Thoughts

Takeda Pharmaceuticals' idea to merge the two teams together has shown that, by restructuring and changing team dynamics, brands can empower their marketing departments to come up with fresh ideas. These ideas can then be put to work revitalizing mature brands, finding new audiences, and boosting sales.

"The GenMed GI Marketing Team is building youthful-momentum for two mature brands, and they plan to continue to find new ways to reach the right patients, with the right message, at the right time," reports PM360. "The unique union of these teams—with a combined century of experience in market research, sales, and marketing—proved to be a boon for both brands."


You can hear Takeda Pharmaceuticals' Lead Director of Neuroscience Brand Marketing, Chris Valosky speak at Future Pharma 2019, being held in September, at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, MA.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.