Sleep aid seasonality
For those marketers staying awake at night thinking about new ways to drive category growth, Biotab Nutraceuticals may have happened upon a new opportunity — seasonality in sleep aids.
“Twice each year, [daylight savings time changes] have an impact on a person’s internal clock,” said Biotab chief marketing officer Robert Wilhovsky, who markets Alteril. So in the week following a clock change, sales of sleep aids spike, he said.
For the 12 weeks ended April 15, which include approximately 30 days of sales after this year’s “spring forward” clock change, sales across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart) were up 8.3% to $17 million, according to SymphonyIRI Group.
Biotab ‘Extenze’ its reach in intimacy health
Appropriately promoting niche brands within the intimacy health space can be a little trickier than the average consumer packaged goods product. And social media isn’t necessarily the ideal platform — an adult may not be as comfortable “liking” an intimacy enhancement product on Facebook to show their brand affinity, for example.
For marketers outside of Johnson & Johnson and Church & Dwight — promoting KY and Trojan, respectively — primetime placement on network TV can prove tricky as well. Biotab in 2010 pulled a page out of GlaxoSmithKline’s “Mike Ditka’s Levitra Challenge” by signing Jimmy Johnson as spokesman, appealing to an older demographic, and more recently paved a new pathway to entice younger adults seeking to enhance their intimacy health with the signing of MTV’s Big Black personality (Christopher Boykin).
“We did identify an opportunity with MTV that resulted in a 20% boost in sales for Extenze in the first week it carried,” noted Robert Wilhovsky, chief marketing officer of Biotab Nutraceuticals. “[And we’re] in talks with TruTV now to do another in-show product integration.” For a niche category like intimacy health, sporting events and product placements represent more cost-efficient avenues to a target consumer, Wilhovsky said, going beyond social media and traditional advertising opportunities.
Vaccines expand outside and inside pharmacies
It’s been more than 200 years since the first successful test of a vaccine against smallpox, and since then, vaccines have become one of the most important means of preventing and eradicating infectious diseases, ranging from minor ailments like the flu to devastating ones like polio.
Technological development in this area has continued and expanded to include not only vaccines against infectious diseases, but also therapeutic vaccines against cancers and some autoimmune disorders. Last month, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America released a report showing 295 vaccines in development against a wide variety of diseases, including 170 for infectious diseases, 102 for cancers and eight for neurological disorders, mostly Alzheimer’s disease, as well as multiple sclerosis.
In addition to their potential for fighting disease, vaccines also have opened up opportunities for pharmacy retailers. All 50 states now allow pharmacists to perform vaccinations, usually for such diseases as the flu and shingles, and pharmacies large and small have been busy sending their pharmacists to continuing education classes so they qualify to administer vaccinations. By now, customers at most of the major chains can simply walk in and get a vaccination, whereas before it required a visit to the doctor’s office.
Along the way, many new innovations have appeared as well. Retail clinics have been expanding their selection of vaccinations, which include immunizations against hepatitis, pneumonia, meningitis, pertussis and human papillomavirus. Meanwhile, some retail pharmacies have expanded their offerings as well. Bartell Drugs, a regional chain based in Seattle, offers travel clinics where customers can get vaccinated against diseases they might risk contracting abroad, such as hepatitis A and B and typhoid. Meanwhile, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, under a partnership with the University of Southern California, has been letting pharmacists enroll in an international travel health program for pharmacists who have received certification to administer specific immunizations and vaccines in their states.
More vaccinations also mean more patient data. Walgreens has a program with SureScripts that allows it to use the SureScripts e-prescribing network to share immunization data with patients’ primary care providers, and it plans to share the data with public health authorities later this year.