Lilly marketing takes cues from P&G

With Eli Lilly stacking up indications for Cymbalta, marketing the drug could get complicated. Sell it as an antidepressant? A fibromyalgia treatment? A diabetic nerve pain med? How to get the message across without confusing consumers about just what the product does? Over at BNet, Jim Edwards talked to Lilly's Cymbalta brand leader about these issues--and found that, just as he suspected, drug marketing is getting more and more like brand extension in the consumer-goods arena.

Mass advertising is focused only on the depression indication, for one thing, but those ads mention the fatigue and body pain that can be associated with a mood disorder. The sales team differentiates its Cymbalta focus by healthcare provider, though, with reps calling on different docs tailoring the message accordingly.

Lilly has been thinking in consumer-goods terms for awhile, says Jacopo Leonardi, that aforementioned brand leader. To that end, the company brought on a consumer marketing leader who used to work at packaged-goods giant Procter & Gamble and the burger chain Steak-n-Shake. "He has tremendous experience," Leonardi said. "[Compared to packaged goods marketers] we're still in our infancy."

- read the post at BNet