The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) started operations in 1963. The Company majorly deals in carrying out of intensive research and manufacturing of vaccines and general set of equipment used in medical laboratories. CSL Limited has played a vital role in countering the spread of various infections in Australia and the world as a whole through the production of vaccines. CSL is one of the leading industries in the biotechnology sector. It is credited with developing vaccines against tetanus, whooping cough diphtheria, and diabetes among other infections. As a growth strategy, CSL has rapidly involved itself of the Swiss plasma company ZLB Bioplasma in 2004 and Aventis Behring of Germany that manufactures medical apparatus.
The acquisitions and takeovers have enabled CSL to have a strong grip in the biotechnology sector leading to the Company being one of the entities in the production of influenza vaccine in the world. CSL needs to keep in touch with the latest marketing strategies for them to remain a float in the ever-changing technological environment.
This paper will discuss the various strategies employed by CSL Company in the marketing of their products and services to the final consumers. It will also focus on how effective the marketing approaches are in comparison to those used by their competitors. CSL can only remain to be a market leader in the provision of medical equipment and vaccines if it follows recommendations of the marketing and research teams. The two must work hand in hand to ensure the production and supply chain is not affected.
Marketing Strategies of CSL
It is imperative to note that for any company to be successful, it needs to ensure that it carries out extensive marketing. The first step is to carry out a market research to know what kind of products they need to produce to fulfill consumer needs. CSL limited, therefore, should ensure that it facilitates and adequately equip the research and development section of the company with adequate resources for them to carry out quality research (Boumans and Davis, 2010, pp. 129-133). The research should establish the market trends and ways in which the company can improve quality of their products so as outdo their competitors in the market. The top-level management should use this information for them to come up with the relevant market mix approaches that CSL limited should use so as for increase the sales volume and increase the shareholder’s wealth. CSL employs the following strategies in marketing of its medical products;
CSL provides a broad range of products and services to its clients. The main products it deals include the production of vaccines, blood plasma, ant- venoms and manufacture of laboratory products. CSL should ensure it majorly focuses on the wants, needs and the perceptions of the final consumers of its products and the feel of the general public to the items they manufacture. Consumers needs can be established through carrying out of constant research on the product performance in the market.
Product strategies will come up with ways in which CSL can fulfill the ever-changing customer requirements and change any negative perception the general public might be having towards its products. Moreover, product research can easily bring out the challenges that the clients may be facing in the process of using the company products. CSL hence will be able to rectify the same to retain and attracts more consumers. The entity in developing its product strategy should determine the factors of customer preference towards its products, for instance, the level of quality and convenience of the product to the end users.
CSL has developed strong and efficient strategic collaborations with leading centers of excellence and leading companies across the globe to have an input in product innovation particularly in plasma therapeutics and in developing of vaccines.
The company has also invested heavily in strategizing to improve product quality. This has been achieved through the establishment of a research and development section that is purely focused on ways of inventing new products, for instance, the manufacture of protein medicines to cure various human diseases and to ensure that the final product is safe to human beings (Wooliscroft, 2011, pp. 499-501). By doing so, the customer satisfaction levels have tremendously improved, and consumers feel drawn closer to the entity. The R&D department also offers flexibility in cases of a shift in consumer tastes and preferences. In CSL when the R&D team identifies a new product it first evaluates if it fulfills the following conditions;
The product should consist of strong clinical data.The data will be beneficial in carrying out of the analysis on the effectiveness of it in the market. The company deals in the medical sector and thus must produce products that meet these market sector requirements.
It should have a validated target. The product must be able to meet a clear and legal market portion for it to be pursued. This is important since manufacturing products that cannot meet the prevailing marketing legal expectation will inhibit their sale.
It must possess well-featured properties. This will become of the essence in the production stage. The product to be developed should have a strong intellectual property position. The final attribute will ensure that CSL can patent the product manufacturing knowledge to keep away competitors.
It is worth noting that CSL puts more emphasis on developing products that must help improve the condition of patients. Hence, it will not shy to work in synergies with similar entities holding the same view. All these product strategies will ensure that the CSL Company can compete favorably in the biotechnology environment.
CSL pricing and structure policies play a significant role in the shaping of the company image, securing and attracting new clients. CSL need to set into considerations various sets of factors before fixing the price of its products. It must consider the total cost incurred in producing the product, the prevailing market forces of demand and supply and government restrictions (Blythe, 2009). The strategy is beneficial since it will enable the entity to achieve success by identifying the price point where they can achieve maximum returns (John, Katherine and Jocz, 2012).
CSL should ensure they focus on providing high quality products at a competitive price to disadvantage the main direct competitors. CSL should at all times ensure they use a mix of pricing strategies for them to compete favorably. The prices set should be justifiable. CSL should survey the potential customer groups to find out their responses on the feeling regarding the pricing of the competitors; the general industry set prices and areas that need to be addressed (Hanssan, 2012). CSL employs the following pricing strategies as dedicated by the marketing aims and objectives.
Premium Pricing:-CSL employs the use premium pricing in cases where it introduces new products in the market. The strategy entails the company setting of commodities at a price which is slightly higher than that charged by competitors. The newly launched product need to have something unique that keeps it distinct from the rest the market offers (Barry and Elizabeth, 2017). CSL should ensure that premium pricing is majorly applied in areas it sets sight to acquire a new market niche by becoming a market leader in pricing. Consumers have a perspective tendency that products selling at a high price are of better quality (Clarke, 2007). The approach is best suited in the early stages of product life cycle as it will ensure the company can maximize sales hence boost returns to cover the initial cost incurred in product launch (Foo, 2011, pp. 375-393).
Economy Pricing: Given that CSL is a market leader in the production of medical equipment and vaccines then it ought to apply this strategy. Here the company will set the price of its commodities at a minimum market price. It is vital to use this approach to ensure CSL attracts the market segment that is very sensitive to changes in price however small (Barry and Elizabeth, 2017). The low-cost approach has been in use word over a quiet period and it has proved to be of value to big organizations like Wal-Mart.
Penetration pricing Strategy:- CSL employees the use of this approach to capture market shares in regions where the Company is unheard of. The company initially sets prices of its products and services at a relatively low price in comparison to other industry players to attract new buyers (James, 2014). The reasoning behind the setting of low prices is aimed at creating public awareness of the existence of the product in the market and gives the various consumers a chance to taste the effectiveness of it.
CSL will initially have to ensure with losses in the initial stages of using this approach, but the brains behind it propose that this will change once the target group starts to embrace the product. CSL makes use penetration pricing in crowded market segments. CSL can employ the strategy in areas with a high population for instance in India to attract a new set of clientele. The approach should guarantee product sustainability to the CSL.It can be achieved through the entity utilizing different sets of marketing in various regions.
Price skimming:- CSL will employ this strategy by setting temporarily high prices on its products and services. When doing this CSL should ensure it is aware of the actions that the competitors will take to counter this. The approach will result to CSL an increase of the profit levels to offset the price drop that will set after the product has been in the market for a while (Milisavljevic, 2013, pp. 299-309). For price skimming to be successful CSL must ensure it develops medical products that are of high quality in comparison to market rivals. CSL should make sure it puts more emphasis on the research department for them to be able to develop new products that satisfy the customer needs so that it continues to be the market leader and appropriately apply this strategy (Booker, Bontis, and Serenko, 2008, pp. 235-246).
CSL manufactures good to be consumed by consumers who are spread across the world. The CSL entity should ensure that products can reach the targeted market segment within the shortest time possible at the right price (Khan, Munir and Willmott, 2007, pp. 1055-1077). Hence, the company must design ways of reducing the supply chain so that the final consumer can pay a relative lower price. CSL products should be accessed by consumers from convenient stores across the globe. To reach a wide client base CSL should open up distribution points at the production site so as to complement the distribution channels that are in existence; this can be done by the clients making online orders and door to door delivery utilized.
It encompasses a set of approaches which the CSL organization uses to remind the existing and reach new prospective clients. It simply entails passing product information to the targeted buyer. The main aim of promotional activities is to convince the target consumer to purchase the product being offered (Charles, 2012). Various marketing experts are in agreement that the promotional mix which CSL limited should embrace to realize an increase in sales include; public promotion, advertising elements, personal selling and even sports sponsorship (Mankiw and Taylor, 2011).
Sustainability Practices implemented by CSL.
CSL should engage in the production of goods and services that meet the current needs of its consumers without interfering with the prospects of the future generation's ability to meet their needs (Karniel and Reich, 2011, pp. 13). CSL has greatly carried out is production process in a manner that sustainable. Embracing sustainable practices is critical to the profitability of the organization. This will help the company increase its profitability and thus, its productivity. Besides, sustainability practices increase the business longevity of the organization (Chaudhry and Krishnan, 2007, pp. 205-220). The sustainability practices of CSL are evident in many different ways. These are discussed below.
The company is socially responsible
CSL has a clear policy about the way it relates with the various stakeholders. It provides a conducive working environment to its workforce. The company overtime has been able to cultivate a tradition of mutual trust and respect among the staff. Moreover, CSL carries out marketing of its products in an ethical manner (Valentine, Godkin, Fleischman and Kidwell, 2011, pp. 353-372). The social responsibility is important in helping to improve the relationship, and the interactions of the people factor in the organization. Social responsibility of CSL has increased its good relationship with the stakeholders thus, benefiting the organization (Enquist, Edvardsson and Sebhatu, 2007, pp. 385-403).
CSL is economically viable
The entity makes prudent use of natural financial and human capital to create value and satisfying the needs of consumers keeping in mind future generations. The inputs for the production of vaccines and ant venoms are obtained through a natural mechanism from the ecosystem CSL works towards manufacturing of products that are long-lasting, biodegradable and can be easily re-used than their main competitors (Chermack and Bernadette, 2007, pp. 383-399). The economic viability of CSL has made it gain a competitive advantage over other players in the industry. Therefore, sustainable practices are critical for organizations to remain on top of others in the industry. Additionally, economic viability will help the company to increase its business longevity. Thus, it will enjoy the market for a long time (Edvardsson and Enquist, 2009).
Compatibility with the environment
CSL engages in innovation to ensure it develops safe and eco-friendly products to reduce to bare minimum pollution levels to the immediate surroundings (Kerr, Janda and Pitts, 2009). CSL production processes ensure the company can get high returns as they are less wasteful. Currently, the environmental stewardess is one of the key areas of concern on the globe. The society is working towards attaining a greener environment. Therefore, CSL has been prudent to adopt ways that reduce damage to the environment.
CSL SWOT analysis-Strengths
CSL is a market leader in the production of laboratory equipment in Australia, and the entity operates in one of the fastest growing sectors. Due to the financial favorable financial capacity, it’s able to engage in extensive research and development in the main products like blood plasma derivatives, and vaccines in its market niche segment (Cameron, 2014, pp. 22-27).
The entity suffers from a wide range of diseconomies of scale. More especially in the vast resources required to develop new products, CSL has also struggled to shed off unethical claims related to the labeling of its products.
The company can engage with various hospitals across the world to popularize the use of stem cells hence leading to the acquisition of new market segments. CSL can also diversify into production of enzymes.
Just like any other company in the medical industry, CSL faces strict regulations from government agencies. The entity additionally requires highly skilled personnel to drive its innovation which is very expensive to acquire.
From the preceding, it is clear that CSL is a market leader in the biotechnology sector in Australia. For the sustainability purposes, it needs to ensure that it manufactures products that are environmental friendly in nature. This will significantly reduce the pollution levels and improve the health of the final consumers that the company serves. For continued growth, it should ensure that it employs a mix of appropriate marketing strategy to its various segments. CSL should at all times pump more resources to the research and development section to develop new products to solve immediate consumer needs. This is vital to ensure it keeps away the direct competitors and maximize shareholder wealth.