Product Analysis - Simparica
Simparica's main messaging is built on its impressive longevity of its pharmacological activity compared to its competitors. The product targets owners of dogs and puppies that are older than six months. Simparica differentiates itself through a campaign facilitated by a "unique visual identity" that captures the attention of pet owners and veterinarians alike. Below is an overview of our findings as well as an explanation of our methodology.
- Simparica's main tagline is "Flea and tick protection that goes on and on and on...all month long." The brand's main messaging is the ability of its product to offer protection from fleas and ticks for 35 days.
- Its messaging is based on the claim that, unlike its competitors' products, Simparica only needs to be administered to pets only once monthly. Thus, its main messaging is the longevity of action of its products.
- On top of featuring this messaging on promotional visuals, the brand builds on it by providing infographics with proof of the longevity of Simparica's action compared to its competitors such as NexGard, Bravecto, and Trifexis.
Targeted Pet Owners
- Since its launch, Simparica targets owners of dogs and puppies that are older than six months. Its messaging of 35-days effectiveness shows that the brand is targeting pet owners who are after convenience. However, the product's safety for breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs has not been evaluated.
- In an attempt to differentiate Simparica, Zoetis hired marketing/branding company, Visual Fuel Design, to develop a "unique visual identity" for Simparica that would capture the attention of pet owners and veterinarians alike.
- Visual Fuel Design used competitive visual identity and visual analysis materials to create a "package design series" as well as guidelines and templates, among others. The detailed visual templates and guidelines helped Zoetis' regional marketing teams to create clear, and consistent communications that differentiated Simparica from its competitors.
- Additionally, Zoetis differentiates Simparica through its main messaging which claims that the product is effective for a longer period compared to its main competitors including Nexgard and Bravecto.
- According to PetMed Express and Valley Vet, Simparica is priced based on dosage for six animal weight classes:
- Three-, six-, and 12-packs for dogs weighing 3-6 pounds cost $33.75, $64.49, and $125.96, respectively.
- Three-, six-, and 12-packs for dogs weighing 6-11 pounds cost $33.99, $64.98, and $127.96, respectively.
- Three-, six-, and 12-packs for dogs weighing 11-22 pounds cost $34.75, $66.49, and $130.98, respectively.
- Three-, six-, and 12-packs for dogs weighing 22-44 pounds cost $34.99, $66.98, and $131.96, respectively.
- Three-, six-, and 12-packs for dogs weighing 44-88 pounds cost $36.99, $69.98, and $139.96, respectively.
- Three-, six-, and 12-packs for dogs weighing 44-132 pounds cost $40.99, $78.98, and $155.96, respectively.
Sell-in strategies (Zoetis)
- According to Zoetis' 2018 annual report, the company's sales and marketing teams advertises directly to veterinarians.
- The "Companion Animal Division of Zoetis," into which Simparina belongs, provides various solutions to veterinarians such as financial management services. Zoetis developed Profit Solver that is aimed at improving the profitability of Zoetis' partner clinics.
- Zoetis' "Commitment to Veterinarians" initiative connects veterinarians with their peers and clients through the provision of mobile tools/applications such as VHub. The initiative also engages veterinarians on social media platforms such as Facebook.
While it was possible to find information pertaining to Simparica's main messaging, differentiation, pricing and target market, our initial research through Simparina's and Zoetis' official websites and press releases as well as both industry-specific and general media resources did not provide any information on Simparica's marketing spend and vet clinic sell-in strategies.
Next, we searched through Zoetis' financial statements including its 2018 annual report. Our hope was that we would find a breakdown of the marketing spend and an overview of the sell-in strategies by product. Unfortunately, the annual report only states that Zoetis advertises directly to veterinarians for all its products but does not provide the strategies used. It also reports that the company spent about $158 million, $154 million, and $119 million on promotion and marketing in 2018, 2017, and 2016, respectively. However, there is no further breakdown on the amount spent on marketing Simparica or any of its individual products.
Third, we leveraged marketing analytics resources including Adage and AdWeek. We also searched through sites that provide information on marketing strategies including HubSpot and Contently and ones that provide industry-specific marketing information including Four Dots. Our search also entailed leveraging sites that provide information on digital and social media marketing strategies such as Neil Patel and the Social Media Examiner. This strategy produced some information on the marketing/sell-in strategies for Zoetis but nothing specifically on Simparica. Again, there was no information on Simparica's marketing budget.