Stem Cell Marketing: It’s all about responsibility

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Any Stem cell marketing initiative needs to address two principal realities. One, the constraints in the form of unavailability of product approvals and the legal and ethical framework, and, the need to reach out to as many patients and doctors as possible to create trajectories of high growth in this sunrise field. The  unavailability of product approvals is particularly painful as without them, stem cell companies can’t effect product and service endorsements.

Statutory enactments like the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1955 prohibit us from directly advertising or promoting our value proposition to the target market. Notwithstanding the patented research and noteworthy clinical track record, we still have to reinforce the fact that ours is an experimental therapy conducted in consultation with medical practitioners which only strives to improve the quality of a patient’s life suffering from specified conditions.At the same time, it’s critical to reach out to prospective patients across the length and breadth of the country to further our cause.

Given such a constricting framework, it’s only a deeper knowledge of the psyche, needs and aspirations of prospective consumers that can help direct any marketing initiative in this space to create measurable value for all stakeholders. Needless to say, this also calls for unconventional and innovative modes to reach out to the target audience.

At EPC, we have always relied on disease-specific campaigns which are highly focused interactive sessions on the therapeutic potential of stem cell transplantations. The patient gains valuable insights into the disease and is made aware of the pros and cons of the stem cell applications through customized counseling and literature.  Not only have these end-user awareness camps built the patient’s faith in our credible promise, it eventually becomes our best brand building platform. Our fit-for-purpose content pervades all forms – flyers, brochures, case study repository, disease-specific booklets, website information, doctor & patient info kits, thought leadership communication, stakeholder communication and media interaction. The thought articulation is tailored to the needs, sensibilities and sensitivities of the target audience. The emphasis is on reaching out effectively without diluting the corporate conviction.

Integral to our core is our Value chain ecosystem where we are creating a potent medical platform for product approvals through strategic tie-ups with institutions, hospitals and clinics. We have already tied up with AIIMS and Pushpanjali Cross Hospital. We have established EPC centers at vantage locations in West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi NCR, Kanpur, Rajkot, Vadodara & Silliguri and representative offices at Delhi & Ghaziabad. Going forward, we shall set up centers in all principle towns and cities. 

The ultimate purpose is to create potent collaborations between EPC, which possesses proven clinical expertise in stem cell transplantations and healthcare providers, who seek to appropriate these progressive methods. The insights from this endeavour will also help pull patients and their kith and kin contemplating stem cell transplants with the help of reliable clinical information. Today, they have to rely solely on distant testimonials and instant recommendations. 

We are also creating a common platform to educate a larger group of doctors on the evolving paradigms, myths and realities of stem cell therapeutics. This initiative will more than enhance our ally base as patients invariably depend on their family physicians for credible advice. We are taking conscious steps to reduce the polarity between scientists, doctors and patients. Through our platform, we will help the scientific and medical fraternity to have an ongoing proactive dialogue with the community at large including patients and volunteers.

Our marketing strategy is aimed at establishing our USP in the market as the only providers with patented technology and proven clinical success. I am certain that our competitive edge and ensuing success milestones will eventually pave the way for much needed clarity and legislation on the codes of conduct.  This will only help the market in institutionalize a need-over-hype approach in stem cell therapeutics in the time to come.

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