The informative and persuasive components of pharmaceutical promotion – An argument for why the two can coexist

Michel Rod and Sarena Saunders
Victoria University of Wellington


Numerous authors have concluded that relationship marketing (RM) represents a paradigm shift in marketing (Grönroos 1990, 1994; Parvatiyar et al. 1992; Webster 1992; Sheth & Parvatiyar 1993, 1995) – from a preoccupation with the 'four Ps' of the marketing mix and short-term, transaction-orientated goals to long-term relationship-building goals. The RM literature has thus emphasised the identification and operationalisation of various factors believed to be important in developing and maintaining collaborative/cooperative relationships, including benevolence, trust, credibility and truthfulness, all of which would appear to have much salience when looking at the pharmaceutical industry's attempts to build relationships through its various promotional strategies. Christy et al. (1996) suggest that there are several customer or market features as well as product or service features that will encourage the growth of relationships, and these epitomise RM within the pharmaceutical industry context (Table 1).