Johnson & Johnson’s Support of Nurses

Check this out. As I hope is true in most of the URL’s that I send you to, there are a lot of interesting points made in today’s piece. One is a phenomenon I have observed over my over 40 years of conducting pharmaceutical marketing research. That is, companies that dedicate themselves to maintaining a longstanding and supportive relationship with a specific group of HCPs get rewarded for their loyalty with loyalty in return.

That is certainly true in the Johnson & Johnson support of RNs. My wife and virtually every other nurse with whom I have spoken is well aware of this support, they all smile when they talk about it, and those nurses involved in purchasing decisions will, whenever possible, go with the J&J product offering.

One of the greatest examples of the impact that this kind of ongoing support can have on customer loyalty and market share was demonstrated by Ortho Pharmaceuticals (a J&J Company) and their relationship with ob/gyns. I spent much of my professional life working on marketing research to position Ortho oral contraceptives. I did this work for over a decade. During this time, I learned that Ortho supported ob/gyns, in many significant ways, from their residency forward. The doctors in this specialty with whom I spoke over the years were well aware of this support. In fact, our segmentation work over found a large segment of physicians who wrote almost exclusively for Ortho oral contraceptives, not because they thought they were better than other brands. Rather, they thought they were at parity with the other products, BUT were manufactured by a company that was loyal to their specialty. 

Work we did during the same time period with pediatricians found that there was a significant segment of that specialty that was loyal to Ross Laboratories because of their support for their specialty, and as a result recommended Ross infant formulas. 

Is such bidirectional specialty loyalty still alive and well in our industry? Where? Does it still look the same? Are the results still as beneficial?

One other key thought I want to point out in this piece is that while I and others spend a lot of time thinking and talking about “physician burnout,” especially during the pandemic, a far greater burnout problem can be found among the nurses who have to take care of these patients, and other tragic cases, on a much more up-close-and-personal basis than do most physicians. This piece reports that 70% of nurses are suffering from anxiety, stress and burnout, with the result that 20% of nurses are leaving the field annually. Not good!

Bottom Line. What we have learned here then is two things. First, that a company that throws its support behind a particular group of HCPs can often reap a significant reward.

And, more specifically, we have learned that nurses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic need, and well deserve, the kind of loyal support that they have been receiving from J&J for the last 120 years. 

Spend some time today pondering what your company can do with each of these learnings?

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