It Takes a Village

Jun 01, 2011

To generate momentum in the market-place, the NicVAX will need a campaign that is powerful, yet simple and clear—one that will break through the traditional vaccine mindset.

Rob Peters, VP Professional Strategy | MicroMass
Prior to launch, the focus can be to seed interest and support by sharing relevant data with anti-smoking organizations and other community/ consumer groups and platforms. This could take place in medical/clinical forums, but with special attention to public health conferences and groups.

At post-launch, NicVax should target the easiest opportunity group—those consumers who are motivated to quit smoking. The brand could launch a grassroots and targeted advertising campaign to consumers offering a new therapeutic option for smoking cessation. GSK can leverage their OTC smoking-cessation heritage and assets—for example, utilizing a consumer database from Nico products/smoking programs to up-sell the vaccine. Then, use these early patients to build success stories.

Critical to success will be coupling with a robust support program, based on decades of proven smoking-cessa-tion cognitive behavioral techniques. For while the vaccine may treat the physical nicotine addiction, that's only half of the solution. Individual behaviors, thinking, and environment will need to change in order for smoking cessation to occur. Incorporating this behavioral-based offering into the overall "therapy" will provide more proof and reasons for clinicians to believe in the vaccine's overall efficacy.

Following early uptake and success, the momentum can be used to target a wider audience. Ultimately with strong health outcomes research data, the brand can target governmental and health organizations to lobby for inclusion in vaccine programs, school health initiatives, and vaccine recommendations/guidelines.

Lastly, a key communication challenge for NicVAX will be to shift the traditional vaccine mindset, moving away from a "once and done" mentality, so that customers see the value and need for boosters. Focusing on this issue from the beginning, through education and relationship marketing efforts, will take the "follow-up" burden off of the medical community and establish a recurring customer base.

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