Product Launch as Marketeer

germany, roche, careers, conversation
Every Marketeer works towards the moment when a product comes onto the market.
Christian Klenke, Product Manager Roche Pharma AG Grenzach

How should I imagine a Product Launch?

At its core a product launch can be compared to building a house. Initially a lot of planning and coordination work is necessary. Before I can move in a lot of specialists such as the architect, structural engineer or craftsmen need to become active. In the context of Roche above all market research, market access and medicine are involved during the planning. In the next step then departments such as Medical Science Liaison or Patient Care become involved.

Can you guide us through the process up to product launch?

This usually begins with the market research: how is certain data that is for example presented at congresses, accepted by customers? Who are the customers and what characterises them? The first market preparation measures already start approximately four years in advance. For me as product manager the work starts roughly one and a half to two years before the launch.

What happens then?

The main task of marketing is to translate the bulk of data into a marketing strategy: What are our core messages? How will we position ourselves in the market? From these considerations we then prepare our materials. We e.g. very specifically consider what a customer journey could look like for physician and patient, from the first occurrence of the symptoms up to the therapy and beyond. In parallel our distribution become involved and are trained.

What role does the product management play with a Product Launch?

Product management is like the spider in the  web, where the many threads run together. If new questions arise we sit all the involved parties around a table to discuss them. Product management also always encompasses project management. But above all we are responsible for what one also sees at the end, because everything is adapted for this: the campaign. This for example includes the materials or launch events.

When does the hot phase start?

Respectively six months before and after the launch of a product. During this time every day is different. Roughly six months after the launch one also knows whether a product will be successful or not..

Are you also able to enjoy the launch phase?

Every marketeer works towards the moment when a product comes onto the market. This is a real highlight and is simply a great pleasure. We go through very many scenarios in advance, prepare everything as best possible, but only with the launch do we really know where we stand. This is challenging, but also very exciting.

What is the next step after the launch?

This really already begins before the launch. I must always plan over the long term and co-conceive the development of the product. At the launch deadline I must already know where I want to stand with my product in five years. In the foreground stands the question how I make a brand out of a product. Continuity and stability are thereby e.g. two very important factors. Apart from this we of course also have to respond to current customer needs.

What is the greatest challenge with a launch?

Speed is the be all and end all – in the preparation, as well as in the post-processing. If something changes in the market we need to respond directly, in the positive as well as in the negative sense, however always in harmony with the overall strategy.

How often does one experience a launch as product manager?

Due to the innovative spirit of the corporation the pipeline at Roche is very large, in the depth, as well as also in the breadth. This is relatively unique and therefore at Roche it also comes to a product launch more frequently in comparison to the rest of the sector.

Interested in marketing at the company Roche Pharma AG in Grenzach?Find out more.

Tags: Germany, Career Blog, Marketing & Communications