A segmentation study of physicians' personal values, drug prescription criteria and preferred marketing communications elements
The aim of this exploratory study was to elucidate the relationship of physicians' personal values with their drug prescription criteria (i.e. buying criteria) and preferred marketing communication elements. The survey involved a quantitative research instrument which was filled in by 68 physicians, comprising 38 general practitioners, and 30 specialists, through personal interviews. All, but the demographic measures were tapped by 5-point Likert scales. A series of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses assessed unidimentionality and validity of research constructs. Standard cluster analysis generated three clusters of physicians, described as "careerists", "brand loyal", and "bohemians". The significant differences of the means among the three clusters, in respect to personal values, prescription criteria and preferred marketing communications elements, indicate that personal values may be regarded as a basis for the physicians' market segmentation. The findings may be useful for both marketing strategy planners and researchers examining buying behavior in this hybrid pharmaceutical market, which is in between industrial and consumer categories. Thus, a pharmaceutical marketing plan should be adaptive to the characteristics and criteria of each physician market segment. The study concludes with directions for further research.