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Applied Biosystems Launches Campaign to Step Up Sales to Big Pharma

NEW YORK, Oct 31 – Applied Biosystems is launching a two-pronged strategy designed to increase product awareness among the highest-ranking pharmaceutical company executives, Jon Miller, director of pharmaceutical marketing at Applied Biosystems, said Tuesday.

Although it might be hard for industry players to imagine that one of the biggest names in the genomics industry is having a tough time getting enough recognition, Miller said there was more work to be done.

“We’re trying to create a position in the market that differentiates us from the competition,” Miller said. “If I’m successful at what I’m doing and the company is better understood by higher ups, then, when VPs receive purchasing orders they’ll say, ‘You’re buying X,Y, or Z, but have you looked at Applied Biosystems?’”

“That’s the kind of response we’re trying to build,” said Miller, who was hired two years ago to drive up sales to big pharma.

In order to achieve this goal, Applied Biosystems will be holding a pharmaceutical executives forum in Bermuda next week. Co-developed by Cambridge Healthtech Institute and the Drug Discovery & Development magazine, the conference is designed to bring together high-ranking phamaceutical officials for a discussion of the state of the industry. Compaq Computer and Andersen Consulting are co-sponsoring the three-day event.

Tony White, chairman, president, and CEO of Applied Biosystems’ parent company, PE Corp (soon to be renamed Applera), personally sent out the invitations for the invite-only affair. Some 100 pharmaceutical executives are expected to be at the conference, although Applied Biosystems declined to disclose the attendee list.

“We did a survey a year ago and only one third of senior pharmaceutical executives identified us as a leading supplier to the industry,” said Miller, noting that many people are not aware that Applied Biosystems offers a full range of genomics instruments.

He said that the closest competitor, in terms of breadth of products, was APB. APB, however, does not offer mass spectrometers.

In addition to the conference, Miller said that Applied Biosystems would also be launching an ad campaign, consisting of multi-page insert ads in magazines.

Applied Biosystems will roll out the ad image-building ad campaign by mid-January at the latest.

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