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04-Feb-2021

Marketing Basics Every Life Science Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Summary

Chartering the waters of life science marketing can be tough. Well, this tried-and-true guide is here to make it easy. Improve your marketing strategies the right way!
  • Author Company: Lake B2B
  • Author Name: Sofia Wilton
  • Author Email: sofiaawilton@gmail.com
  • Author Website: https://www.lakeb2b.com
Editor: Sofia Wilton Last Updated: 04-Feb-2021

Let's face it: Life science entrepreneurs have to endure a lot of turmoil, be it at the time of starting out or while trying to survive harsh marketing waters. Initially, they meet all the garden-variety challenges of developing an infallible business model, understanding the market's nuances, and, of course, acquiring sufficient funding.

Then, entrepreneurs, especially in biotechnology, healthcare, and other biomedical fields, must navigate additional hindrances, including achieving success in clinical trials, ensuring R&D growth, and gaining regulatory clearance.

But even after besting these challenges, a final, and probably the most formidable test awaits life science, entrepreneurs – convincing the ever-skeptical, elusive, and brand-loyal clinicians, customers, researchers that their service or solution is worth trying.

In this fast-paced industry, your brand's survival relies entirely on its ability to sufficiently distinguish itself from the competition and effectively connect with companies, consumers, and scientists.

And if you're an aspiring or operating life science entrepreneur, you know the significance of credibility can't be understated. There's simply no way to “fake it till you make it” in this field. And that's why your communications and marketing strategy must never take a back seat.

You've done the tricky part and have gotten your enterprise to the point where it's market-ready. The only thing that remains now is letting the world know. To help you in this quest, here's a list of marketing basics that will help you give life to your life science company. 

Acknowledge Your Target Audience

Before you start creating content or planning marketing strategies, make sure to map out your target audience. The first step is to ask yourself the question – To whom am I selling? Is it a company or a customer? The answer to this question will help you decide whether you need to adopt a B2B or B2C strategy.

The next step is to bring in some data, preferably demographics (or firmographics) and psychographics. It will help you understand your audiences' buying behaviors and needs, thereby allowing you to segment them into different niches, which you can cater to separately and in a unique and personalized fashion. 

Also, ensure that you know what kind of prospect data you already hold and where the gaps are — e.g., job titles, email addresses, location, areas of interest in life science technology or research, sector (Biotech or Pharma), to name a few.

Once you have a clear grasp of your target audience, you can move on with more targeted marketing campaigns.

Create and Market Relevant Content

As a 21st century entrepreneur, it's hard to miss out on the fact that content is the true and uncontested king. It's the sole driver for many organizations and a ray of light in a murky marketing world. But it requires the crutch the content marketing to manifest its true potential. 

Think of content marketing as the stage in a crowded auditorium—a stage with hundreds of mics installed. An effective content marketing campaign will allow you to get on the stage, claim one of the mics, and speak to a section of the audience, assuming that the audience you have chosen is interested in listening to what you have to say.

That's where the content comes in. Most of the content marketing in the life science industry is achieved through peer-review publishing. What is it? Well, it's a type of content addressed to the scientific community, rather than companies or customers. It allows scientists to give away unique ideas pertaining to the life science domain and getting an enhanced reputation and recognition in return for their efforts.

While effective, you can bump up its efficaciousness by pairing it up with content-targeted towards your audience, be it B2C or B2B. However, the content must be a bit easy with the technical jargon. It must focus more on the product's advantages and objectives and how it fulfills its buyers' needs.

Go Social or Go Home

Even though it may seem a bit out of character for pharmaceuticals and biotech companies to post on Facebook and put up stories on Instagram, we are practically living in a time where a majority of the population spends its majority of time on social media; 144 minutes to be precise, according to a study carried out by statista.com in 2019. That's about two hours of online time! The time you can spend generating brand awareness, gaining marketing insights, and driving traffic to your blog and website.

For the particular industry vertical of life science, the platform of choice seems to be Twitter and LinkedIn. With them, you can enhance your customer interaction while understanding how these and other social media marketing channels work. It's a win-win every way!

Email Marketing – The Reigning King

Even though it's closely trailed by social media marketing for the number one spot, email marketing remains on the top when it comes to ROI and reachability. Not convinced? Well, according to the 2019 Lyfe Marketing study, the median email marketing ROI is a whopping 122%!

And even though it's a bit predated, kind of like an older, washed-up sibling of Facebook and Twitter, it's still useful in nurturing leads and building trust. Why? Because, unlike social media, email has a sort of professional aura attached to it. 

This quality can be a plus for life science businesses since pharmaceuticals and biotech products don't exactly seem to fit in with the relatable, high-paced vibe of the modern social media channels.

And yeah, email marketing doesn't include email autoresponders; get rid of them while you can.

Establish Sales Growth Targets

A critical task in your marketing journey is to develop annual growth projections for your product offerings to help you prioritize your marketing activities. Such foresight will allow you to allocate marketing budget and time effectively.

Also, you must have a clear understanding of the basis of such sales projections. They can be based on a so-called bottom-up approach – year-to-year growth trends influenced by previous performance. Alternatively, they can also be the result of the revenue requirements for recovering the R&D costs of a new product or be based upon the priority assigned by the executive board. 

Thus, focusing on your desired sales growth will ultimately help you direct your strategy. The latter two reasons require more initial efforts in allocation and time than the former, especially if your solution has already reached the phase of sustained growth. 

In Summary 

Doing your homework is necessary to provide your marketing plans with a solid foundation and direction. Also, don't adhere to the same tactics for long, as most of them require some change or the other when moving into the next quarter. These changes may arise from unforeseen market factors or the arrival of new competitors. 

Whatever it is, be swift when jumping on the bandwagon of change, or you might find it challenging to get a foothold later on.