Wondering where to start in your life sciences marketing? The Advanta Team shares some of our clients’ most frequently asked questions, our answers, and some pro tips to help you effectively market your life sciences company.
We work with life sciences companies, small and large, and almost all want to know, “Where do I start with life sciences marketing?” We’ll start at the beginning and walk through considerations including your life sciences brand, website, prioritizing the budget, and engaging potential customers and vendors at tradeshows.
1. Where do I begin?
We are often approached, during industry tradeshows or local networking dinners, by life sciences representatives who ask CEO & Creative Director, Stephanie N. Kuhla, “Where do I begin?”.
Even before advertising budget concerns are broached, CEOs, management, and scientists alike want to know where to start.
Stephanie recommends to do your homework first. She offers five basic tips for life sciences marketing, including defining your goals.
Once that’s completed, or, depending upon where your company is in its life cycle, we often recommend to implement or update branding. Effective branding uses both visual and written word positioning to deliver a brand look, as well as a clear, targeted message across mediums to consistently share your values, scientific advancements, products and services.
2. Do I need a website?
Yes, you need a website to market your life sciences company.
A responsively programmed (easily viewed on any device, including smartphone, tablet and desktop) website is the workhorse of your life sciences marketing. It never sleeps. It represents you 24/7, when you’re in meetings, across the country at tradeshows, and answers questions in the same manner as you would, if you had the time.
Even a one-page site with Search Engine Optimized (SEO) content and encoding, including contact information, is very valuable to get your brand established in the industry, ensuring both search engines and potential customers are able to find you.
3. My budget is small. What can I leave for later?
As Henry Ford said, defending his budget during the Great Depression, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time,” it’s important to budget for advertising. And don’t forget, advertising, marketing and branding work is a tax deductible write-off, as it is a part of the cost of doing business.
While it’s important to budget for your life sciences marketing, we can offer you some ways to prioritize.
Life Sciences Marketing Priorities
- Core Messaging
- Branding (i.e., logo/brand mark, and support brand graphics)
- Print collateral (i.e., business cards, stationery, etc.)
- Investor Relations
- Public Relations
- Tradeshow Booth
- Corporate Communications
- Digital Collateral (i.e., thought leadership articles, emails & blog posts)
- Social Media
“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” ~Henry Ford
4. Who are my competitors?
It is interesting when we are asked to identify a life science company’s competitors. Often, corporate executives know their competition; but sometimes, especially with startups, CEOs need insight to define just who their competition really is.
While traditional market research is an excellent way to ID your competitors, modern competitive analysis includes using search engines and related tools to see the digital landscape of competition.
5. What is the best way to engage a tradeshow audience?
While there are entire articles written on getting the most out of your tradeshow experience, we recommend to do the following:
- Research relevant tradeshow opportunities
- Rehearse your pitch and be flexible in your delivery
- Keep your booth open to traffic (Don’t have too much furniture or a desk that closes off your booth.)
- Talk to everyone, everywhere.
These five tips will help you begin your life sciences marketing journey. Adjusting your goals as your budget increases and your products or services are expanded is part of that journey. If you have any questions, at any stage in your life cycle, please give us a call!
PRO TIPS: What NOT to do in your life sciences marketing.
- It’s important to recognize your limitations and not try to tackle your life sciences marketing on your own.
- It is also important to approach your marketing in bite-sized phases, as this approach keeps your goals and budget limitations in mind. (One phase helping grow and fund the subsequent phases makes goals and growth obtainable and informs your investors that you are conscious of budget, but not staying stagnant in getting the word out about your service, product or therapeutic offering.)
Whether you hire a company to handle your advertising start-to-finish or a consultant to guide you along the way, leave the marketing to the pros. It’s their job to stay abreast of industry trends, educational opportunities, and to pass along relevant changes for their clients’ benefits. It’s a win-win for you, letting you focus on your science.