Life science marketing is a relatively new field in that it encompasses a plethora of topics. From healthcare to food science, it is a broad, interdisciplinary study that is rooted firmly in scientific knowledge and observation. This sort of dry information and data-based actions will benefit from several inbound marketing methodologies that will surely come in handy in promoting and building life science-based brands.
Smart marketing makes for careful planning, observation, and execution of your target audience, much like one would go about a scientific experiment. Those with business savvy can make a living through providing life science products and services that will benefit others and the environment through the world they live in.
Using the scientific method as a basis, we can track an inbound marketing scheme that is research-based and provides for an analysis of possible leads and suggestions that can be implemented into your current business’ profiles.
The Statement of the Problem
What exactly do you want to get by maintaining an inbound marketing structure for your business? Ask yourself these questions as you go on crafting your methodology and schedule for how you want your brand to be represented, through online or personal marketing. Areas that can be improved in a business may seem glaring, or even obvious. One avenue to analyse where exactly you need improvement in, or where you feel like you could do better in, is peer and audience reviews of your products or services.
Listen to their evaluations, observations, and comments about how they experienced your brand. Feel their pulse – would they want to continue the same kind of service, or could they improve? Keep this updated and you will be able to have an idea of what you need to improve on.
One good thing for inbound marketing is that you can start improving on your business without costing a big chunk of your capital or budget. This is especially beneficial if you want to pursue an online-driven campaign or if you want to establish your business online first. This method aids you in getting more out of your money through low-cost Internet advertising and a relatively simple advertisement structure – the higher up on the Google search results page, the more views you get.
Another way to pinpointing your business’ areas for improvement are by conferring with your staff. If you handle only a certain percentage of the day-to-day operations of your brand, it would do well to be with those who are there more often. Day in and day out, they are the ones who see how your business can be run, and it can be made to fit so that you can arrange things at your own discretion. Take note of everyone’s opinions, come up with a statement, and then you may start planning your business strategy around that.
Creating opportunities for leads and furthering their business practices comes with practice and a ready knowledge of online marketing. A research-heavy business and marketing plan, no matter what strategy, has better chances for success. Thorough research, more often than not, leads to better-prepared methods and a keener eye for your future business practices in the long run. Industry news, in particular, should need continuous updating and consideration due to innovations that could change the way you conduct your strategies.
Along with the research comes with educating one’s self to adapt to opportunities and challenges that come your way. For example, if you run a local chain of chemists’ stores, and a new drug enters the market, one has to read all the available information that is provided to them. Being able to identify information and sources that can be useful to your business is a key business skill that can only be honed through acquiring knowledge and insider experience that can only be taken from running day-to-day operations.
Keep research on file in an online database, and disseminate among staff members about new developments and to field for ideas that could be implemented and achieved throughout the marketing plan. This should be done so that there is an easy reference whenever you have need of them, and it is much easier to sort out documents in this manner.
Keeping in mind all the information you have researched, this is where you start implementing your marketing scheme. A hypothesis is usually inferred from analysing the problems given and the information that has been gathered by you and your team. Do you want to expand your current product or services line-up or do you prefer on improving the quality of the current line-up? Is there a need to conduct outreach to a different target market, or a new component of the market? Are you lacking in social media experience or exposure? Keep all these things in mind when constructing your scheme.
One way is to present an outline of all the content and marketing actions you plan to take, on a quarterly, bi-annual, or annual basis. This is so that you can target specific dates with more or less posts, or conduct gatherings during select holidays that will certainly draw large crowds. In agriculture, for example, you can hold an online sale on select produce or machinery in time for the harvest season. You can hold free clinics and trials on your medical equipment in coordination with charities such as The Prince’s Trust. Such discussions should have taken place before you conduct your marketing scheme for the time period you created it for.
A scientific hypothesis stays the same despite the changes that come through its way in the implementation of your methods. In marketing, you can attribute this to agenda-setting and used as a benchmark to evaluate quarterly, bi-annual or annual reviews. If it is working, you proceed with the rest of the plan, but if it fails, it is then time to start anew. Unlike goals and visions that are done in a certain meeting, a hypothesis keeps one in check as to how far a plan has come from its original intention, or when your goals do not match with your expectations.
There are many ways in which to bring this about. Below are some suggestions as to how to bring your plans about:
- Invest in new technology
This one is a no-brainer. As life science marketing experts, you should know that technology is the pride and joy of the industry. The sciences are coming out with new, effective ways to have better equipment, better medicines, better crops, and more products and services which serve to improve quality of life. There is a significant cost that comes with new technology, however, as prices in the market usually fluctuate in the case of anything that has just been introduced. Think wisely if a certain investment is going to be worth it, or if it is something you can afford to keep.
- Employ social media
One way to really maximise your inbound marketing efforts is through implementing a social media presence on all the popular websites, from Facebook to Twitter and Pinterest. Each one has slightly different modes of communication and networking, but it all serves one purpose – the ability to reach out to others and establish relationships with them despite the distance. This comes at little to no cost and has far greater outreach than taking out an advert or ringing someone’s telly. Google services, in particular, help in bringing about measurable data and analysis as to how many people you have managed to reach, the number of people who reference you or link you back, and your ranking on their search results page. The sector is still adapting to the digital market, so there are plenty of opportunities online with which to choose from.
- Communicate effectively
Whether it’s over an online forum or speaking to the masses, the kind of language you use is every bit as important as the method you choose to deliver it. Each industry has buzzwords and industry jargon that would befuddle those who are not in it, so tailor your words to the audience you are catering to. Launching a new product to a different target market indicates a need to introduce yourself and your brand, as well as the industry you belong to. Life sciences, in particular, are known for highly technical jargon. Explain key concepts first before delving into new terms, and use visuals to further illustrate your point. This makes it much easier to get your message across.
- Use email marketing
Avoid the dreaded spam by crafting personalised emails to key experts and informed potential clients. Where do you find these people? They are the ones commenting on your blogs and are present when you do product demonstrations. You can glean a high number of interested people through online forums, through social media, and even through word-of-mouth and business networking functions. This can all serve to further your influence to them and maintain a rapport with those who do end up responding.
- Interview – and become – an influencer
Any industry will have key experts that provide valuable insight and information, as well as hold considerable pull in regards to how your products are viewed. If one industry insider writes a bad review about your product or service, this will impact your sales considerably and hurt your marketing plans. Instead, collaborate and interview them so as to cater your services better to the knowledge they hold. Who knows? In the course of your business, you can become an influencer yourself. It just takes time.
During implementation of your life science scheme, there should ideally be no more hitches in regards to research or understanding of the targets one must achieve for the year. It is here where you finally begin to conduct your plans and see them to fruition – an experiment of sorts. In this stage, it is important to keep reviewing one’s self to see if one is still keeping in track of your goals. This is to remind one another of what is at stake and what can be achieved by the current method.
Unlike in the scientific method, however, you can still modify and adapt the plans to fit any sudden changes or movements in the coming year. If there is a change in the current environment, it would actually be prudent to review your plans again and re-evaluate. In most scientific experiments this is not possible, and any contamination would mean starting over from scratch. The key here is to be flexible in regards to any developments that cause you to rethink your marketing scheme.
The importance of keeping timely, well-written, and concise reports is critical in the implementation of your plans. Keeping track of how the progress of your current marketing method is happening will affect future campaigns. Reports, whether daily or weekly, help you keep abreast of changes and make decisions regarding the business much easier to make. Identifying any hidden problems during the duration of your schemes will be well worth the effort.
Most experiments, studies, and immersions have a strict timeline as to when and how long an experiment will take place. In marketing and business, this is not the case. It is a continuing process that takes a dedicated team of people to conduct, and will need considerable time and effort in order to truly succeed. This should not serve as a deterrent – in fact, it should be used as a challenge to continue to improve on your plans for your business.
Life science marketing is all about improving the quality of life. In such, there is always room for error and improvement. There are so many opportunities as the services and products of the sector are only growing – healthcare, fresh produce, and equipment are always going to be in demand for anyone who wishes to live a life well-lived. It is crucial, then to be able to innovate and provide for them products and services that are standard and continuously give satisfaction to others. It is only then when you can deem your plans successful, and only when you have defined those parameters for yourself.
Other life science articles worth reading:
- Inbound Marketing for Life Sciences: Blogs and Content Creation
- Get Your Money’s Worth: An Inbound Marketing Checklist for Life Scientists
- Integrate Content Marketing With Search Engine Optimisation
- Inbound Marketing Spotlight: Instagram