Scientific marketing is getting harder. Buyer behavior has changed, many tried and tested marketing tactics are losing their effectiveness, and marketers are expected to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of everything they do. In our guest blog post, Dr. Paul Avery of life science marketing expert agency BioStrata explores how to overcome these challenges and improve results.
Marketing has changed. If we want to engage and influence a modern scientific audience, we need to adapt to be successful. In summary, here are the three main challenges we’re facing:
Challenge 1: Buyer behavior has changed
Ubiquitous mobile access to the internet has changed how much of the world communicates, finds information and buys products. It’s also shifted the balance of power within the sales process; while sales teams used to be the gatekeepers of the information that customers needed in order to make buying decisions, the internet has broken these barriers down so that everyone is equally informed. In fact, depending on which study you read, buyers are as much as 90% through their buying process before they even contact a supplier. In addition, the rise of social media, video content and mobile apps has changed how we source news and obtain recommendations from peers, adding further complexity to the process.
So what does this mean for life science marketers and sales professionals? In short, we’re losing the battle for customer attention (and, in turn, their budgets). Cold email open rates are falling, cold calling is losing its effectiveness and banner ads are rarely clicked on, especially as marketers continue to use these channels to push out product-centric content and pushy sales messages, rather than promote content that delivers value for customers by informing, educating, entertaining and inspiring them. As such, the way we’re using these channels will desperately need updating, and we may also need to look to other, more customer-centric tactics if we are to boost marketing performance.
Challenge 2: Business leaders expect marketers to track and prove ROI
At the same time as our traditional marketing tactics are losing their potency, our company leadership teams expect more from us than ever before; marketing is now firmly on the hook when it comes to tracking, demonstrating and proving we deliver ROI. In fact, when marketers were recently asked by HubSpot about their biggest challenges, proving ROI came second only to generating website traffic and leads. In short, we need new tactics with provable ROI and tracking systems to demonstrate that our efforts are delivering value for our company.
Challenge 3: Marketing is more complex and requires a wide range of skills and expertise
As if poor tactical performance and increasing pressure to prove ROI weren’t challenging enough, modern marketers also need to be true polymaths. The average marketer needs to somehow be world-class in areas including commercial strategy, communications strategy, data analysis and analytics, social media, creative and technical writing, email marketing, pay per click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), public relations, paid promotions, brand building and more. We also need to be able to produce impactful content in a range of formats, from video, animations and interactive web pages, through to whitepapers, infographics, eBooks, application notes, peer-reviewed papers and blog posts.
That’s a lot. Unsurprisingly, this is just too many skills to expect one person to possess (i.e. you would need to be some sort of superhero to have any chance of meeting these expectations). Instead, multi-skilled, multi-disciplinary teams are essential for success (which means an increased focus on hiring, training and/or outsourcing to expert life science marketing service providers).
What can we do to overcome these challenges?
I know this all sounds bad, but whatever’s challenging for us, is also challenging for our competitors. If we tackle these challenges head on and innovate our way forward, we can get ahead of our competition and be the marketing superhero that leads our company to greatness!
If you’d like to learn more about how to do this, watch the video below, where myself and Jim Regan of Aptuit provide insights into how modern marketing methods like inbound marketing can help life science companies generate more leads, increase sales revenues and maximize their return on investment.
Modern marketing is harder than ever, but armed with new strategies, tactics, software tools and expertise, your marketing approach can be an effective weapon that helps you get ahead of your competition, drive sales revenue and become a science marketing superhero!
Paul Avery, BSc, PhD, is one of the Managing Directors of BioStrata, a life science marketing agency with offices in the UK and North America. Paul’s background is in genetics, molecular biology and pathology, including a PhD completed at the University of Cambridge, before he moved into marketing in 2010. Paul and the team at BioStrata combine marketing expertise, creativity and scientific knowledge to generate results for scientific companies.Keywords: BioStrata, content marketing, demand generation, Digital Strategies, inbound marketing, Lead Generation, marketing automation, ROI, science marketing, science marketing events, SEO