Science marketing can be hard if you don’t have help.

If you’re in the life science industry, you probably know how difficult it can be to market your services or products. From biotech to medical instrumentation, many science companies are grappling with how to connect with their audience and increase sales.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Working with a science marketing agency gives you access to marketing experts who are always happy to help align your sales and marketing.

We interviewed one of Forma’s account managers, Katie Garrett, about how to get the most bang for your buck when partnering with a science marketing agency. Whether you’re an employee of a life science organization or a marketer in an agency, we’ve got tips to help you execute on your initiatives and drive results. Check out her insights below!

If your life science organization could use a marketing boost, contact us today to have a quick conversation  about how Forma can help you reach your sales goals in record time.

What is the key to maintaining a productive relationship between a science company and a marketing agency?

Maintaining a productive relationship is similar to maintaining a relationship with a friend – but with more structure, and slightly fewer happy hours!

But really, to have a productive and successful relationship – you need consistent communication in the spirit of transparency, while both parties work towards a common goal. You can do this by having weekly or biweekly meetings, reviewing both your progress and upcoming goals, and making sure you are solving the problem at hand. The best thing for me is when I know clients can speak directly and honestly regarding a project. The only way I can help solve their problem is by hearing honest feedback!

Make sure you work with an agency you trust that makes being able to communicate and be transparent a breeze. I would also say that setting expectations is very important. Both parties need to make sure they are aligned when kicking off a project. Establish deadlines both the agency and client agree to. Have a conversation about response times – what is reasonable? Having these conversations up front about how to best communicate and work together will pave the way for a successful partnership.

In your experience, what are some of the reasons why life science companies seek marketing/sales support?

There are many reasons life science companies are in need of marketing and sales support. Sometimes a company might be experiencing a merger or acquisition and needs to rebrand themselves in the marketplace. Other times, companies might be short-staffed in the marketing department and need consistent content and design support to maintain their presence.

kaite hammond card backRecently, we’ve seen an uptick in clients looking for help developing an inbound marketing strategy. Many companies still rely on traditional outbound strategies, such as cold calling or trade show exhibitions. Luckily, we’ve been able to help dozens of companies adopt a digital strategy and execute an inbound strategy that drives sales.

As an account manager, how do you assist life science companies to achieve their marketing goals?  

Marketing goals vary based on each client – but it’s a great feeling when we accomplish a project or meet their goals! I have helped clients redefine their brand through our diagnostic process and create a new archetype – that is always a fun goal to meet.

Once we create a new archetype and messaging, I can see their future content, website, etc maintain a unified brand and that is wonderful to see. I also get to help clients create consistent content and grow their presence in the marketplace – I love seeing their inbound leads increase or traffic grow on their website through strategic engagements!

“The only way an agency can help solve your problem is by hearing honest feedback”

What are some best practices for making sure a project is completed on time?

Whether your client is extremely timely or is a bit slower to respond, your client is counting on you to make sure your project is accomplished on time. These tips have helped me keep projects on track:

  1. Have the deadline conversation immediately – clarify their timeline goals and determine if that is feasible for both parties. Ask about upcoming holidays or time off that might slow things down. Explain how a delay in communication can slow down your deadline.
  2. Review a timeline and be sure to include a time buffer – whether that is 2 weeks or 2 days depending on your project and your knowledge of the client.
  3. Be timely in your responses! In our experience, most deadlines are missed because someone was too slow to send some required materials, or couldn’t confirm a meeting invite in time for the actual meeting. We prioritize responsiveness, and we always try to respond to emails within an hour.
  4. Maintain consistent meetings. This is a great way to make sure you hit your deadline and gives you a chance to follow up in real-time on any missing info in a pressure-free environment.
  5. Be empathetic. Life happens and things come up! Try to be understanding when unavoidable interruptions arise.

Do you have any advice for life science companies who are considering using a marketing agency for the first time?

Do your research and trust your instincts! Reach out to several agencies and explain to them your goals. Compare and contrast pricing and what it includes. Find out about their process and what you can expect moving forward, as well as what they expect from you. Always listen to your instinct as far as what is a good fit.

Thanks to Katie for sharing her experiences on interfacing with life science companies!