Is your life science website as good as it can be? Chances are, it isn't. Don't feel bad, every site on the internet can be improved in some way. The good news is that many of the most impactful site optimizations are easy to implement. In our line of work, we've seen sites ranging from [...]
With the myriad of life science marketing agencies out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are worth their salt. What do most life science marketing agencies have in common? Visit any one of their sites and you'll likely be inundated by claims of being "the best" or having "teams of experts". But [...]
RALEIGH, NC, May 6th, 2020 -- Forma Life Science Marketing has been selected as one of the Best Advertising Agencies in Raleigh for 2020. Of 91 agencies reviewed, Expertise.com selected the top 37 digital marketing and advertising agencies serving the Raleigh area, with Forma occupying the 10th slot. The selection criteria was based on reputation, [...]
How does your communication strategy change during times of crisis, and are there methods you can put in place so your brand will be ready for the next one? If your brand dabbles in content marketing even a little bit, this is a question you should be asking yourself. At the time of this writing, [...]
Working remotely can spell trouble for your Google Analytics data. Flexjobs.com reports that there was a 159% increase in remote work between 2005 and 2017. Even before the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, there had been a major upward trend in people working remotely in the US. While some employees have experience working from home, many [...]
Working remotely can be a serious adjustment if you're used to office life. The Coronavirus has forced millions of workers across the globe to set up shop at home so they can continue working without having to worry about catching this deadly illness. For many, it will be the first time they've had an opportunity [...]
At the time of this posting, the WHO declared the outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, a global pandemic. As the experts in the field of life science marketing, we've been paying close attention to the conversations about how to prevent and cope with the coronavirus. As with most things in this modern era of discourse, [...]
When you’re undertaking a strategic marketing initiative, should you use your internal marketing team to handle the work, or should you hire an external marketing agency? This is an important question, as the results should last for years. This brief blog post will outline some of the factors to consider when making that choice. There’s [...]
In the age of high-speed Internet, constant contact is considered normal. With a smart phone in almost every pocket, customers expect answers at the push of a button. Social media is a great way to communicate with customers quickly. According to Hubspot, 72% of adult Internet users use Facebook, 25% of adult Internet users use [...]
Onboarding a new team member is an exciting moment for every life science organization, but it is also a milestone that requires the careful transfer of lots of information. Doing this correctly will kick-off a terrific relationship with your newest team member, but doing this incorrectly will inevitably lead to unnecessary confusion, misaligned priorities, and [...]
There’s no denying that life science company explainer videos are powerful marketing tools. These short videos (typically found on the homepage of a company website) communicate the specific problem your company can solve, and highlights the process you use to do it. So instead of great big wall of text, site visitors are instead treated [...]
For companies large or small, trade shows are effective marketing and sales tools. According to CEIR, meeting a prospect at a trade show versus in the field saves an organization an average of $943. So how can you make sure that your trade show attendance is producing impressive results for your company? Here are some tips to [...]
Let’s explore the dark side of archetypes a bit and look at how we can use our awareness of an archetype’s “shadow” to help us stay out of trouble. We’ll begin by looking at two consumer brands not in the life sciences, but with clear archetypes: Volkswagen, the Child, and Dyson, the (idealistic) Innovator. As [...]
Are you smarter than all the best knowledge on Google? Smart people in the life sciences know the answer to that question: "No." But apparently there's a substantial number of people that think they're smarter than all of Google. Their actions tell me so. They don't have any thought leadership on their site and they're [...]
Polar bears relaxing on the ice around a campfire, gazing at the stars and drinking a… https://youtu.be/S2nBBMbjS8w Anyone who’s watched TV at all over the last decade or so, knows they’re drinking a Coke. It’s easy to see and understand archetypes when looking at big consumer brands like Coke and Pepsi — they have [...]
Does anyone else feel bad for Thanksgiving? That’s right... I feel bad for a holiday. Despite being the only holiday that most organizations give you two days off for, Thanksgiving is almost completely passed over. Think about it... stores barely wait for Halloween to be over before they become a winter wonderland. Personally, any holiday that [...]
As we are now in November, temperatures have dropped below freezing a night or two. I, like many others enjoy a pumpkin flavored anything, but for me the real joy of fall is rotating out my closet. For me it is a time of reinvigoration and reinvention. The idea of rotation is not new. In fact, historians [...]
As Forma Life Science Marketing continues to entrench itself within the Agricultural Sector and understand the issues unique to that sector it’s only natural that we ask ourselves if we are doing our part. As the saying goes, “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem” so at Forma [...]
Perhaps I am more attune to agricultural issues these days, because I hear more and more about peanut allergies. Around the beginning of the school year, my Facebook blew up with angry posts on both sides of the issue. Certainly the concern is understandable, as at times this allergy can be so severe that without [...]
Can you have multiple archetypes in sales and marketing in life science, drug development and biotech corporations? Can you use one archetype for each division?
Two questions invariably come up when talking with life science marketers about archetypes. The first is: what are archetypes? I’ve answered that question in many places—here’s a good introduction: Gaining differentiation (and pricing power) through the use of archetypes in life science marketing. The second question is: can I have multiple archetypes, one for each [...]
I am a runner. At least that is what I want to be. I am actually in training for my first official run, a 5K. I have taken a very holistic approach to running. In terms of equipment, I got two pairs of good running shoes, as experts say it is important to vary your [...]
The last few days in North Carolina most people have been paying very close attention to weather forecasts. The North Carolina coast could receive a direct hit from Hurricane Joaquin. The troubling news is even if Joaquin stays out at sea and misses us we could receive up to another 12 inches of rain, flooding [...]
In my last blog I mentioned that I recently had my sister and her two adorable twin boys stay with us. As I have been sinking my teeth into making Forma Life Science Marketing a major player in Ag-Bio marketing I remembered another very interesting insight from my family’s visit. My sister is an amazing [...]
I just spent the week with my twin two-year-old nephews. Needless to say, I am exhausted. However, it is a different exhaustion than I expected. I had expected to be physically exhausted from chasing them around and preventing them from hurting themselves. Instead, I am exhausted from keeping up with their curious minds and can [...]
– Third, and final, in a series – In the first post in this series I talked about how most life science marketing stinks due to the scientists’ need for Clarity and completeness. I also introduced the idea that most effective communication in life science marketing can be boiled down to living somewhere on the Clarity [...]
Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Did you play Go Fish growing up? It’s a great card game for kids because the rules are simple. The goal is to collect pairs of cards to lay down on the table. If you need an “8,” you ask for it, and the next player has [...]
– Second in a series – In my previous post, I talked about how most life science marketing is less than adequate (stinks), due primarily to the scientist’s need for Clarity and completeness. I introduced three key characteristics that, much like a funnel, make scientists want to become scientists: The search for answers The [...]
—First in a series— Most life science marketing (stinks) is less than adequate, and I have a theory about why that is. It begins with what makes a scientist want to become a scientist in the first place. There are three key characteristics that make scientists want to become scientists, which also loosely describe the [...]
Since releasing his first book last December, David Chapin, CEO of Forma Life Science Marketing and author of Making the Complex Compelling: Creating High-Performance Marketing in the Life Sciences, has presented at four programs since January and is gearing up for two more events in the next two weeks. Click here for more details.
David Chapin talks about marketing for life science and biotech professionals at MAGI 2015 East on May 17
Forma Life Science Marketing CEO David Chapin will co-present to life science and biotech researchers and other professionals about effective marketing, presentations, and stage presence at the MAGI 2015 East Clinical Research Conference in Arlington, VA on Sunday, May 17. Click here for details and some presentation outtakes.
Two trends that are reducing the power of the sales function in the life sciences, and what to do about them
There are two trends that are changing the importance of the sales role in the life sciences. I’ll outline these trends, which you’ll easily recognize, and then I’ll talk about what this means for life science organizations. TREND 1: Ubiquitous information is reducing the power of the sales department. It used to be that sellers [...]
The recent webinar, Using archetypes in life science marketing to increase sales and margins, included an interactive discussion led by David Chapin that shed new light on how life science organizations can set themselves apart from the competition and better engage their audiences in a crowded, highly regulated marketplace. In so doing, such organizations will benefit [...]
I recently made a 48-hour whirlwind trip to the West Coast for a series of client presentations when I made a grim discovery: I had forgotten my phone charger. My colleague and I zipped into a convenience store, where I quickly spotted my prize on a rack near the counter. I reached for the charger, [...]
Photo: seaskylab at FreeDigitalPhotos.com Words 2 Wow Founder Chris Conner (@words2wow) recently asked life science sales professionals if their marketing communications teams were giving them what they need to be successful – namely getting the right leads into the funnel and creating tools to help them bag the business. Only 40% of the [...]
"Market share as a first priority generally doesn’t end well. When you compete on quality, 'almost the best' will often still do pretty well. When you compete on price, 'almost the cheapest' always loses." The quote above comes from a recent post by Apple-centric tech blogger John Gruber. Though Gruber was specifically referring to the Smartphone [...]
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @fdigitalphotos Every year, I set out with the best of intentions. I make resolutions to be healthier, do more charity work, or even spend more time with friends and family. Things always start well but somewhere around January 15th, something comes up and I go off track. The same [...]
"If you just want to read one book—and only one—to make your products or services more desirable, congratulations: you are holding it.” What began in 2008 as a monthly series of white papers extended into a full-length book. On the heels of its release last month, our CEO David Chapin will present “Learn How to Improve Your Life [...]
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Regardless of how you feel about Kim Kardashian, she is consistent in her quest to stay relevant. In life science marketing, we would never recommend that our clients pose in the buff, but we insist that they are consistent across all of their touch points – [...]
Mission statement. Strategy statement. Vision statement. Value statement. Internal language. External language. And while we’re at it, is ours a platform or a product? A product platform? A productized platform service? Besides the financial statement or maybe the research statement, does any of this matter? Mostly no. And it almost never matters to your audience(s). Those who [...]
In life science marketing our clients are almost always scientists of some sort. Scientists are smart, they have been trained in the scientific process, they make decisions based on data. So when they are forced to rely on their gut to make a decision they can freeze and enter what is commonly referred to as [...]
Steve Jobs was famous for a lot of things, not the least of which was being tough, opinionated and sometimes difficult to work with. Like most creative people, he had lots of ideas about lots of things and usually thought his ideas were best. Unlike many creative people, he had also attained the skills and [...]
freedigitalphotos.net / Stuart Miles In a recent eBook, Kapost reports that 91% of marketers use content marketing, but only 42% say they’re using it effectively. Yikes! The Complete Guide to Building Your Content Marketing Workflow explores this performance gap, and then presses marketing teams to determine and document their content purpose, themes and [...]
The terms User and Customer research are sometimes used interchangeably, and while there can be some similarities between these two types of research, there are distinct differences. In general, both of these types of research focus on understanding behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. However, that is where [...]
Frank Diana, Global Head of the Digital Enterprise Solutions Team at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), paved a road map for becoming an emerging digital enterprise. In this exceptional 6-part online series featured on Perspectives, TCS Consulting Journal, Diana presents a compelling case for organizations facing commoditization of their products and services. In his 2nd installment, [...]
'Why don’t you call someone who cares?' Definitely not the nicest thing you can say to someone but not the worst idea when it comes to user research. One of the most versatile and therefore commonly used methodologies in user research is the individual interview. The individual interview is just as the name implies -- a [...]
"Perfect" is an emotion commonly felt when a researcher finishes crafting a question. The question is clear, the answer choices provided inclusive and mutually independent, there is no way this question will not return invaluable data! Unfortunately, this is sometimes just not the case. It is for this reason pretesting is an incredibly important, and surprisingly [...]
The importance of metrics in Life Science Marketing (told through the lens of one of the nicest guys ever in baseball)
Marketing's purpose is to inform and influence potential customers, to give those customers specific, low-risk, easy-to-take actions resulting in movement toward the next step in the buying process. Stories move people and are one of the primary tools marketers can use to bring potential customers closer. And everyone loves a good story. Numbers can tell stories, too. And [...]
Todd Weeks has joined Forma Life Science Marketing as Director of Production. In addition to driving Forma’s operations and capabilities in marketing automation, analytics, and social media, Todd is responsible for managing workflow, project deliverables and budgeting. He has 20 years’ professional experience in team and project management, workflow development and training, and quality control, [...]
It is a moment met with many emotions. Excitement. Nervousness. Fear even. You have just received a final data set, now you will learn if the hours you spent discussing, crafting, programming and checking the survey instrument were worth it. For many researchers this can be a moment of analysis paralysis. There is just so [...]
A recent deal between Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Ely Lilly shows where the life science industry is headed: Specialization. Novartis is moving exclusively to Oncology drugs, GSK to vaccines and Lilly to animal drugs. Differentiating yourself from your competition is how to grow sales and market share. Specializing is one way to differentiate. But what if [...]
Carrie Crowe has joined Forma Life Science Marketing as a Director of Client Services. In addition to her role as an account manager for some of Forma’s largest clients, Carrie is building upon her expertise in life science marketing research by exploring methodology alternatives and interpretation of outcomes. She has 15 years’ professional experience in [...]
One of the primary things we do in working with life science companies is to help them assess where they are now and then to decide where they want to go. These are fundamental questions of goals, strategies, tactics and positioning and they touch not just how companies go to market, but also on the [...]
David Storey has re-joined Forma Life Science Marketing as Associate Creative Director. Before launching his own firm in 2004, he was the Senior Art Director (at what was then Forma Design) for five years. Storey has 25 years’ professional experience in corporate branding, strategic marketing, interaction and user interface design, and art direction. As his name suggests, he [...]
In reading a recent Forbes post about brand and marketing trends for 2014, it would appear that there are lots of areas for Life Science companies (14 on the list) to focus on in 2014. While many items on the list have merit, let's focus on the first two. And since the first trend Forbes [...]
Here are the Don'ts: Don't create demand for a cool, innovative product or service Don't ask me (the visitor) to invite friends or colleagues Don't ask for a visitor's name and email address, especially if the visitor is a qualified, interested prospect Wait, aren't those the same as the do's? Yes, except for the [...]
Here's the challenge: for your next presentation, think of the projector or screen as a campfire. Then tell a good story. Something magic happens when you gather around a campfire. Time slows down. Connections and memories are made. Stories resonate. I still remember a spine-tingling ghost story told around a campfire from almost 40 years [...]
The prescription for success in content marketing for the life sciences is simple. Just ask Ricky Gervais.
He’s not a doctor, but he does play one on TV and Mr. Gervais’ secrets for success are the perfect prescription for becoming successful in content marketing. His 3 steps from his recent secrets for success article in TIME are simple: Work hard Be original Write about what you know. He was writing about his success [...]
3 things Life Science Marketers can learn about effective presentations by watching Joe Smith wash his hands
Four and a half minutes. That’s all it took Joe Smith to effectively change how I wash and dry my hands. Many in the health and life science marketing space could learn a lot about making effective presentations from Joe. Here are three key points: No Powerpoint necessary Get the audience involved Leave them wanting [...]
What role do social media play in your life science marketing mix? If you can’t shake the vision of Facebook and Twitter from your mind’s eye, read on. Many B2B companies – life science organizations among them – have created Facebook pages and tweeted a time or two and seen little value from their efforts. [...]
It’s a spin on the proverbial chicken-or-the-egg: Which comes first? Content or SEO? In a blog post this week on The Content Marketing Institute website, Jay Baer reiterates the value and true purpose of content. He calls it Youtility -- marketing that’s wanted by customers (as opposed to what marketers have traditionally provided: marketing we [...]
It was an exciting Thursday last week when the Forma team gathered for Research Triangle Park's first Life Sciences Awards. David was hailed as RTP’s Best Life Science Marketing Consultant for his specialized expertise in the promotion and success of life science organizations -- namely through strategic differentiation, positioning, messaging, and branding. Sponsored by the [...]
Most schools across the Northern Hemisphere are letting out for the summer. But when it comes to planning for and implementing Marketing Automation, some life science organizations might be prepared for year-round enrollment! Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation defines marketing automation as a system that “streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows … [...]
David Chapin, CEO of Forma Life Science Marketing We may be biased, but we always thought David was the Best Consultant in RTP. Now it's official. This month, the Triangle Business Journal announced the winners of the inaugural 2013 BDO Life Sciences Awards and David was named 'Best Consultant' -- recognized for the [...]
This Monday, the Biotechnology Industry Organization kicks off its 20th BIO International Convention in Chicago, the world’s largest event for the biotech industry. As part of its 25th anniversary in delivering life science marketing services, Forma is among the 58 partners in North Carolina Pavilion #2617. The pavilion was organized by North Carolina Biotechnology Center [...]
Next week, David is giving a content marketing workshop for a CRO in Boston. I'm going, too, so I'm boning back up on what the experts have to say about sharing content and doing it right. Of course my reading includes a newsletter series about content marketing for life sciences that David wrote in 2010! [...]
Marty Fitzgerald, Director of Business Development We’re at the CED Life Science Conference 2013 today and tomorrow, which brings to mind two of our past newsletters that focused on maximizing the life science trade show experience. I attended a show with a client last year and had the chance to visit a few [...]
Today’s life science marketers use ‘touchpoints’ to position their organization and communicate about its brand. To make marketing more effective, there are 10 key aspects about touchpoints that you must understand. All touchpoints are audience-focused, but their importance varies by industry, company, and audience. Not all can convey the same message, and there are some [...]
A seismic shift in marketing is happening right now. The Internet gives each and every company access to a stage with microphones on it. This is a tremendous advantage to small companies, because content marketing “levels the playing field” for these organizations. But unless these companies act quickly and begin to create compelling, unique content, [...]
The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) is the southeast’s largest entrepreneurial support organization and based right next-door in the Research Triangle Park. Recently, I spent some time with CED's Jason H. Parker and he's chronicling our conversation in a series of posts on their Start Something Blog through the Winter Holidays. Check out his first [...]
It seems like everyone's talking about content marketing these days. Why? And what is it? The basic premise of content marketing is that, by readily and freely sharing information that an audience finds useful and relevant, they'll be encouraged to respond with trust by giving you the opportunity to engage in dialogue. All this enhances [...]
Many marketing professionals in the life sciences industry didn't start out as marketers. They were schooled in biochemistry, engineering, or physics. And while science seeks to understand, marketing seeks to sell; science seeks to describe, and marketing to communicate. Life science marketing isn't a "hard-science" but scientists often treat it like one. From that standpoint, [...]
In the September 12 issue of Advertising Age, industry exec Al Ries examined an important topic: the confusion between product brands and company brands. To illustrate his point, Ries hailed the brand strength of two companies: Apple and Disney. Both capitalized on being first in their respective industries – Apple as the first to deliver [...]
Like any good marketing organization, we at Forma study our web traffic and metrics regularly (in our case, weekly). A few months back, we made what seemed like a remarkable discovery. The web page with the overwhelmingly highest level of traffic is one of the first newsletters I wrote and posted more than three years [...]
Marty Fitzgerald Joins Forma Life Science Marketing as Director of Business Development Raleigh, NC – July 20, 2012 Marty Fitzgerald has more than 20 years’ professional experience in business development, marketing strategy and account management, and has spent most of that tenure serving the medical device, healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, he was [...]
In the life sciences, particularly among CROs, poor differentiation is the cause of many common marketing ills. But once meaningful differentiation has been established, content marketing is the perfect vehicle to reach your target audience. David Chapin is taking this message and others to ExL Pharma's 4th Annual Business Development Strategies for Clinical Trials Service Providers Summit [...]
I've been invited to the White House to take part in a small business briefing this week. It's a great opportunity, and I'm interested in learning from clients and readers what issues they think should be raised. Please comment (respectfully, of course).
One of the first steps to tackling your social media strategy and ensuring success is a social media plan. Ask yourself these questions: Who will be responsible for monitoring our social media presence? How will we monitor our presence? Where are our audiences in the social media hemisphere? Who are our industry influencers? How do [...]
The biggest rule of social media is…there are no rules. Social media is a fluid process that is ever-evolving. The most important concept is to do what is best for your brand. Develop a strategy and stick to it. If your audience is not on Facebook, as is the case with many life science companies [...]
Many customers ask, how do we measure our ROI on our social media activities? This is a tough area, as social media is slow to yield a return. It can take months or more to build an effective social media campaign that yields positive results. But the most important rule of thumb here is don’t [...]
Forma is on the exhibit floor at DIA in Chicago this week. Feel free to come by booth #1362 to find out how we make the complex compelling.
CROs need to differentiate themselves, or their offering is just a commodity. The easiest way to do this is through specialization.
Differentiating a CRO or CRM: The problem with horizontal specialization is that it’s tough to get hired for end-to-end solutions.
How do you differentiate a CRO or CRM? Horizontal specialization is one possible answer: proprietary software, a special process, etc.
Differentiating a CRO/CRM: The problem with vertical specialization is that growing beyond your therapeutically specialized niche requires a quantum (therapeutic) leap.
How do you differentiate a CRO or CRM? Vertical specialization is one answer, e.g., a therapeutic area expertise or a particular dosage form. Is your company a CRO, one that provides support to pharmaceutical, and medical device industries by research services outsourced on a contract to contract basis.
Marketing is replacing sales as the provider of information to early prospects; a big part of your marketing should be focused on education.
If buyers can learn about your offering anonymously, then you have to give away information if you want to influence what they learn. Don't require them to identify themselves; you'll lose the chance to influence and educate them.
When it comes to making marketing decisions, making a bad (or only an OK) one is a lot better than never making any.
The Contract Pharma poll results (just out) say: Pharma sponsors want quality, speed and low cost. But claiming those won't distinguish you.
Familiarity with your own marketing messages will lead you to think that consistency doesn’t matter in your marketing; you’ll be wrong.
Claiming that your quality or your people are better than your competitors doesn’t help unless you have provable metrics. So stop, already.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? Reason #19. This isn't about you, but about your audience. Talk less, listen more.
Keep biotech marketing communications short. Reason #18. You don’t need long to introduce a single thought – a good enough goal.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? Reason #17. This should be an introduction for your sales force, not their replacement.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? Reason #16. If you can’t say it succinctly, you don’t really understand it, do you?
Keep biotech marketing communications short. Reason #14. Longer messages ask MORE from the audience – straining their capacity to understand.
Keep biotech marketing communications short. Reason #12. Your busy audience will appreciate you if you don't waste their valuable time.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? Reason #10 There is a surfeit of information and a shortage of insight. Add insight.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? Reason #9: You’ve only got one chance to make a good first impression.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? #8: The audience just doesn’t care all that much. Not as much as you. Really.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? #7: You don’t want to be a bore.
Keep your marketing communications short. Why? Reason #6: You want your marketing to intrigue, not completely inform. Marketing shouldn’t answer every question that your prospect has.
Keep your biotech marketing communications short. Why? #5: marketing should not start a monolog (long) but open a dialog (short exchanges).
Keep biotech marketing communications short and focused. Why? Reason #3: Audience attention spans are shrinking, even among scientists.
Keep biotech marketing communications short. Reason #2: This communication is for early-stage buyers, who need inspiration (short), not reassurance (long).
Social media monitoring or listening in the life sciences can be an overwhelming and time consuming task due to the endless possibilities for user-generated content on the web and the urgency by which new information becomes available. With the help of new web-based tools, monitoring just got a little easier. These web-based tools, called social [...]
As I’ve discussed before, social media is the act of engaging your customers through interactive dialog. The key here is content. Think of social media applications as the vehicle and content as the driver. The vehicle is useless, and in some instances dangerous, unless there is a knowledgeable driver to operate it. Social media applications [...]
As I’ve discussed before, one third of your social media time should be spent listening or monitoring the web for relevant discussion and company or brand mentions. Content monitoring tools now make this seemingly overwhelming task easier and less time consuming. One of the best-known and widely used content monitoring tools is Google Alerts. As [...]
Social media is the latest marketing buzz word and its arrival has brought a new way of marketing or speaking to your audience. Many companies are weary of taking that first step into the social media conversation, however, gone are the days of choice. So, what exactly is social media and why is it so [...]
Social media is engaging with your audience through interactive dialog. This is more than updating Facebook status or tweeting. To ensure long-term success of your social media campaign, follow the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a full-circle approach to engaging in social media and managing your online presence. Following the Rule of [...]
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu You need both marketing strategy and tactics. Without tactics, you’re motionless. Without strategy, you’re aimless. For more, see our newsletters: Common strategic errors & Common tactical errors
Content marketing is like mining. Both involve hard work, finding something of value in the midst of slag, and lots of refining. But there is one key difference. Drilling among the accumulated knowledge within your company yields something you can reuse or repurpose. The themes that started out as a white paper can be reused [...]
One of the complaints that scientists often lodge against marketing is this: it is too intuitive. Scientists get frustrated that they can’t judge the quality of the decisions that are being made when marketing to scientists. These scientists want to see data; in contrast, the marketers often want to use their intuition. Intuition has a [...]
To read the most recent article published by David Chapin, click here.
If you think of your life science marketing as a journey, then your strategy gives you a clear idea of the direction you will be taking. In other words, your marketing strategy is your map. In contrast, tactics are the motive forces that power your journey. Your tactics – the tools and techniques you use [...]
Most life science companies need to step up their content creation efforts. They don’t have an active program to engage their customers by providing compelling content. Now a recent article points out the trends in this area, and the clear implication is that the time to begin this is right now. Forrester Research Inc. has [...]
B.J. Fogg and his associates at Stanford are looking at how you can make computer experiences more persuasive. Out of these efforts come principles for making your web site more credible. Just one good take-away out of many: Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine. So one of [...]
The hype cycle of emerging technology implies that all new technologies pass through a “Peak of Inflated Expectations” on their way through a “Trough of Disillusionment,” eventually arriving at a “Plateau of Productivity.” See Gartner Research for a further understanding of this concept. I think Social Media in the B2B space is now at a [...]
The internet has drastically reduced production and distribution costs. So much so that many newsletters or magazines have gone out of business or abandoned the business of distributing their content via ink on paper. Internet distribution of content is all the rage. But in a classic case of the pendulum swinging back again, I predict [...]
Checklists are a great way to ensure that you cover all the basics. They are used daily by thousands of people in situations where the results really matter (like flying planes and surgical procedures). If you were going to create a checklist, what items are so important that they would appear on your life science [...]
If you were going to create a checklist of important items, what items are so important that they would appear on your life science marketing checklist? One item that would be on my marketing checklist is this: Use social media, appropriately. There is a lot of hype about social media. Social media is NOT the [...]
If you were going to create a checklist of important items, what items are so important that they would appear on your life science marketing checklist? One item that would be on my marketing checklist is this: Ensure the consistency of your messages, your tone and your image. Consistency is crucial in marketing. Why? Because [...]
What items are so important from a marketing perspective that they should appear on a checklist? The next item on my marketing checklist is this: When performing market research, ask the right questions. I am amazed how few firms do market research. I’m even more amazed how few firms do market research correctly. Marketing is [...]
Forma Life Science Marketing joined forces with the BIG Council and NC BioConnect of the greater Charlotte area to present “Understanding Buying Behavior,” a lecture and interactive marketing workshop from Forma CEO and chief strategist, David Chapin. Chapin, a highly regarded thought leader who specializes in strategic marketing development for fast-growth and emerging markets, spoke [...]
I’ve been thinking about life science marketing checklists and wondering: What items are so important from a marketing perspective that they should appear on a checklist? One item that would be on my marketing checklist is this: Ask your actual prospects and your customers for their opinions. I am amazed how few firms do market [...]
I’ve been thinking about life science marketing checklists and wondering: What items are so important from a marketing perspective that they should never be forgotten, but are so simple that they are sometimes overlooked? I’d like to propose another item for our imaginary marketing checklist. Promote your thought leadership at every opportunity. Thought leadership (a.k.a.: [...]
I’ve been thinking about life science marketing checklists and wondering: What items are so important from a marketing perspective that they should appear on a checklist? One item that would be on my marketing checklist is this: Keep track of your competitors on a periodic basis. There is a school of thought in business that [...]
I’ve been thinking about life science marketing checklists and wondering: What items are so important from a marketing perspective that they should appear on a checklist? My goal is not to reduce a situation that calls for a high amount of tailored specificity (such as marketing in the life sciences) to a rote activity, because [...]
Checklists are incredibly useful and a couple of recent books make a strong case for checklists in healthcare. In Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor's Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out, authors Peter Pronovost and Eric Vohr discuss how a simple checklist helped reduce infection rates at Johns Hopkins [...]
“Social media” sure is a popular term, isn’t it? It is not hard to find seminars, blog posts, newsletters and all sorts of experts to teach us how to harness social media. People are all atwitter (pun intended) about getting on the social media bandwagon. Social media is the marketing flavor of the month, maybe [...]
Interruption marketing is dying. The history of the aptly named “commercial break”) which breaks into your attention stream), is a prime example of escalating sophistication. Despite the growing sophistication of marketers, the rules have changed, the power struggle between buyers and sellers has changed and the buyers are now winning the battle. Let me explain. [...]
Let’s be clear with our terminology. I’m speaking specifically about the need to differentiate between social media and content marketing. Social media is media, where media is defined as “the main means of communication.” Social media is the channel through which you spread the word. You need to spread the word, but you also need [...]
Treating the cause brings longer lasting relief than treating the symptoms. In medicine and in marketing, treating symptoms can bring temporary relief, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the condition. Nowhere is this more clearly delineated than in marketing for the life sciences. Just as in human health, a single root cause might [...]
In sales, if you are going to hear "No," you want to hear it early in the process, so you can move on from uninterested prospects to qualify someone else – someone who might be a better fit. If you are developing a medical device, you want to develop tests that will bring problems and [...]
There aren’t a lot of benchmarks in life science marketing. For example, no one (that I know of) has researched the average bounce rate for (to pick just one business sector in the life sciences) all formulation companies by measuring the statistics for all the home pages in that one sector. Or measured the conversion [...]
In every textbook for Marketing 101 courses, you’ll find a section on the importance of consistency. Why is consistency important? First, consistency in your message helps cut through the clutter. Purchasers of life science products and services are barraged by information, and reinforcing the message increases the chances of the message getting through. This is [...]
Forma Life Science Marketing, a leading marketing firm for biotech, pharma and medical device companies, has been selected agency for TearScience®, Inc. a privately-held medical device company, located in Morrisville, NC. TearScience recently announced the completion of $44.5 million of Series C funding, to commercialize medical devices used to diagnose and treat the most common [...]
Two factors are important if you want to get clear answers out of a clinical trial. The first is proper enrollment – getting the right numbers of the right patients to participate. The second is asking the right questions in the right way – that is, determining what effects to look for, and how to [...]
To judge from all the poorly positioned marketing in the life sciences, it must be very hard to diagnose your own marketing ills. Otherwise firms would fix what is so obviously wrong. It is hard to diagnose yourself. It can be dangerous too. In fact, they won’t let doctors do it, because the stakes can [...]
Forma Life Science Marketing, a leading marketing firm for life science, biotech and pharma companies, today announced that David Chapin, CEO and chief strategist is presenting a lecture at the East Carolina University Entrepreneurial Initiative on Monday, June 21, 2010. Chapin will speak with an audience made up of ECU faculty and local technology entrepreneurs, [...]
Forma Life Science Marketing, a leading marketing firm for life science, biotech and pharma companies, today announced that David Chapin, CEO and chief strategist is presenting a lecture at the Belk College of Business, UNC Charlotte for the Business of Biotechnology MBA class on Wednesday, June 17, 2010. Chapin’s presentation, entitled “The Marketing of Science: [...]
There are times when free isn’t free. I went to download a supposedly “free” white paper off of the internet recently, and I was asked for the following information: First Name Last Name E-mail Phone Company Web site Country State/Province Department/Function Job Title Primary Objective Industry That’s a lot of information. Asking for that information [...]
The basic premise of content marketing is that giving away information that an audience finds useful and relevant will encourage them to respond with trust and give you the opportunity to engage them in dialog. But why does giving away thought leadership influence people? Social science has some answers. One of the pioneers in this [...]
Business runs in cycles, both in economic cycles and in the cycle of ideas. Back when I was working in product development, a hot trend was the idea of making correctible decisions, rather than perfect decisions. This morphed into “making your mistakes early,” so you could learn from them during the beginning of the development [...]
Service firms in the drug development chain too often try to differentiate themselves on service levels. Unless you can prove that your service is somehow superior (through the use of an independent metric that is verifiable before purchase) this won’t really help. Making an unsubstantiated claim that your service is superior typically just devolves into [...]
What makes a thought leader a thought leader? There are many answers to this question, but in the end, it boils down to just a few things: Thought leaders are trusted if they 1) know more than you do (this knowledge is frequently the result of intense or deliberate study), 2) they can explain what [...]
Here is an interesting test; one on which most life science companies won’t perform very well. Gather all your branded marketing material in one room. This includes everything, your printed material, online material, ads, blog posts, pictures of your trade show booth, direct mail, email blasts, white papers, etc. Then read it, all of it. [...]
When you go to a doctor, the most important thing that happens is the first thing: the diagnostic process. Questions get asked, your patient history gets taken, tests are run and results are examined. Only then can the treatment begin, because only then does your team of medical specialists know enough to recommend and implement [...]
When we ask clients how they get new business, some life science firms respond: “We get most of our customers from word of mouth and referrals.” The implication is: “We are getting high quality clients and saving money on sales costs; isn’t that great?” This may be great in the short run, but in the [...]
Authentic complexity (for example, a subject with lots of moving parts, lots of interactions, and lots of variables) can’t be made arbitrarily simple. Authentic complexity can’t be made arbitrarily simple – but it can be made digestible. In the life sciences, where we help companies tell their stories to drive profit and sales, we often [...]
When diagnosing your own marketing ills, it is hard to know how to differentiate the urgent symptoms from the important ones, and the important ones from the unimportant ones. Even trained professionals, like doctors, don’t diagnose themselves. Yet, everyone believes it is OK to diagnose themselves for marketing issues. I am not arguing that everyone [...]
Lately there has been a lot of press expressing concern about the fact that the pharmaceutical industry runs on a blockbuster model. The stock prices of the major pharmaceuticals are taking hits because of the looming patent cliff. There is a great deal of pressure for pharmaceutical companies to amend the model… Depending upon who [...]
Crisis and opportunity in the life science sector. Service providers in the life sciences (e.g., CROs, CRMs, core labs, firms offering preclinical services such as formulation, etc) work in a sector that is changing and changing rapidly. The Big Recession tore a big swath out of Big Pharma, leaving opportunities for smaller firms to come [...]
Repeat business is a key to many life science companies’ success. When people are thinking about buying again, what controls their decision? One factor is this: Was the experience enjoyable enough to repeat? But this brings up another question: What exactly do you remember about your experiences, and how does this color your decisions about [...]
Let’s face it, the basic tenets of marketing have remained the same, even though the technology we use to deliver it has changed. The basic steps are simple: Identifying what makes your offering both important to your prospects and different from the competition. Articulating your message and brand character in a way that is seen [...]
Who can you trust? Apparently not your friends, at least not your online friends. “According to Edelman's latest Trust Barometer, the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company dropped by almost half, from 45% to 25%, since 2008.” That quote from Advertising Age tells you [...]
Content marketing is the hot new trend in marketing, specifically life sciences marketing, and for good reason. Effective content marketing can help to position one in the space they strive to own, provide increased exposure, build brand awareness, establish and/or increase one’s reputation by generating thought leadership and help one achieve expert status in the [...]
For life science companies, diagnosing marketing ills can be problematic. This has many potential causes – maybe the company is run by scientists, who might believe that technological superiority is enough (it isn’t). Maybe the organization just doesn’t have much experience in diagnosis. Maybe the situation has changed recently, and what used to work is [...]
Marketing in the Life Sciences: An Interactive Marketing Workshop Hosted by: BIG Council & NC BioConnect Featured Speaker: David Chapin Date: Thursday, April 1st Location: Duke Mansion, 400 Hermitage Road, Charlotte, NC Time: 3:30pm - 5:30 pm Click here to download the event flyer for more details or click here for registration.
At Forma, we work with companies in the life sciences to Make the Complex Compelling. In this sector, there is lots of subject matter that is complex. The borders of knowledge have been pushed back quite far, so the questions being addressed are often very complex. And the audience is often technically sophisticated. They have [...]
The old saying: “50% of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half” is actually overly optimistic. When it comes to drug advertising to consumers the real figure may be a lot closer to zero. Another recent study has found that DTC advertising does little to boost sales. The drug being studied was clopidogrel [...]
When Tighter Regulatory Scrutiny Leads to Better Lifescience Marketing, Something is Seriously Wrong
When the FDA monitors marketing claims VERY closely (for example, when marketing a pill, potion or med device) the result can be some very effective marketing (e.g, Advair, Viagra, etc.). On the other hand, there are cases in which the FDA is concerned not with marketing claims but only with the work product (e.g., labs, [...]
What are the goals of marketing? Ask any marketer this question, and you’ll get dozens of answers: build brand awareness, increase referrals, drive web site traffic, motivate response, creating customer loyalty, etc. In the end, all these goals stem from one thing: getting your audience to self-select. That is, to get those who are interested [...]
In the current edition of IMPACT magazine, David Chapin, CEO, details the importance of developing a unique positioning by what you say about your company on your website. Words you should never use on your website by David Chapin What you say about your company on your website can reveal whether or not you [...]
Well we’re from Forma and we’re here to say We’re down with Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. It’s a holiday that sidesteps all those elves And lets us draw attention to ourselves. Hey, that’s what marketing is all about – It’s what we’re good at, have no doubt. And what’s not to like about this air-filled [...]
If you don’t have a clear positioning for your bioscience company, your services or your products, the following people will be very happy to develop one for you, free of charge: Your customers, Your prospects, Your competitors, The media, Your mom. The Big Question: What are the chances that the positioning they attribute to you [...]
David Chapin was published in the most recent issue of Life Science Leader magazine. To view the full article titled, "Pharma is Not Like the Automobile Industry, Except" visit http://bit.ly/7A4e8D.
All bioscience today is complex. To understand the questions that are being asked, much less to tease out significant answers, the level of education required is considerably higher today than it was 150 years ago, when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Complexity carries with it very little commercial value, other than the [...]
I’ve written elsewhere that for life science companies, positioning is the DNA of marketing. Just as DNA guides protein expression and thereby controls much (if not all) cell activity, so positioning guides marketing activities. Just as DNA is tucked inside the nucleus, and therefore ‘invisible’ to the rest of the cell, the definition of a [...]
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.” Charles Mingus (American jazz bassist and composer, 1922 – 1979) This is as true in marketing and the life sciences as it is in music. This quote resonates with us; our goal is to make the complex compelling.
I have often heard scientists say that they are “immune” to marketing. We disagree. Scientists are people just like everyone else. They absorb information through the same senses, and the neurons they use to understand new concepts work the same way, no matter what discipline they studied or where they got their doctorate. Some scientists [...]
Think for a moment about your best supplier – the one your bioscience company wouldn’t leave, even for a cheaper price, because your loyalty is so strong. If you are like most, the reason you started talking to them is different than the reason you eventually chose them, and that is different than the reason [...]
If your company is involved in providing products or services to the ‘drug development chain,’ that is, the chain of companies devoted to discovering, developing, and testing new pharmaceutical compounds and medical devices, you should never use the word Partner on your website or in your marketing materials (e.g., “We will partner with you to [...]
In discussions with a bioscience client the other day, we noted that many firms in the life science service sector are concerned about a very narrow aspect of their competitors’ marketing: the feature list. “If ‘those guys’ have a list on their web site, we better have a list too.” It is easy to see [...]
Forma CEO, Chief Strategist and award winning baker, David Chapin, was recently recognized by AIGA in their Membership Spotlight where he sheds light on how the life science industry is on the cusp of change and how that will affect Forma over the next five years. In addition, as an award-winning baker, he displays some [...]
Forma Life Science Marketing was recently recognized by the Triangle Business Journal for its expertise and specialization in the life science, biotech and pharma industry. Forma's has crafted and honed it's proprietary process for developing strategically-minded products for clients over the years. A process that dates back 22 years and has been used for well [...]
The design process successively envisions the future, focusing on and forecasting a finer level of detail with each iteration. Sometimes, though, it is easier to envision the future if you look to the successes and failures of the past. A recent discussion with a client reminded us of this. He wanted to fill out the [...]
US pharmaceutical companies spent an estimated $3 billion on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in 2005. A recent study shows that the DTC’s effects on sales are negligible. Did the industry flush $3 billion down the drain? If you know much about advertising, you know that measuring ROI in advertising is extremely difficult. The study is a [...]
There is a lot of discussion about branding among marketers. The word branding originally referred to pressing red hot metal into the flesh of cows. It took a lot of work to wrestle the cow to the ground. The whole process smelled bad, and the result was permanent. Once branded, there was no way to [...]
There are two trends in web sites for life science companies – one bad, one good. The first (bad) trend is to “say it all.” Scientists in particular want to say it all, thinking that if they could only describe the science completely, people would be sure to buy. But the tendency to “say it [...]
I originally saw a similar “Hype Cycle” diagram referencing emerging technology in the IT sector; the source was the Gartner Group. I have adapted their diagram for technology in the Life Sciences.
If you are involved in life science marketing and design, as we are, and if you are interested in communicating and clarifying by using diagrams and data (and who isn’t?), you need to know about this web site: A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. This site depicts lots of different visual organization techniques. While it [...]
I was at a conference last week, and one of the speakers noted that the promise of genomics in drug development had not yet been realized. The implication was one of disappointment. That brought to mind the sayings of futurist Paul Saffo. “Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.” He refers to the [...]
Google has developed Sidewiki as a way to allow users to comment on ANY web page. Like all new technology, this could have some benefits. Seeing what others are saying about "museums in NYC" could be useful if you are planning a trip to NY city. But the real possibility exists that someone could put [...]
Clarity is needed now more than ever. Bringing technology out of the lab successfully means finding ways to have meaningful conversations about very sophisticated issues with non-scientists. The American Medical Association and Medco Health Solutions (a pharmacy benefits manager) recently surveyed more than 10,000 US physicians. A few of the results: the number of doctors [...]