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The Power of Tone of Voice in Life Science Marketing – Part 7

Tone of voice (and the archetypes that can help define and guide it) is a powerful tool for differentiating an organization and a set of offerings. Given its power, it’s surprisingly underutilized by life science organizations. Keep in mind, however, that like all tools it can be powerful when used correctly—and cause significant problems when used without care. Since the team at Forma has been deeply involved in using tone of voice and archetypes as part of our marketing toolkit for several years now, I’d like to offer a few cautions.

The Power of Tone of Voice in Life Science Marketing – Part 5

Tone of voice is a powerful tool for differentiating your life science offerings. In the previous issue, I discussed how tone of voice can be guided by archetypes. I also reviewed some experiments demonstrating the self-reinforcing nature of archetypal patterns. This self-reinforcement plays a crucial role both in enabling archetypes to guide tone of voice and allowing a particular tone of voice to be understood as a component of an archetype’s pattern. In this issue I build on those topics by looking at other patterns, biases and heuristics that support the need for consistency when using tone of voice in your life science marketing efforts.

The Power of Tone of Voice in Life Science Marketing – Part 4

Tone of voice is a powerful tool for differentiating your life science offerings. In the previous issues in this series, I examined the benefits of harnessing tone of voice and offered a new system for defining tone of voice: archetypes. In this issue, I discuss some experiments which demonstrate the self-reinforcing nature of archetypal patterns. This has many positive implications for marketers who wish to harness tone of voice as an effective tool for differentiation: enabling clear communication, driving consistency, and even improving team alignment.

The Power of Tone of Voice in Life Science Marketing – Part 3

Tone of voice is a powerful tool for differentiating your life science offerings. In the previous issue, I presented a new system for defining tone of voice: archetypes. In this third issue on tone of voice in life science marketing, I discuss the different components of tone of voice, and reveal the results of experiments done to test the link between archetypal patterns and vocabulary.

The Power of Tone of Voice in Life Science Marketing – Part I

In marketing communications, tone of voice is not your content or message, but it is crucial nonetheless. While tone of voice is a powerful tool to differentiate your offerings, it is often ignored. In this first in a series on tone of voice in marketing, I tease apart some of the interesting aspects of tone of voice, reveal a multi-dimensional scale that can be used to classify different tones of voice, and outline one possible system for defining your specific tone of voice.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Culture eats strategy for breakfast - Part 1 If it's true that culture eats strategy for breakfast, and if we think about what that really means, then we'll conclude that life science leaders should spend as much time planning and documenting culture as they do financial performance. Recent research we conducted with life science companies [...]

Using Two Dimensions of Positioning to Create a Competitive Advantage in the Life Sciences

Positioning is one of the foundations of effective marketing. Unfortunately, positioning is also one of the most confusing terms in marketing. (Except maybe “branding,” but that’s a topic for another issue.) And, as it turns out, when it comes to creating an effective marketing strategy for your life science organization, positioning is one of the easiest things to get wrong.

Is it time to rebrand your life science organization, product, or service? Part five: The rebranding process (steps 1-5 out of 10)

In this issue, I examine the process of rebranding. I’ll outline the first 5 steps in the rebranding process for a life science organization, product or service. Once you’ve decided to rebrand, you should begin by developing a clear-eyed understanding of your environment, your audiences and your competitors. Then you must select a position and an archetype.

Rebranding your life science organization, product, or service. Part three: Building a task force to rebrand your life science organization.

In this issue, I provide some guidance on the makeup of your life science rebranding task force. Having worked with many such teams over the past two-and-a-half decades, I’ve learned that some attributes are essential, and some should be strenuously avoided. I’ll begin this issue by outlining how to guide the rebranding discussion and I’ll close it by discussing the issue of timing: how do you know when to rebrand? In the next issue, I’ll provide a decision tree to help you make the decision: Is it time to rebrand my life science organization, product or service?

Why ‘almost the best’ isn’t alright for life science marketing

"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 [...]

Rebranding your life science organization, product, or service. Part one

Isn’t it ironic that marketing, the one business function that is (supposedly) responsible for clear communication, is also the one with widespread confusion about the meaning of one of its central terms: brand? There are actually at least four meanings, all very different. So I’m going to begin the discussion about rebranding by clarifying some terminology. And then I’ll point out the eight foundational assets you must have for an effective “brand” in life science marketing. In future issues, I’ll cover the reasons to think about rebranding, discuss the team you need to undertake this effort, provide a decision tree that will allow you to determine whether it’s time to rebrand, and give you a roadmap to follow as you rebrand your life science organization, product or service.

People are talking. And so are we: Jan. 28 at NC COIN

"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 [...]

Visional Missionableness Strategery for Life Science Marketing and the World

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 [...]

Entering the Life Science Market – Part 2 of 2: Targeting Your Audiences

As I discussed last month, entering the life science market is not a trivial exercise. There are many factors that make this market unique and I’ll start by reviewing some of those. Then I’ll take a closer look at the audiences in the life sciences and some of the specific attributes they share. Understanding these audiences, and how to draw them closer to you, is a critical success factor for entering the life science market.

Entering the Life Science Market – Part 1: Eight Things You Should Know

Many companies try to enter the life science market, lured by the promise of rapid growth and significant opportunity. But entering the life science market can be difficult; many companies try and fail. In this first of two whitepapers on the subject, I’ll provide an overview of some of the factors that make this market unique and identify what you can do to increase your chances of success.

The Marketing Mechanism of Action and the Importance of Uniqueness

There is significant misunderstanding about how marketing works – that is, of the mechanism by which it affects people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. In particular, many scientists believe that they are immune to marketing’s effects. But if scientists are immune to marketing’s effects, why do so many companies continue to spend significantly on marketing campaigns? The reason is simple: this supposed immunity is just a myth; marketing actually works. To understand how, let’s examine the marketing mechanism of action.

Marketing Challenges During M&A – Relationships Among Families of Brands – Part 3

In the last of a series on this topic, we expand the applications of the model depicting different relationships among families of brands. We look at several sectors in the life sciences and notice the similarities among the approaches used. We also discuss the use of the model as a tool for planning the changes in relationships among families of brands in the midst of life science marketing challenges, such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and product and service launches.

Life Science Marketing Challenges During M&A – Relationships Among Families of Brands – Part 2

We continue our discussion of the marketing challenges faced during mergers and acquisitions in the life sciences. In this issue, we return to the model we recently introduced, one that provides a way to ask and answer the key question that must be addressed during mergers, acquisitions and even product or service launches: How should the relationships among different brands in a common family be portrayed to the audience? We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the four possible answers and provide guidance for choosing one answer over the other.

Life Science Marketing Challenges During Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are a fact of life in the life sciences. As the drug development ecosystem – which was previously vertically integrated – fragments and as the industry consolidates, mergers will become even more common. Mergers and acquisitions raise some of the most interesting challenges in life science marketing. In this issue, we open our series on this fascinating topic by identifying the key question that the life science marketers involved in any merger or acquisition must answer. We also provide a framework to understand the four possible answers to the key question.

Marketing-based Lead Generation in the Biological Sciences (Part 4)

In this issue we continue our examination of the ladder of marketing-based lead generation for life science, med-device and biotech companies. We pose questions that will help you get the most out of your ladder by optimizing your portfolio of lead-generating activities. We discuss how you can improve your lead generation by “climbing” the ladder over time.

Marketing-based Lead Generation in the Biological Sciences (Part 3)

In this issue we examine in more depth the ladder of marketing-based lead generation for life science, med-device and biotech companies. We discuss the six uses for the ladder. We outline a process for creating your own ladder, and provide a link to a template you can customize for your own use. Next month we’ll finish our discussion on the ladder of lead generation by discussing some tactics you can use to improve your lead generating initiatives.

Marketing-based Lead Generation in the Biological Sciences (Part 2)

The ladder of lead generation is a useful tactical tool for understanding, assessing and managing lead-generation activities in life science, med-device and biotech companies. In this issue, we’ll take a closer look at the ladder of lead generation. We’ll review the foundation that is necessary for effective lead-generation initiatives and provide some specific suggestions for improving your lead-generating activities. Next month we’ll look at ways to use the ladder as a planning tool for creating your own lead generation initiatives.

Crafting a Clear, Effective Positioning Statement for Your Life Science Brand

Positioning is your brand’s DNA. It is private language that acts as a decision-making filter for your public communications. Given the fundamental importance of positioning, how do you go about creating an accurate and useful statement for your life science brand? This article will address the key attributes of such a statement and provide a template for creating your brand’s own positioning statement.

10 Things You Need to Know about Touchpoints in Life Science Marketing

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 should guide marketing activities. But how is this positioning expressed? How does your brand convey its characteristics to your many audiences? This article explores the different touchpoints that consumers and others use to learn your brand’s positioning, brand promise, personality and values. Clear understanding of these touchpoints will allow you to create more effective marketing.

The Importance of Positioning for Life Science Companies

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 should guide marketing activities. Just as DNA is tucked inside the nucleus, and therefore ‘invisible’ to the rest of the cell, the definition of a company’s positioning is internal and private. For this reason, positioning is widely misunderstood. This article explores the four components of positioning and provides a framework for understanding positioning’s role in marketing.