In medicine and in marketing, treating symptoms can bring temporary relief, but it doesn’t address the root cause. Nowhere is this more clear than in marketing for the life sciences. Just as in human health, a single root cause might give rise to a whole host of symptoms. In marketing, these symptoms might be: Lack [...]
Brand positioning is one of the most critical elements of sales and marketing in the life sciences. As CultBranding.com says,"brand positioning is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of your customers. Brand positioning is also referred to as a positioning strategy, brand strategy, or a brand positioning statement." A strong, differentiated position [...]
Why am I (an expert in the field of life science marketing) writing about employee turnover? Because the two are intimately connected. I’ll lay out the case here and in upcoming issues.
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.
Tone of voice is a powerful tool for differentiating your life science offerings. In the previous issue, I discussed the need for consistency. Since every employee has the potential to be a brand ambassador, ensuring consistency means aligning all employees around a single tone of voice.
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.
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.
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.
Tone of voice is a powerful tool for differentiating your life science offerings. Unfortunately, it is often ignored. In the second in a series on tone of voice in marketing, I introduce a new way of developing a tone of voice, one that can be easily shared across your entire life science marketing team—and beyond.
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 - 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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
The relationship between your position and your archetype in driving engagement and sales in life science marketing.
In this issue, I reopen the topic of archetypes as an aid to drive engagement, differentiation and sales in life science marketing. If you already have a position, can archetypes help? What if your position is ineffective, can archetypes help? Let’s explore this interesting topic.
Is it time to rebrand your life science organization, product, or service? Part six: The rebranding process (steps 6-10).
In this issue, I complete my examination of the process of rebranding. I’ll outline the last 5 steps in the rebranding process, and discuss the importance of introducing your new position and brand-story to your internal and external life science marketing audiences.
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.
Explore this infographic to find out if it's time to rebrand your life science organization.
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 [...]
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?
Rebranding your life science organization, product, or service. Part two: Factors that trigger a rebranding.
In this issue, I examine the diverse set of factors that typically trigger the discussion about whether a life science organization should rebrand. I’ll also discuss the positive and negative consequences of rebranding. In the next issue, I’ll cover the attributes, roles and responsibilities that should be part of any rebranding task force.
"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 [...]
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.
"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 [...]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this issue we give you access to a tool you can use to assess your own marketing-based lead-generation efforts. Take 10 minutes to answer some short and simple yes-no questions about your brand and you’ll receive valuable feedback on your lead-generating efforts. We’ll also look at common patterns in the responses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.