A CRO’s Worst Nightmare

Here's a scenario: For the last four years, a CRO sold Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies to their Pharma Sponsor Client. The CRO was proud of their record; they delivered these studies accurately and on-time. The CRO offered all types of services for Phase 1 and 2 trials. To provide some of these services, [...]

3 Keys to Crafting Stellar Sales Emails

Sales emails are powerful tools for raising awareness about your brand and compelling your prospects to engage with your business. But how can you be sure your recipients are going to respond? Or even open the emails in the first place? Crafting effective sales emails is equal parts art and science. There are hundreds of [...]

Your archetype is NOT your persona. (Let’s clarify some marketing terminology.)

Summary: There’s a lot of confusion out there between archetypes and personas. Both hinge on common patterns, but we shouldn’t confuse the two. I’ll explore this topic and shed some light on the different uses of the words Personas and Archetypes. I hold out hope that we can agree on common definitions and avoid some of the confusion that comes from the words’ overuse, misuse and abuse

Bringing Archetypes to Life to Drive Sales in eClinical Marketing

Archetypes have four main roles within the context of an organization’s life science sales and marketing activities. Several of these roles (alignment and communication) apply inside an organization and several (communication, resonance and differentiation) apply externally. In this issue, I’ll examine each role in turn and show how these roles support sales and marketing success in life science and biotech organizations.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast – Part 2

Culture eats strategy for breakfast – Part 2 Recent research we conducted with life science companies shows that leaders in the life sciences believe they establish corporate culture, but they do little to document this culture in a way that lasts once they leave the room. In this issue, I reveal several other surprising insights [...]

How Can You Add Value by Moving to Solution Selling?

Your customers don’t really care about your scientific instruments, even though they spend lots of money on them. That’s a bold statement, but I’ll show you why it’s true. So, what do they really care about, and how can you turn that into profit? The ideas I’m discussing in this issue apply very broadly; they certainly have application to other life science products and services beyond instruments, but they show up most clearly in the sale of scientific instruments, so that’s where I’ll start.

Life Science Case Study Structure: The Optimum Solution

The perfect life science case study structure is clear. In spite of this, many case studies don't include one or more of the seven components necessary for maximum effectiveness. In this issue I'll discuss these seven components and their proper order. I'll also reveal how the focus of your case study (the overlap of your Unique Value and your Approach) can be tuned throughout your case study to increase audience engagement. 

CRM: Getting the most out of your sales and marketing technologies—so you can sell more in the life sciences. Part 2.

Your CRM is the lifeblood of your life science business’ future. CRMs can be complex beasts to install and manage, but that’s not the most critical challenge. All the technology in the world won’t help if your sales team isn’t using your CRM correctly. In this, the second of a two-part series, we look at improving the adoption of your CRM. We’ll dive into ways to lead your business development team through a transition—from their current state, where data is missing or just isn’t being captured correctly, to a more perfect union of protocols and personnel.

Getting the most out of your sales and marketing technologies—so you can sell more in the life sciences. Part 1. 

Is your life science CRM system working optimally? Are you tracking your new business opportunities effectively? Do you have the necessary visibility into your sales pipeline? Is everyone on your life science sales team using your system in a consistent manner? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then you’ve got a protocol problem—or is it a personnel problem? Or maybe it’s a technology problem? Let’s face it: CRM systems are complex beasts, with lots of moving parts, including software, protocols and personnel. Many life science organizations fail to use them effectively. In this first part of a series, I examine how to assess where the challenges arise in the adoption of proper CRM processes inside life science organizations, and what you can do about them. In future issues we’ll dive deep and develop a plan for getting the most out of your CRM system. The goal of all this: to tune your tools, so you can be more effective in your marketing and new-business development efforts. 

Part 5: How to assess the performance of your Lead Nurturing efforts in the life sciences.

In this issue, I explore the evolution of lead nurturing activities in the life sciences. I’ll begin by examining an all-too-common scenario that highlights the need for lead nurturing. And then I’ll be discussing the big change that occurred in lead nurturing’s recent past; then I’ll look at what the future could (and should) hold for lead nurturing within your own life science organization. To make this discussion more tangible, I’ll provide access to a tool that will help you assess the performance of your lead nurturing activities. Given the results of this assessment, you’ll be better able to guide the evolution of your lead nurturing activities in the life sciences. 

Part 4: Developing Your Lead Nurturing Efforts in the Life Sciences

In recent issues I’ve explored lead nurturing in B2B life science marketing, including why we should nurture our life science prospects and the eight different activities involved in lead nurturing. In this issue I’ll highlight the skills and abilities a marketing team must possess to maximize their lead nurturing efforts, and describe the evolution in lead nurturing activities that a typical life science organization undergoes. There are five stages of this lead nurturing evolution—from basic and piecemeal to comprehensive and strategic. I’ll discuss the tools and technology that are involved in each stage. In a future issue, I’ll share an assessment you can use to determine where you are on this evolutionary path. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to determine where you should focus to improve your lead nurturing efforts. 

Part 3: Nurturing leads in the life sciences; components of a high-performance lead-nurturing ecosystem.

Life science sales cycles can be long. For this and many other reasons (which I’ll summarize below), it is important that we nurture our prospects. While some life science organizations understand lead nurturing well, many don't understand the subtleties involved in creating a highly effective life science lead nurturing "ecosystem." In fact, there are eight distinct activities involved in life science lead nurturing. In this issue I'll describe each activity, and show how they all work together. It turns out that both lead nurturing and lead generation share many of the same activities, so I'll spend some time discussing both. If you're interested in understanding how lead nurturing works or how to improve your own lead nurturing activities, read this issue. 

Nurturing in the life sciences—Part 2: 15 important reasons to nurture our prospects

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about nurturing prospects in the life sciences. In the last issue I outlined the framework within which our life science prospects need nurturing: the buying cycle with its four main stages. In this issue, I answer the question: Why should we nurture?, and lay out the many good reasons to nurture our life science sales prospects. I’ll also explain how the tactics (touchpoints) we choose will make a huge difference. Some touchpoints are eminently forgettable, so I’ll explore the “half-lives” of different touchpoints and offer guidance about which ones to use for buyers at different stages of the buying cycle.

Nurturing your prospects in life science marketing and sales—Part 1

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about lead nurturing in the life sciences. Apparently, some see nurturing as a chance to continue their strong-arm sales tactics. And some see nurturing as a waste of time. What is nurturing, and what’s the best way to go about it? In this issue, I begin to explore this fascinating topic by asking a very simple question—what exactly is nurturing?—and exploring opportunities for nurturing through each of the stages of the sales process.

Bringing archetypes to life to drive sales in life science marketing.

Archetypes have four main roles within the context of an organization’s life science sales and marketing activities. Several of these roles (alignment and communication) apply inside an organization and several (communication, resonance and differentiation) apply externally. In this issue, I’ll examine each role in turn and show how these roles support sales and marketing success in life science and biotech organizations.

Aligning archetypes with products, services, culture or communications to drive sales in life science or biotech marketing.

In this issue, I consider the use of archetypes in driving engagement and sales. Archetypes can align with your organization’s services and products, they can align with your culture, they can align with your communications, or they can align with any combination of the three. Is any one alignment more powerful than the others in creating engagement and sales? We’ll begin our exploration by drawing an analogy between the behaviors of characters in stories and the behaviors of organizations in the life sciences.

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 [...]

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?

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.

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.

The life science marketing manifesto

Most life science marketing is ineffective. Surprisingly, horribly, disastrously ineffective. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are 10 commitments we can make that will transform our marketing efforts into high-performance life science marketing. Make these 10 commitments and join the movement to wipe low-performance marketing off the face of the earth.

Life Science Marketing Alignment – Part II: Diagnosing and Treating the Four Types of Misalignment

Life science marketing misalignment will impede your effectiveness and lower your ROI. So diagnosis of marketing alignment is a crucial first step in determining whether misalignment is present, and if so, which type. In this issue, we continue our look at alignment in life science marketing by examining the first two types of misalignment. We provide some diagnostic questions to help you determine which type of misalignment (if any) is present, and we point the way towards effective treatment.

The Four Common Types of Misalignment in Life Science Marketing

A common problem in life science marketing is misalignment. Misalignment can severely impede your life science marketing efforts, resulting in a variety of symptoms. This issue examines this all too common problem. We begin with a simple assessment to help you determine if your marketing is correctly aligned. We’ll review the Marketing Mechanism of Action as a framework for understanding the four different types of misalignment.

Creating Your Brand/Story to Drive Your Sales Success

We continue to explore the all-important role your brand/story plays in your sales success by examining its many components (the verbal, the visual, the tactile, etc.) and its two layers (the rational and the emotional). We’ll discuss the creation of your brand/story and we’ll close with a discussion of the newest component of your brand/story: your content.

The Connection Between Your Brand/Story and Your Sales Success

The concept of brands and branding can be confusing. But getting this right is crucial to your sales success. In this issue, we’ll outline how your brand/story affects your audiences and their purchasing behavior. We’ll give you some simple tests to judge whether your own brand/story is helping or hurting your chances of making the sale.

Measuring Return on Investment (ROI) in Life Science Marketing

In this first of a series, we look at the return on investment (ROI) for marketing in the life sciences. Can ROI be measured in a meaningful way? If so, what preconditions are required for such a measurement to be valid? We’ll begin our exploration of these complex issues by looking at why marketing is unique among all the major business functions. We’ll explain and examine the ROI Pathway and explore why an overall ROI ratio is not as useful as a series of individual ROI measurements for different components of the marketing mix. We’ll conclude this issue with an examination of two of the five systemic challenges to determining marketing ROI in the life sciences.

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 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.

Marketing-based Lead Generation in the Biological Sciences (Part 1)

When people responsible for sales and marketing in the biological sciences hear the words “lead generation,” an outbound call center is often the first thing that springs to mind. But outbound calling is just one way to generate leads. This article categorizes a wide variety of lead generation activities and puts these activities into context using “the ladder of lead generation.” By examining the different rungs on the ladder, we’ll compare the resulting quality of leads and the time to result, two important attributes to consider as you build your own lead generation initiatives. In the next issue, we’ll discuss how to craft an effective lead generating strategy.

Methods to inspire change among life science buyers (Part 2)

The Transtheoretical Model of Change describes the buying process via six stages through which buyers progress. There are nine methods for facilitating the transition from one stage of buying behavior to the next. In the previous issue we described four of these methods. This issue, we’ll describe the remaining five methods and provide examples from the life science sector. We’ll complete our examination by providing a diagram relating the stages of buying behavior to each of the nine methods for instigating change from one stage to the other.

Methods to inspire change among life science buyers (Part 1)

Last month we examined a “blueprint for buying behavior” and detailed the six stages of change through which buyers progress. This issue describes some of the methods that assist individuals in making the transition from one stage to the next. The methods are explained, and illuminated through life science examples. Part 1 of 2.

How to understand buying behavior in the life sciences sector

The goal of science is often a complete description of particular phenomena. This trend to “completeness” is one explanation why scientists so often want to “say it all” when developing life sciences sector marketing. But “saying it all” can actually impede prospects’ willingness to buy. To shed some light on this issue we explore a validated model of how people change their behavior as they progress through the buying cycle. The model provides pointers on successful marketing tactics that can be used at each stage of the life science buying cycle and provides specific advice on when “saying it all” is appropriate.