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White Papers

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.

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

Maximizing Employee Alignment and Engagement (Through Archetypes) in eClincal Marketing. Part 1 of 3

In this first of three issues I examine how to help your employees align their behaviors with your life science organization’s mission by using archetypes. Alignment is a topic that will be receiving lots of attention in the next several years, and archetypes provide an excellent vehicle for creating this alignment. I begin with a bold declaration about the worth of your mission statement.

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.

Gaining Differentiation (and Pricing Power) Through the Use of Archetypes in eClinical Marketing

Archetypes are one effective way to manage the meaning of your brand-story in the minds of your audiences. Doing so effectively leads to greater differentiation and pricing power. Studies have shown that careful selection and maintenance of archetypes is related to higher profit. What are archetypes? In this and subsequent issues, we’ll introduce the basics of this fascinating topic.

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 [...]

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 [...]

Harnessing the Second Axis of Positioning

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 [...]

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.

The Content Marketing Hack, Part II: Debunking Video Production Myths

Last month I discussed three trends that are affecting your clients, your prospects, and yes, the people inside your organization, including your subject matter experts. These trends are: • Time-starvation: there’s more to do for everyone, and less time to do it. • Choice-saturation: there are more alternatives; it’s harder to know which path is best. • Guidance-hunger: people need help making sense of all these choices.Your prospects are oversaturated with choice, they need guidance and yet, they’re time-starved. You can help these prospects by committing to creating thought leadership—deep insights that help your prospects with their challenges. As you help them, you’ll build a tribe of followers, they’ll respect you, trust you, pay attention to what you have to say, recommend you to others, and ultimately hire you.

The Content Marketing Hack – Part I

Content marketing has long been the way to create a relationship with prospects you’ve never met. But content marketing is hard for many life science organizations to create, and it can be even harder to sustain this effort. This month, I want to share a “content marketing hack”—a trick to make it easier to harness the knowledge of your subject matter experts (SMEs). It will still take some work, particularly as you get started, but if you’re disciplined, this hack will help you produce thought leadership on a regular basis.

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.

Why your organization needs a single narrative

Your life science organization needs a single narrative, one that’s understood by every employee. Without this “center of gravity” your employees will wander, making up and spreading whatever story they choose. The results of this are disastrous, as we’ll see in this issue. But you don’t have to let this happen to you; there is a clear alternative, and the data show just how effective this can be.

The four steps to creating compelling life science case studies

Case studies can be tough to create because there’s a lot that can go wrong. In this final issue covering case studies, I break the larger challenge into four simpler steps. I’ll give you guidance on how many case studies you need, how to collect content for your case studies and—most important—how to separate the task of organizing your case study from writing the final language, so that you can structure it in the most compelling way possible

The 8 Fundamental Principles Behind the Creation of Compelling Case Studies

I’ve spent the last several issues dissecting the topic of case studies, looking at all the components that make them compelling. When I began the topic, I had no idea it would require such a deep dive. Now that we’re close to the finish line, it’s time to put all these pieces back together. I’ll walk you through the steps to creating a compelling case study—one that allows your prospects to see themselves in the story; one that allows your unique value to come shining through.

Storytelling, A-B-T, and Compelling Case Studies

Creating compelling case studies can be straightforward, if you follow the And-But-Therefore (A-B-T) template that I introduced in the last issue. Scientists are very familiar with using peer-reviewed papers to communicate, but these papers are written to prioritize accuracy over engagement, so peer-reviewed papers make a very poor template for use in our case studies. Because scientists are not used to writing for engagement, the A-B-T template is very useful when creating marketing messages or effective case studies. In this issue I examine the five key questions and the one crucial constraint that must be addressed when using the A-B-T template.

Telling a Life Science Marketing Story

In this issue I’ll explore the fascinating intersection of storytelling and life science marketing. Storytelling is one of the most durable forms of communication. Stories are the original form of memory, of history and of fact transmission. Now, when people with scientific training hear the word “storytelling,” they often think of campfires and ghost stories. But that’s an overly narrow view; storytelling actually has a lot to teach life science marketers about the most effective way to create communications that stick.

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. 

How to write an effective life science case study Part 2: Let go of the details

Your life science case study can work wonders: it can inspire or reassure prospects who are on the path to purchasing your products or services. But it must be well designed—the right length, the right amount of detail, the right contents and the right structure. Many organizations use their peer-reviewed journal articles as a substitute for their case studies. This is a bad decision with disastrous consequences, and I'll explore why in this issue. 

How to write an effective life science case study: Inspire and reassure your prospects with life science case studies

The life science case study is an often-overlooked tool in life science marketing. Life science case studies can be a powerful way to inspire or reassure your audiences, helping them at specific points in the buyer’s journey. I’ve looked at lots of case studies: CRO case studies, biotech case studies, pharma case studies, analytical lab case studies; the list goes on and on. And what I’ve learned is that too many life science sales and marketing teams waste the opportunity to maximize the impact of this simple but effective tool. In the first of a series of whitepapers, I peel apart the use of life science case studies and reveal the multiple benefits they offer. I’ll discuss the two different types of case studies and show how the focus of each is very different. In future issues, I’ll reveal how to build the most effective (non-boring) life science case studies.

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. 

Predictions for the future of life science marketing

I recently returned from a couple of life science conferences: the Bourne Partners Executive Summit and the fourth annual ACP-LS, a conference dedicated to marketing (and sales) in the life sciences. These types of conferences often take a look into the future. In this issue, I’ll be reporting on some of what I learned at these life science conferences—and I’ll be making some of my own predictions for the future, drawing on the wisdom of crowds. 

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.

Training your employees to maximize employee alignment and engagement. Part 3 of 3.

In this issue, the third and last of the series, I outline a specific training methodology that uses your chosen, customized archetype to align your employees’ thoughts, beliefs and actions. The effort to create alignment should never end; this training is a great place to start. You’ll need to adapt the methodology outlined here to your own situation, of course, but this framework provides a solid foundation for aligning your life science employees, whether they work in marketing, sales or any other function.

Maximizing employee alignment and engagement (through archetypes). Preparing for training your employees. Part 2 of 3.

In this issue, the second of a three-part series, I discuss aligning your employees’ work-related thoughts, beliefs and actions with several core aspects of your organization, such as your mission and your brand-voice. I discuss the failure of “brand police” to accomplish this crucial alignment. Given this failure, I propose a better way: deputizing all your employees to monitor and create proper brand expressions. Archetypes are an ideal way to deputize your employees, but you have to train your employees properly if you want to align their thoughts, beliefs and actions. This issue sets the stage for the training regimen that I’ll detail specifically in the next issue.

Maximizing Employee Alignment and Engagement (Through Archetypes) in Life Sciences. Part 1 of 3.

In this first of three issues I examine how to help your employees align their behaviors with your life science organization’s mission by using archetypes. Alignment is a topic that will be receiving lots of attention in the next several years, and archetypes provide an excellent vehicle for creating this alignment. I begin with a bold declaration about the worth of your mission statement.

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.

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.

Announcing the release of the new book: Making the Complex Compelling—Creating High Performance Marketing in the Life Sciences, now available from Rockbench Press.

This whitepaper is a free copy of Chapter 7: Positioning—Your Marketing DNA from Making the Complex Compelling—Creating High Performance Marketing in the Life Sciences, now available from Rockbench Publishing.This book provides detailed guidance on how to create high performance marketing that is focused specifically on the nature and needs of the life sciences marketplace. Making the Complex Compelling lays out a clear vision and step-by-step process for creating compelling marketing, with components that all work together and reinforce each other—from your unique value proposition, to an effective brand-story, to content marketing and marketing automation—all to drive engagement, interest, traffic, leads, and sales.Judging from the questions I’ve received and our web traffic over the years, positioning is a topic that fascinates many of you. In honor of the book’s release, this newsletter is a free copy of Chapter 7 from the book. This chapter is titled Positioning—Your Marketing DNA. It has been slightly edited and I hope this serves you well.

Generic Life Science Brand Video

In practice, too much marketing is non-differentiating, and puts more emphasis on being flashy than on being effective. You can’t connect with audiences by putting tactics before strategy. How can you structure your marketing for maximum effectiveness?

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.

Choosing a Name for Your Life Science Company, Product, or Service

Choosing a name for a life science company, product or service can be difficult. Any choice will generate a strong, almost instantaneous response, carry great emotional weight and (ideally) last a long time. How do you choose a name while avoiding the emotional rollercoaster that such choices often bring? I outline an eight-step process. But first, let’s talk about the importance of choosing the proper name.

Putting Your Archetype Into Action in Life Science Marketing

Archetypes are a powerful way to manage the meaning of your brand-story. Using archetypes effectively allows you to create high-performance life science marketing—leading to greater differentiation and pricing power. In past issues, I’ve outlined how to determine the archetypes of your competitors and how to choose an archetype for your own organization. Now, in this final issue covering archetypes, it’s time to put your archetype to use. Let's get practical.

Archetypes in action in life science marketing

Archetypes are one effective way for life science companies to create greater differentiation and pricing power through effective marketing. In this issue, I’ll explore an example of bringing archetypes to life throughout your marketing communications, and I’ll discuss how you can determine the archetypes of your competition.

Families of archetypes and their use in life science marketing

Summary: Archetypes are a powerful tool to guide the development of your marketing communications. In this issue, we’ll start by examining one of the sources of the strength of archetypes: pattern matching. We’ll look at the twelve families of archetypes and at the many different archetypes within these families. And we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t select the Scientist or the Innovator as your archetype.

Gaining Differentiation (and Pricing Power) Through the Use of Archetypes in Life Science Marketing.

Archetypes are one effective way to manage the meaning of your brand-story in the minds of your audiences. Doing so effectively leads to greater differentiation and pricing power. Studies have shown that careful selection and maintenance of archetypes is related to higher profit. What are archetypes? In this and subsequent issues, we’ll introduce the basics of this fascinating topic.

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.

Untapped opportunities in Content Marketing for the life sciences: the “blue ocean.”

Content marketing is the great equalizer. Using content marketing, small life science firms can be as effective and engaging as much larger firms. Unfortunately, as content marketing gets more and more popular, being seen as unique becomes more and more difficult. But there still seems to be real opportunity in content marketing in the life sciences; there are areas of content that are not yet heavily populated by competitors. In this issue, I’ll identify what you need to do to be able to take advantage of this "blue ocean" (a place where the competition is not yet heavily focused [i]).

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.

Creating Effective Inbound Marketing – Part 3: The prerequisites for inbound marketing

Inbound marketing, when done well, should result in a deeper relationship between your organization and your prospects, developing into a steady stream of well-qualified leads. In this issue, we attempt to strip away the hype surrounding inbound marketing and specify the approach needed for an effective inbound marketing effort in the life sciences. We’ll see how the various components of inbound marketing reinforce each other, interacting to drive effective results.

Creating Effective Inbound Marketing in the Life Sciences – Part 2: The Exchange of Value

Marketing is getting more complex as buyers retreat into anonymity. To be effective, the Marketing function must shift from focusing on simple, outbound promotional activities to attracting prospects, and then converting them from visitors to leads to customers. Inbound marketing is more complex and is more synergistic than outbound marketing. For example, outbound marketing is designed to culminate in a single exchange of value, that is: products or services exchanged for money. Inbound marketing is designed to employ many small exchanges of value and this shift requires changing the way we think about marketing in the life sciences.

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.

Developing Your Online Content Strategy for Life Science Marketing

Social media provides numerous opportunities for life science companies to interact, engage and educate their audiences. With multiple platforms available, many companies don’t know where to start this process. Thus, many life science companies either avoid social media or spread themselves too thin trying to cover all of their media bases. Unfortunately, neither of these strategies will lead to successful content marketing and social media campaigns in the life sciences. A successful online marketing or content campaign must start with a thorough understanding of the audiences you are trying to reach.

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.

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.

Getting Feedback on Your Life Science Marketing Initiatives through Market Research

Getting feedback on your marketing initiatives is vital to improving their effectiveness. Without feedback it is difficult to know what’s working, and what isn’t. There are many types of feedback, and many ways to obtain it. This month we look at the process of asking for qualitative opinions about your marketing initiatives. It seems simple, but there are many pitfalls that can be easily avoided with a little advance planning.

Common Marketing Errors (Part 2)

Having worked in the life sciences for more than two decades, we have seen a number of marketing errors commonly made by life science companies. As a follow-up to last month’s article about strategic errors, this month we’ll discuss some widespread tactical errors and provide suggestions about how to both identify and address them.

Common Marketing Errors (Part 1)

Having worked in the life sciences for quite a while, we have seen a number of common marketing errors made by life science companies. This month we will address some common strategic errors – next month we’ll cover tactical errors.

The Content Marketing Life Cycle

Content marketing is an effective way to drive your life science brand’s positioning and engage your audiences and prospects. In this issue we’ll introduce the idea of a content life cycle, known as P7. Managing the P7 life cycle from Step 1, People all the way through Step 7, Promotion will allow you to harvest the greatest possible benefit from your content.

Creating Compelling Content

Content marketing can establish your life science brand’s positioning and engage your audiences, but attaining these benefits depends upon having compelling content. To create this content, you need the right focus, the right form, the proper filters and the optimum frequency. In this issue, I discuss these factors and provide some tips for creating compelling content.

Planning Your Life Science Company’s Content Marketing Initiative

Content marketing is an effective way to drive your life science brand’s positioning and engage your audiences and prospects. In past issues we covered the attitudes and behaviors that must accompany a content marketing initiative; we now focus on planning this initiative. Planning should be based upon an intimate understanding of the six factors for content marketing success. They are known by the acronym S-T-R-E-A-M: your Strategy, Topics, Resources, Environment, Audience and Measurement. We’ll start this issue with a real-world example of the results that content marketing can achieve.

The Benefits of Content Marketing Strategies to Life Science Companies

Content marketing is all the rage in some marketing circles. But many life science companies use surprisingly little content marketing. We’ll start this issue by continuing the comparison between content marketing and peer-review publishing begun in the last issue. A diagram will make the comparison clearer. We’ll look at how fundamental changes in the way people access information has driven an increase in choice, which in turn is driving the importance of content marketing. We’ll conclude with a list of changes in attitudes and behaviors that accompany a content marketing initiative. In our next issue, we’ll provide a series of “How to” suggestions for beginning a content marketing initiative.

Comparing Life Science Content Marketing and Peer Review

Content marketing is all the rage in some marketing circles. But many life science companies do not use content marketing – particularly on their web sites. This is surprising because the scientific community has been practicing a form of content marketing for years. In this issue, we’ll look at the similarities and the differences between content marketing and peer-review publishing. In the next issue, we’ll examine both the benefits of content marketing and the attitudes that must change for content marketing to be successful. And in the subsequent issue, we’ll look at how to create and execute an effective, focused, content marketing strategy for your life science business.

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.

Whatever it is, it isn’t life science marketing

Many scientists think they are ‘immune’ to marketing. Even so, companies in the life sciences sectors often resort to standard clichés when it comes to making marketing claims. In many sectors of the life science space companies shout and scream on their web sites and in their brochures – making lots of noise. Unfortunately these efforts are completely ineffective at helping prospects choose their organization. What’s going on?

Maximizing your life science trade show experience (Part 1)

Trade shows are a unique opportunity to connect with others in your industry. Yet all too often, companies waste these opportunities. This article (the first of two), covers trade show trends, and how to prepare for a trade show. The next in the series will cover the design of your booth itself and your behavior at the show.

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.

Competing during an earthquake

For life science and biotech companies selling products or services to the drug development chain, the market is in tremendous flux. The patent cliff, the contraction of ‘Big Pharma’ and increased regulatory scrutiny are causing huge seismic shifts – a.k.a., earthquakes. How do you compete effectively in this type of marketplace? This article looks at similar shifts in another industry to point the way to an effective competitive strategy for life science and biotech service companies.

Research proves: Scientists are not immune to marketing

Scientists often believe that they are immune to the efforts of marketers. They are not alone; many of us believe that we make decisions from a purely rational perspective and can therefore filter marketing messages out of our decision-making process. Scientists are particularly prone to subscribe to this belief, as their discipline and world-view places a premium on rational thought. Recent research proves that no one is immune; marketing can affect our behavior, even if the messages are only received subliminally. This article examines this research, and looks at its implication for the marketing of life science companies.

Marketing is not a “hard science.” Why do scientists treat it like one?

Scientific disciplines are often concerned with a complete description of an issue, while marketing is typically concerned with communication. When scientists engage in marketing, their training can lead them to over-communicate, which can be detrimental to their marketing goals. This article explores this phenomenon, identifies the ‘big mistake’ that most companies make, and provides guidance to avoid that mistake in marketing efforts.