Biotech and other life science companies make a valuable contribution for the well-being of human beings. However, when it comes to digital marketing, life science companies often lag behind in marketing themselves effectively, as compared to companies falling in other industries. The result is that in spite of offering high quality products and services, life science firms don’t get enough customers, and see low sales.
The solution to this problem is going for digital marketing, and more specifically, BRANDING. Why? Because your brand has a crucial role to play in the success of your sales efforts, in life science marketing.
Before exploring more about the importance of branding for biotech companies, let’s have a look at the growth and market value of the life science industry.
Growth and market value of the life science industry in 2014, on a global level:
Market value (in billion U.S. dollars) – 959
Growth rate (%) – 2.4
Medical technology sector:
Market value (in billion U.S. dollars) – 349
Growth rate (%) – 2.6
Market value (in billion U.S. dollars) – 232.5
Growth rate (%) – 9.6
IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING FOR BIOTECH COMPANIES:
Although branding is equally important to all sectors of the life science industry, let’s concentrate on biotech companies here. There is a direct connection between your brand and your success in sales. How?
Your brand conveys the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of your company, i.e., the unique differentiation of your company from the others. Then, your touchpoints, express and promote your UVP. Touchpoints are points at which your organization and your audiences touch, i.e., points like your website, webinar, an email blast, a conversation with your salesperson, trade show booth, whitepaper etc.
Your audiences gather impressions from these touchpoints, based on which, they build a picture in their mind, about what your company stands for. This picture would influence the behaviors, beliefs and attitudes of your audiences.
From this point of view, your brand serves as an important link between your tactical touchpoints and your business and marketing strategy. The messages and impressions your audiences get from these touchpoints, will be assembled by them to form the image of your company. So, two elements of your company’s brand are extremely important:
1. Your brand must convey your position clearly. In case, your brand doesn’t outline this position well, your capacity of influencing the picture your audiences create about your company, would be reduced severely.
2. Your brand must be expressed consistently through the touchpoints. In case, one of the touchpoints expresses one specific message (like attention to detail or precision), but another touchpoint expresses a different message (like scarcity of attention to detail or imprecision), your audiences would become confused, and then, they would be more likely to build any sort of impression about you.
Always remember that your target audience has a strong control over the kind of picture they opt to create of your company. If your audiences choose to form their own image of you, it’s because your brand poorly articulates your position, or your marketing touchpoints poorly express your brand. In such a case, your marketing efforts may fail.
BRAND COMMUNICATION CHANNELS:
The various channels through which your brand is communicated are – verbal, tactile, visual, olfactory and auditory channels. It’s when you communicate your brand effectively through each of these channels, that your branding efforts are truly successful.
Verbal channels involve elements of your brand like:
Visual channels involve aspects of brand like:
Tactile Channels involve elements of brand like:
Olfactory and auditory channels are also there, but they hold less importance than the tactile, visual and verbal channels, in life science marketing. Many marketers think that only rational thinking processes drive decisions, and so, they lay great emphasis on verbal channels, and tend to ignore the significance of tactile and visual channels in branding.
Although the life science industry doesn’t emphasize the olfactory and auditory channels, keep in mind that olfactory, auditory and tactile experiences have a vital role to play in building a strong impression about your brand. If you have unpacked a product of Apple ever (tactile), heard a TV advertisement of Intel processor (auditory), or walked beside any Cinnabon store (olfactory), you would understand what is being said here.
THE NEW CHANNEL FOR BRAND COMMUNICATION IN LIFE SCIENCE DIGITAL MARKETING – CONTENT MARKETING:
A new and vital aspect of a company’s brand, is “content”. Owing to web browsers and search engines, you can now express your brand easily, and help your audience know about it, by publishing unique and valuable content. This is referred to as CONTENT MARKETING – an essential element of your marketing strategy.
When the term “content marketing” is heard by scientifically trained people, they think about peer-reviewed journal articles. Although the process of peer review was one among the first content marketing examples, depending on the peer-reviewed articles only, would not help you get all the benefits, which content marketing is capable of offering to your brand.
Content marketing makes an extremely effective way to communicate the unique position of your organization. This is because your content serves as a magnet, attracting your prospective customers to you, and inspiring them to allow you to start a dialog with them. If you truly create your content around the unique position of your organization, every single piece of content would further articulate your position, thereby strengthening your hold over that position.
Still, many life science marketers do not think about content marketing in such a fundamental and deep way. A large number of life science online marketers do not use content marketing in the way they should, to strengthen their brand reputation.
Statistics showing how effective content marketing is for businesses (of different industries):
1. 80% decision makers in businesses, prefer getting information from articles, than from an advertisement.
2. 61% consumers state that their impression about a company is good, which provides custom content. These consumers also say that they are likely to make purchases from that company.
3. On an average, blogs provide websites about 97% more of indexed links and 434% more of indexed pages.
4. The year-over-year increase in the unique site traffic, is higher by 7.8 times in case of content marketing leaders, in comparison to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%).
5. In case of content marketing adopters, rate of website conversion is about 6 times greater, as compared to non-adopters.
6. Content marketing generates more leads by 3 times, per dollar.
This data is enough to prove that content marketing has great potential to increase your conversions and ROI. If you are in the biotech business, communicate your brand effectively through all the channels mentioned above, including content marketing. This would help you build a stronger brand, resulting in higher online conversions and greater sales.
Image courtesy: voiceovertalent.com