6 Challenges of Life Science Marketing and How to Overcome Them

When it comes to marketing, the life science industry has always lagged a bit behind as compared to other verticals. Perhaps, a major reason behind this are the challenges life science companies encounter when marketing their brand, products or services. Many of these challenges are completely unique to the vertical of life sciences. This industry, governed by strict regulations, often finds it difficult to reach out to its target audience and offer its products and services.

Besides fragmented channels for customer communication, decreased margins and high competition, several other business challenges are encountered by life science firms. Here I am listing down the major ones among them. If you are a life science company, check it out whether you too are facing these problems.

#1. Life science firms face issues related to strategies for market access, like expansion beyond the existing boundaries of industry or geography to offer more products to more customers and groups of patients, in more markets.

#2. They need to undertake special regulatory considerations related to promotional and marketing materials. Challenges are also encountered when it comes to audit controls, compliance and customer communication management.

#3. Accessing customers is challenging for companies of this vertical, and the time available with customers (like physicians) is inadequate. The ratio of physicians to patients in primary care would become 1:8,000 from 1:1,500, leaving physicians with too less time to meet medical device and pharma sales representatives. This huge change is a result of regulatory reforms like “Physician Payment Sunshine Act”, laws of gift ban, and aggregate spend regulations of state-level, accompanied by the entry of about 32 million new insured patients into the healthcare system of U.S.

#4. There is no fall in generic competition. Likewise, there is an acceleration in medications that are off-patent, leading to margin pressure by the payer-led market, and huge cost-cutting.

#5. Reforms in healthcare and their manifestations in fields like fixed reimbursements and managed care, result in revenue constraints and artificial cost thresholds.

#6. Misalignment – Common Issue in Life Science Marketing

Misalignment is a very commonly seen problem in the realm of life science marketing. When your marketing efforts are not aligned, the problem of misalignment arises.

The 4 types of misalignment are:

1. Position not aligned with needs of audience
2. Story/brand not aligned with position
3. Touchpoints not aligned with brand/story
4. Internal communications not aligned with external communications

Eliminating misalignment problems is quite difficult, and the way to do the job depends on what symptoms of misalignment are shown by your company, as well as how severe the issues are. Prior to starting with solving the misalignment issues, it’s important to diagnose and understand the various misalignments. This would help you win over your unique challenges.

Overcoming the Marketing Challenges:

A digital marketing agency specialized in life science marketing can be of great help when you try to overcome your marketing challenges. Through their experience in servicing life science companies, such agencies become well-versed with the technique of solving marketing issues faced by life science firms. When trying to find such an agency, look for the following:

The agency should provide solutions tailored to the needs of its clients.
It should have a vast experience of assisting life science companies.
It would be great if the company has a few professionals highly qualified in the domain of life sciences. This would show that the agency has an in-depth understanding of your industry, its challenges, and most importantly, what works and what doesn’t in this industry.
It should have highly skilled web developers experienced enough in building user-friendly e-commerce websites for life science companies specifically.
The agency should have a proven track record of successfully meeting the needs of biotech, biopharma, pharma and other life science companies.

With the assistance of a reliable life science digital marketing agency, you can remove all your marketing bottlenecks, and reap the rewards of your marketing efforts.


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