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Tag : life science marketing

BioBM Announces Idea Farm

BioBM Consulting has announced the release of it’s new “Idea Farm”. Unlike standard services, the BioBM Idea Farm productizes ideas into discrete, purchasable packages at a pre-defined price. The Idea Farm explains what the idea is, who it would be appropriate for, how it should be implemented, and how it will benefit potential life science companies who would purchase it. To maintain the integrity of the ideas, each will only be sold one time, to one buyer.

To date, most of the ideas are for marketing communications initiatives, although BioBM staff members have acknowledged the possibility that relevant ideas in other areas may be added at a later time.

Principal Consultant Carlton Hoyt gave the following statement about the launch of the idea farm:

Statement from Principal Consultant Carlton Hoyt

I am very proud of the ingenuity and innovation that our marketing communications team has shown. Over time, they have presented me with an interesting problem by proposing far more good ideas than we had a client-driven need for. The Idea Farm will provide a platform for BioBM to promote and monetize this ingenuity while simultaneously allowing customers access to these great ideas at a price point that provides an exceptionally strong value.


To learn more about the BioBM idea farm, please visit: http://biobm.com/idea-farm/

SMM Isn’t Free

While social media platforms are free, executing an effective Social Media Marketing campaign is not.There is a common misconception, and not just in life science but in many industries, that social media marketing is free. This misconception arises because the platforms that social media marketing occurs on are free to use. However, while the platforms are free, SMM is not free. SMM campaigns may be relatively inexpensive but they still need to be resourced appropriately.

There is, effectively, a minimum threshold of effort that must be crossed in order to effectively make use of social media as a marketing tool. It requires a certain amount of content and interaction to effectively engage the audience, and also requires a certain amount of personal management in order to maintain a “social” and personal feel (without which you’re largely defeating the purpose) and make sure the audience stays relevant. Both of these things require time.

Because of this minimum threshold of effort, social media marketing is not infinitely scalable as is, say, search engine marketing or most kinds of pay-per-click or pay-per-impression marketing. While it is true that what you get our of SMM is related to what you put into it, the relationship is not a direct one. Put in too little and you won’t get anything meaningful out of it. Put in too much and you may be well beyond inefficiency (although SMM effort are very rarely resourced to the point of that being a problem).

Social media marketing can be effective even when resourced at a very small percentage of most life science companies’ marketing budgets, but it does need to be resourced. Don’t take SMM for granted – create defined goals, build a strategy that will be effective in achieving those goals, and resource the effort appropriately to successfully execute that strategy. Only then will your life science company realize the benefits of social media marketing.

"Wondering how your company can leverage social media marketing to create and benefit from high-value customer interactions? Are you unsure how much effort your company should devote to social media, or even if social media marketing is right for you? Don’t get caught up in the hype or be dazed by buzzwords and novelty. BioBM Consulting can help you determine if you should utilize SMM, how you can most effectively utilize SMM, and create results that are quantifiable and analyzable. Call us today or use the form below to see how your company can leverage social media marketing to truly connect with your customers."

Using a Website to Engage

Life science internet marketing solutions from BioBM ConsultingA website can be an exceptionally powerful tool. It is, in essence, a block of clay – massively flexible and limited only by your creativity. For life science companies this flexibility can and should be leveraged as a key component of your internet marketing. When a scientist or other potential customer is on your website you have their attention, at least when they first arrive. Don’t squander that opportunity. Engage the customer, impress them, and you’ll be far more likely to generate a lead or create a sale. But how can a life science company go about doing that? Well, there are a few things we have to do before you get there…

Step 1: Know why people are going to your website. I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating: Make friends with Google Analytics. Knowing where people are entering from, what search terms they are using, and how they are navigating your website can greatly help figure out why people are going to your site.

Step 2: Lead them to the information they want. We talked about this in a similar context before, so feel free to read our post “From Site to Sale” for more info on that.

Step 3: Make that information engaging! Is your technology complex? Use some interactive flash or a well-illustrated animation to show consumers why your technology is superior. Would customers want to know how to use your product? Make a demonstration video. Don’t just state your advantages – show them. Nothing is worse than a run-on page of text or a lack of information. Remember: showing is always more powerful than telling.

By escaping the paradigm of only having text and images on your website and using engaging media in meaningful and appropriate ways, you can not only improve customer engagement but also present information in ways that make it easier to understand for customers. Combine that with navigation that directs customers to relevant information and leads them into the sales process, and you’ll have a website that is a genuine sales machine.

"Who wouldn’t want to drive more sales or inquiries from their website? The issue is always “how”? BioBM has the answers. If you want to send your conversions through the roof, contact us and we’ll show you how we can design a website that will drive revenues and provide a great, measurable ROI, or simply improve your current website to the same result. If you’re not sure where and how you can improve, feel free to request a free site review and we’ll help you identify areas for improvement and discuss potential remedies."

Biocompare Survey Results

A little under two weeks ago, we held a survey to gather life science manufacturer’s opinions of Biocompare as an advertising platform. We didn’t get a ton of feedback, but we certainly provoked some good discussion on LinkedIn. As promised, here are the results of the survey:

Biocompare survey question 1: Does your company advertise with Biocompare?

Biocompare survey question 2: What do you think about Biocompare?

The sentiment expressed in comments was fairly split. The most common sentiments indicated a general appreciation of the exposure that Biocompare offers but dissatisfaction with the difficulty in determining the ROI of their advertising dollars spent on Biocompare. Sentiments such as “by advertising on Biocompare we have a lot of exposure [but] the direct relation to ROI is low or difficult to measure in the long term.” were common. Others spoke favorably of Biocompare, saying “I think they do a really good job overall for brand development (like advertising)” or “My company has advertised on Biocompare and I believe the MarCom group felt the exposure was good.” Others suggested other areas for improvement such as “the banners are dominated by couple of vendors which makes my eyes tired of looking at the same ad” and “more country-specific advertising options would be great such as country-specific promotions, languages, etc.” There were no highly negative comments.

To view all of the comments from the survey, as well as some anonymized comments from LinkedIn, click here.

Comment on Webinars

I saw a post on one of the LinkedIn groups I’m a member of for a webinar that was of interest to me. Long story short: it was terrible. So you don’t make the same mistakes that this company did when you’re creating life science webinars, I thought I’d share a quick tip.

Remember that a webinar (or an in-person seminar for that matter) is a form of content marketing. The lure is the promise of information that is valuable to the user. In order for your webinar to be a success, you must deliver on that promise. The content that you provide needs to address the reason that people are attending your webinar – the topic of the webinar in the first place. If your title and abstract don’t match the presentation, you’re going to hurt your reputation, not help your marketing effort.

Also, you need to balance the amount of content with the marketing message as is appropriate for your webinar. It is possible to have a webinar strictly about a product or service, and there’s nothing wrong with that and such webinars can have value to individuals who are seeking more information about such products and services, but if that is going to be the focal point you need to be up front about it. If you’re creating a webinar on “best practices in high-throughput nucleic acid purification”, for example, attendees are going to expect to learn something of value about high-throughput nucleic acid purification. If you make too much of a marketing pitch and don’t provide enough valuable information on the topic, you’re going to hurt your reputation, not help your marketing effort.

Life science webinars can be useful tools to gather an audience and positively project your brand image and services, but you have to do it correctly. Align the webinar with the desires of the audience to create value and you’ll find success.

"Want to create high-impact webinars? Not satisfied with the quality of your marketing efforts or marketing materials? BioBM Consulting creates high-impact life science marketing campaigns for life science clients that drive sales and improve ROI. To start attracting and influencing more potential customers, call us today. We’re life scientists just like your customers, and boy do we love marketing."

Opinions of Biocompare

There was a bit of a heated discussion going on in one of the LinkedIn groups that I’m a part of where people, including a Biocompare founder, were debating the value of Biocompare as a life science marketing platform. For the moment, I’ll hold back the opinions that were expressed in those posts as well as my own and those I’ve heard from others. What I think is valuable to know is what the life science products community as a whole thinks about Biocompare. To that end, I’ve created this quick, 3-question survey. I encourage you to share your thoughts anonymously, and the results will be shared on BioBM.com.

I have also enabled comments below, so feel free to add your thoughts if you would like to air them out publicly!

Take the Biocompare survey

Use Google Alerts

I’m guessing most companies do, but I’ve ran into a few that aren’t so I feel the need to say it here: use Google Alerts. For any small company, life science companies included, Google Alerts is an easy and free way of monitoring what is said about your company online. You can set up alerts for mentions of your company, your products, anything. Also, it’s an easy way to keep track of your competition – you can set up Google Alerts for mentions of their company, brands, and products as well.

If you’re involved in marketing or PR for your life science company you definitely be receiving Google Alerts. For small life science companies, executives probably should as well. For people in sales or business development it’s good to keep track of what is being said about your product and the product positioning of competitors. For support or applications scientists, it could be a good way to keep up with people posting methods or problems with your products on forums or anywhere on the internet.

Google Alerts takes almost no time to set up, alerts can be received “as-it-happens”, daily, or weekly and via e-mail or RSS. And did I mention that it’s free?

Misconceptions About SMM

There are a lot of misconceptions about social media marketing out there. I was recently reminded of it by a tweet from a company which will remain nameless. This company provides market reports and market research services for life science companies, and I find most of their reports to be quite compelling so I don’t want this one misstep to reflect too negatively on them. When marketing for their most recent report, they tweeted:

anonymous tweet

Scientists report using LinkedIn to find vendor-sponsored info more than every other social media platform–combined


This exhibits something of a misconception about how social media marketing works and is the same misconception that many life science companies have about SMM. Put simply: scientists will very rarely use social media to “find” vendor information or product information. If a scientist is thinking about looking for a product, they know that twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube, etc., are not the best places to look. Not to say that social media marketing isn’t valuable, but you need to understand it’s purpose and how your target market is going to use it. Social media is used for engagement, for brand positioning, and for active presentation of information to customers, not simply as a repository for information which you can expect users to seek out (as a catalogue or a website could be). Because of this consumer behavior, asking “what social media platforms do you use to look for vendor information” is inducing an answer to the wrong question.

Poorly executed social media marketing will at best be a waste of time and money, and at worst can hurt your life science company’s brand. In order for your SMM efforts to be sucessful, you need to understand your customers and their use of social media networks.

Presenting your Marketing

With online leads, speed is a key factor in conversion.Life science marketing is an interesting thing. It is most often supported by a wide breadth of technical information, and scientists often want a lot of information, but at the same time most of the “standard” rules of marketing still apply. This dichotomy is often at odds with itself, and scientific marketers will frequently end up with marketing messages that are unorganized, contain too little information, contain too much information, or fail to effectively lead customers into the sales process. While it is true that this failure is often at least partially due to marketing functions being performed by marketers who do not sufficiently understand scientists or scientists who are not sufficiently well trained in marketing, it can even more frequently be ascribed to another failure. Life science marketers have an inexplicable tendency to present their marketing messages in the way they think it should be provided as opposed to how their customers are likely to want it.

The solution to this problem is to combine the psychology of the target consumer with the limitations of the given marketing medium. Stop asking yourself what information is important for the customer to know – the answer will center around you and your opinions. Instead, ask what the customer will want to know. What fuels their purchasing decisions? What is the first piece of information that they are going to look for? What will the customers view as the most important differentiators or benefits? Once you answer these questions and other, similar questions you will start to have an understanding of what is likely to be important to the customer (of course, to have a complete understanding you will need to perform some marketing research). This is not to say that the customer will never have unknown unknowns, and there may be information that they would view as highly valuable that they are completely unaware of and should still be presented to them, but such information still has to be assessed from the perspective of customer-perceived value. Once we have an understanding of the customers needs and what is important to them, then we can start to construct a well-crafted marketing message.

Consider the medium by which which your marketing message will be communicated. Print, web, video, and other mediums each have different constraints and will may be viewed under different circumstances, and therefore the marketing message for any given medium should not be a carbon copy of another. While they will probably be similar, marketing messages should be tweaked to make optimal use of the specific medium. Will your marketing be presented to life scientists or will they be going to your marketing? How much of your viewers attention will you have? How much content can you fit and what kind of content is appropriate to the medium? The answers to these kind of questions should be used to refine the marketing message for any given medium in order to make it more effective.

Regardless of the medium, don’t forget to include a compelling call to action! When and where to place them is also something that deserves some degree of consideration. Many marketers automatically put the call to action at the end of the marketing message and leave it at that, but is that really the best place? For example, if most of the compelling content is near the beginning of the marketing message and the later content is mostly supporting information, the end may not be the best place for the call to action. Alternatively, perhaps two would be more appropriate.

Optimal presentation of a scientific marketing message is not a simple thing. It is a balancing act between providing sufficient information and being succinct while taking into account the psychology of the customer, the medium, and other factors which we have not yet discussed. Many small companies fall into the trap of “marketing like scientists” and turning marketing messages into information dumps, but doing so will never maximize results. By escaping that thought pattern and thinking critically about key marketing issues as well as scientific issues, only then can the ROI of life science marketing be maximized.

"If your life science marketing messages are not optimized to maximize lead generation, you could easily be losing 75% or more of your potential marketing returns. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. BioBM Consulting can help you design highly effective marketing materials that draw the customers into the sales process. If you would like to improve your marketing materials, boost sales, and watch your marketing ROI soar, contact BioBM today. Our skilled team of life science marketing consultants are here to help your company achieve greater success through improved marketing."

The Limitations of Referrals

Referral-based marketing works best in environments where there is open and fluid interaction between populations of customers, something that life science research environments lack.While less common in highly technical industries such as life science tools and services, it’s not wholly uncommon for entrepreneurs to “boot-strap” their start-up companies (try to start without external funding and race to become profitable before they run out of cash). Yet more common, even with outside investment, is under-capitalization. In either case, when small companies start to become low on cash, one of the first corners that often gets cut is marketing. Entrepreneurs sometimes think that word-of-mouth or referrals will be a sufficient marketing tactic to grow their business, but that is very rarely the case for life science products and services. Why is this the case? Customer interaction patterns. To illustrate my point, let me give an example of when referral-based marketing can be effective.

Take Twitter as an extreme example on one end. Twitter never advertised. They were established 100% on word-of-mouth marketing and over their short sub-5-year history have ballooned to over 200 million users and are now the ninth most popular site on the internet. You can top that off with an estimated valuation of $8 to $10 billion dollars. Why was twitter able to be so successful at harnessing the power of referrals / word-of-mouth marketing? There are two key factors. The first is that Twitter was something that people were excited about and talked about – obviously you can’t be successful at word-of-mouth marketing if you don’t create something that people want to talk about. That, however, is something that life science companies can replicate. The other factor, however, is something that life science companies cannot replicate, and that is customer interaction patterns. Anyone, anywhere could be a twitter user so long as they had a computer or a cell phone. This meant that in many markets everyone was a potential user, and connections between users and potential users could be drawn seamlessly. Interaction between the groups was very easy and close at hand.

Companies manufacturing life science tools do not have the advantage of everyone being a potential customer. Customers are usually grouped into discrete units with limited interaction – universities, research institutes, pharma / biotech company research centers. If a scientist at university X is very happy with your product, this scientist will tell others around him or her, but the pool of potential customers will often be limited to those within their institute since that is where the relevant connections involving frequent interaction stop. This is especially true in the more restricted-access and secretive environments of pharmaceutical and biotech laboratories.

You can analogize the situation to an infectious virus. If a virus can infect anyone, it will have an easy time spreading. If it can only infect a small subset of the population, however, and those populations are grouped together and quarantined from each other, the virus will have a very difficult time spreading. A similar quarantining happens to word-of-mouth marketing in the life sciences, so don’t rely solely on referrals to grow your market share. There are enough low-cost and effective ways of marketing to provide even cash-strapped bioscience startups high-ROI options to more proactively reach their target audiences.

"Is your company looking for effective, low-cost marketing methods? If so, talk to BioBM Consulting. Our expert life science marketing consultants will help you develop and execute high-efficiency strategies to successfully market your products to a scientific audience."