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Tag : content marketing

Customer-Centric Content

Content marketing must be undertaken from a customer-centric viewpointContent marketing is no longer a novel tactic among life science tools and services companies. Truly effective content strategies, however, are still rare. Many life science marketers approach content marketing too superficially, with an “if I write it, they will come” mentality. There are two common problems in most content marketing campaigns that are epidemic to the life science tools industry, although both are usually rooted in lack of a meaningful content strategy.

The most common problem is publishing content that you want the viewers to see rather than content that they would be interested in. This problem most frequently manifests as an excessive amount of company-centric and / or product-centric content. This content is often overtly promotional and may consist largely of new product announcements, sales and other deals, highlights of publications using the company’s products / technologies, company news, events the company will be exhibiting at, and similar content. This content marketing tactic is lazy and self-serving, but most often fails to accomplish the desired effect of increasing demand for its products. Being overtly promotional, the content is not readily trusted and may actually create skepticism among the audience, causing them to disengage from the company’s content and potentially limit the effectiveness of the company’s other marketing efforts.

The other common problem is publishing content that you believe the viewers want to see but which is content that they do not want to get from you. This content is often generic and could be readily obtained elsewhere. It may be easy to take the most interesting and relevant content from Nature News, your favorite scientific journals, and other sources, but the content generally becomes diluted in rewriting / reposting and chances are the scientists already have better sources for such information. You’re probably not going to become the Nature News of your field – at least not without a herculean effort or unless your field is extremely niche.

This begs the question: what kind of content should be published? The content must be customer-centric. It must be content that holds unique value for the audience while adding value to your brand and / or products. To get yourself started in creating a content strategy that meets these criteria, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What content can we create that our audience cannot get elsewhere or could only get from a very limited number of sources?
  • What kind of content would the audience like to see specifically from us?
  • How can we use content to enhance the value of our products / services in a way that is educational and will be appreciated by the audience rather than fueling skepticism?
  • What knowledge do we have that is of value to the audience and can be used to demonstrate leadership in our field?


Remember that scientists are customers of your content – they are “paying” for your content “product” with their time and attention. Your content needs to be sufficiently engaging to be worth their attention, but it also needs to be relevant and valuable enough to reflect positively on your brand.

It’s also worth noting that many companies get into the habit of thinking: we need to make X number of posts per [unit time]. While these time-constrained content goals are good to have, they should serve as guidelines rather than rules. Having something valuable to say is more important than saying something according to a set minimum schedule. If you don’t have something valuable to share, don’t share anything at all. It’s better to consistently have high-value content which is published on an inconsistent basis than to have content of inconsistent value published consistently.

Content marketing is not something to take lightly. If you lack strategy or execution content marketing can be an easy way to waste a whole lot of time and effort. The rush for many life science companies to “start doing content marketing” should be tempered by the need for a coherent strategy in order to create the desired outcomes. Done correctly, content marketing can take your brand and position it as a leader in your field.

"Is your company consistently publishing high-value content? Is your content sufficiently customer-centric? If the answer to either of these questions is no, it’s time to call BioBM. Our life science content marketing experts will help you formulate a content strategy which will build significant value for your brand among your target audience. Contact us to get started."

Marketing Channels

To ensure that your campaigns have reach, focus on the many different channels which scientists may prefer.Many small life science companies have their preferred advertising / marketing channels. This approach, limited and highly focused, works well for demand generation campaigns (and, to a lesser extent, branding initiatives) in which reaching a large proportion of the target market is not necessary; when reaching just a subset of the target market is acceptable. However, when companies want to reach an entire market, it is critical that a wide variety of marketing channels are considered. The concept also applies to dissemination of content – a large amount of content channels need to be targeted if a large amount of the target market is to be reached. This is because people have preferred channels for finding information and consuming content.

As a data-supported example, take consumer behavior for consumption of digital media. As the Harvard Business Review discussed in its October 2012 article “Why Digital Media Require a Strategic Rethink“:

[pullquote_left]Most customers choose their channel before choosing a product, and they’re unlikely to jump channels. […] For example, in December 2007 NBC removed its content from the iTunes Store, causing an 11% increase in piracy the following month—and no increase in DVD sales. Conversely, after ABC added its content to Hulu, in 2009, piracy of its shows dropped by more than 20%, while TV viewership remained essentially unchanged. And in 2010, when a major U.S. publisher stopped providing Kindle editions, it saw no increase in hardcover sales.
[/pullquote_left]

This translates into ways in which people look for information and products as well. For instance, some scientists may use BioCompare almost all the time when looking for a product. Others may not use BioCompare at all. Others may use it only when they are having difficulty finding a product or making a decision. However, very few are likely to migrate between those groups at will. Another example: many scientists do a Google search first when looking for a chemical or reagent, but many others go straight to Sigma and search their site. There are probably very few who randomly do both. When looking for scientific news, some scientists may gravitate to Nature News. Others may go to their favorite journals (either print or digital – but unlikely both).

For those of us that don’t have scientific backgrounds, think about your own searches for information different types of products. You probably have a preferred method and channel(s) to look for various types of products. When you want to read the news, you likely have one or a few preferred websites, newspapers, or periodicals. The way in which scientists look for information or products is not very different.

Because scientists have preferred sources and channels, advertising or publishing content across a single channel or a small number of channels is often an ineffective way of reaching a large proportion of any particular target market. To ensure that your campaigns have reach, focus on the many different channels which scientists may prefer.

"Are you looking to increase your company’s reach? Want to develop promotional strategies to help drive inbound lead generation or improve your company’s brand strength? Contact BioBM. Our team of life science marketing experts will help your company reach more scientists, reel them in, and convert them into profitable sales which drive your company’s growth. For more information, call us at +1 313-312-4626."

RSS Feeds & Publicity

To get your life science company's news more widely distributed, have a meaningful RSS feedLet’s face it: all companies love free publicity. However, many life science tools companies, especially small companies, don’t take full advantage of industry press. It’s certainly not for lack of news. Life science tools companies are constantly developing new products, expanding distribution networks, collaborating with academia, getting grants, and doing lots of other potentially newsworthy activities. They simply do not do a great job of disseminating their news. One very helpful step in getting your company news picked up is setting up a meaningful RSS feed.

Simply publishing your company news on your website is not sufficient to ensure it gets distributed. It is not realistic to assume that relevant members of industry media will routinely check your website for updates. Even if you are publishing your press releases through major PR outlets, such as PR Newswire, your releases may not be easily found by more focused industry press. In contrast, an RSS feed allows your news to easily be delivered to industry news media.

Simply having an RSS feed isn’t enough, though. You need to treat journalists as if they will be customers of your news content. After all, they will have many different sources of news competing for their attention. You therefore need to ensure that your feed is of high value to them. Your feed needs to be interesting and relevant. As a litmus test for any particular piece of news, try to think from the perspective of a general member of your industry and / or target market. Landed a big customer recently? It might be important to your company and maybe your investors, but the industry in general probably doesn’t care much. There are many other such examples.

Everybody loves free press, and for good reason. Spreading the accomplishments of your company can build your reputation and brand. It can raise awareness within your target markets. It can help attract investment. It can even have a very positive effect on SEO. To ensure that your company gets the most free publicity possible, ensure that you have a company news feed that is relevant, interesting, and easily disseminated to members of industry news media via RSS.

"Are you looking to package your company news into compelling press releases and news articles that get your company positive publicity? BioBM has public relations services for life science tools companies that will get your company the attention it desires. If you’re currently writing press releases, feel free to sign up at LifeSciPR and post them for free!"

Marketing & The Cost of Sales

Efficient life science sales operations require that opportunities are handed from marketing to sales at the correct point in the buying cycle. When there is a lack of proper marketing support, leads often get handed over to sales too early, creating situations where sales effort is wasted, leading to operational inefficiencies in sales. The symptoms caused by underdeveloped leads are usually three-fold:

  1. Sales conversion is low because of poor lead quality which is ultimately due to underdeveloped leads. This situation often leads to sales and marketing pointing fingers at each other.
  2. The sales cycle is prolonged, requiring more overall effort from sales and, therefore, increased costs
  3. Leads will go cold at a high rate


The opposite effect, where sales effort is insufficient or too much is left to marketing, is also possible. Recent research suggests that it may actually be common and also cause decreased conversion and wasted sales effort. Regardless, the method for diagnosis is similar.

If you are creating a lot of leads but not closing a lot of opportunities then you may be under-nurturing (or over-nurturing) your leads. Compare your marketing contact points to your content roadmap (you may need to design a content roadmap if you do not already have one). A content roadmap based on strategy and market research should provide a complete picture of the information requirements of your target audience. Like a blueprint for a house, the content roadmap will provide a framework for creating leads and, subsequently, nurturing your leads into qualified opportunities. Overlay that framework onto your current marketing campaign and ask: Are you delivering all of the necessary content? Is sales delivering content that marketing should deliver (or vice versa)? At this stage, the difference between what you are doing and what you should be doing should be clear.

"Alignment of marketing and sales is a critical component to maximizing demand. Poor cooperation between these departments can cause distrust and poison an organization’s ability to convert. If you’re looking to more effectively lead your customers through their buying cycle, feel free to call us at BioBM. We can help ensure that your marketing and sales departments work collaboratively to create high-quality leads and close on them."

Creating Balance in Marketing

Creating Balance in Life Science MarketingLife science marketing requires a degree of balance between two opposing factors: information (content) and simplicity. On one hand, life science marketers want the scientist-customer to be able to access all of the information that they may need or want in order to make a purchasing decision. On the other hand, marketers and salespeople want to efficiently guide the customer to the point of making a purchasing decision, and want to create simplicity such that the customer is efficient in his or her own decision making. These needs are often in opposition: providing more information than any particular scientist wants can complicate the purchasing decision, lengthening the sales cycle and creating “stress points” in the campaign where scientists may lose interest, while oversimplifying their decision-making process may leave scientists without enough information and feeling as if they are being forced into a decision.

So how do we balance these two opposing forces? It is not simple. Any given scientist-customer may have different information demands. A single marketing flow will provide poor results in life science tools sectors where such demands may significantly differ (as is true in most sectors). The key lies in planning and foresight.

Through both internal knowledge and interviews with members of your target market, life science marketers should be able to gather all possible information requirements of a prospective customer, classify this information into “essential” and “non-essential” information, and determine what information may be needed at what point in their purchasing decision. Essential information will form the backbone of the marketing campaign architecture – the content designed to “touch” all prospective customers. Non-essential information should be offered but not placed directly in front of all customers. Consider these factors along with when certain pieces of content will be required or beneficial and draw out a content roadmap. The content roadmap should provide life science marketers with a clear view of the informational requirements and will implicitly guide marketers towards deciding the optimal channels for delivering any particular piece of content.

Through understanding the information requirements of the audience and development of a content roadmap, life science marketers can develop a marketing campaign architecture that balances content and decision simplicity to customize and self-optimize the campaign for each individual prospect.

"Looking to greatly improve demand for your products? BioBM develops marketing strategies for small and mid-sized life science tools companies that are both powerful and practical. In addition to leveraging the best practices in life science marketing, our smaller-company focus takes budget into strict consideration and delivers campaigns that perform at a big-company level while meeting small-company budgetary restrictions. Call us to learn more about our services."

Customers of Content

Scientists have many things competing for their attention.Social media, blogs, social bookmarking, RSS, e-mail… There’s so much competing for scientists digital attention these days. When a scientist (or anyone) is in front of a computer they have a purpose in mind, and be it leisure, education, or work, their time there is limited. Simply engaging in content marketing is no longer enough. Your life science company’s content is competing for the attention of your audience, and it has to meet the needs or desires of the audience better than any other content they have access to, or else they simply won’t view and absorb it. Scientists aren’t just customers of your products anymore, but are customers of your content as well.

Your customers pay for your content marketing “product” with their time and attention. They could be viewing anyone else’s content, or simply doing something else. There are near-limitless sources vying for their time and attention, and you have to have a content product that is sufficiently valuable for them to give you their time in exchange. You also need to behave yourself in trying to “sell” your content. Just as you would readily unsubscribe from a vendor who sent e-mails every hour, or get quite angered with a merchant at a market who followed you down the street screaming for you to look at his wares, your customers will get quite annoyed if you don’t moderate your content. You need to balance quality and frequency. Consistently high-quality content can be posted more often. Lower-quality content should not be. (Wondering how to determine the quality of your content? Ask us.) Just as your customers reward high-quality products with repeat purchases and word-of-mouth referrals, they also reward high-quality content with return visits and by sharing your content with others.

Your content behaves as a product, and should be treated with the much of the same respect given to your products or services. With a well-designed content marketing strategy and similarly well-executed content marketing plan, you’ll be able to target and attract future [paying] customers even when they’re not in the traditional buying cycle (and give your SEO a nice boost in the process).

"Looking to improve your life science content marketing? If not, you should be. Content marketing plays a very important role in both retaining new customers and attracting new customers when they’re not even in the traditional buying cycle, and can be a great asset to your SEO and branding as well. Contact us and we’ll discuss ways for you to extract value from content marketing through improved brand loyalty, better search engine rankings, and more."