Strategies for marketing biotech companies
Competing against industry giants can be a daunting task. When your company is just starting it can seem like a huge mountain to climb. Fortunately, there are things you can do that to compete in the shark tank that is biotech.
Trust is essential in building a brand. When you begin your brand is unknown and trust has to be earned. When you are established, trust has to be maintained. Look at Facebook for example. The brand was established, but lately has come under scrutiny based on trust issues. Authenticity is key. Caring about customers and their needs is essential. Consumer trust creates loyalty and advocacy. So how do you create trust? Simply saying a brand is going to do something, without actually doing it is a recipe for disaster. Managing customer expectations is a delicate balancing act. People today are being more mindful about the things they choose to buy. There is simply more data out there, and the savvy customer reads reviews, talks on forums and is generally more knowledgeable and intelligent than the consumers were before the internet was born. The customer is at the heart of what you do, not making the sale. There has been a cultural shift from not just showing you care about the customer to get sales, but also understanding the customer’s viewpoint, and their wants needs and desires. Shared values with the customer are a means to getting loyalty and a customer base that will advocate for the brand. The brand will take on a personality that people can relate to, trust and get behind, as they would a trusted friend. That is the level that most brands need to aspire to.
When it comes to product quality, never release a product to the public if it doesn’t meet your standards. Use metrics to measure it’s efficacy, for if you don’t you cannot have anyway to judge if it is fit for your customers. This accountability falls on your shoulders.
Every chance you interact with a customer, is an opportunity to learn something about them, to learn about their needs wants and desires. They say we never sell goods or services, but we do sell love and acceptance, a means to survive and thrive both monetarily and healthfully, and thirdly we sell stress relief. Getting to know which of these things your target most desires can only be learned through meaningful interactions with them. Let them teach you about their needs and desires, your competition and finally the true value of what you are selling. Let them educate you so that you know exactly what they are wanting and expecting from you. Many companies think they know the answer to this without ever getting feedback from the end customer. Don’t make this mistake, always get feedback, whether it is automated into your website platform or retrieved by other means.
Next make changes based on what they say and bring them into the loop when you implement their suggestions. Allowing them to see how you evolve based on their feedback makes them feel like insiders, and will heighten their sense of loyalty and advocacy for your brand. They will carry with them a sense of importance in your process that will allow them to feel a part of your organization. Once you’ve shared how you have incorporated their feedback, then implement these changes into your products and processes for a better business model.
You cannot control your marketing efforts for your life science business without a plan. A plan is 100% successful in being able to measure these efforts. You need to carefully plan your strategy with documentation on what you did to see what is working and what is not. Here is where we can help. A consultancy session which carefully lays out a strategy, sets some metrics to measure toward it’s success, and then modifies the plan based on initial feedback is a must. This will avoid mistakes being repeated or efforts being duplicated. Making notes on customer feedback and keeping them in your documentation is also crucial. This gives you the ability to follow up, and close the feedback loop with potential customers, investors and partners of your biotech company.
Relevant content is the number one law in having interesting and engaging writing. Be present in the here and now. Weigh in on controversial new medical technologies to establish yourself as an authority or an expert in your field. These sorts of “newsjackings” will make you appear tuned in to the world around you and offer an opportunity to engage with your audience like nothing else. Offering professional commentary or analysis will catapult you and your brand to new heights. In fact, doing this in a regularly scheduled manner on social media or your website will make you fresh and relevant and make people want to follow you. You can ride the media wave indefinitely this way by seeking out newsworthy stories and then commenting on them. Help boost your credibility and get the social proof you need to by using this mechanism to your advantage.
Do you know what separates an excellent biotechnology company from a mediocre one? Consistency in policies, products, premises, processes, and people. Attracting customers is not enough. Having processes to support your mission, well trained people to implement the processes, excellent products or services to sell and a value based premise as to why you do what you do are essential. Your business will only succeed with the ability to attract and keep customers. Having all the things in place to help you do this will establish a system for your biotechnology company that is an unstoppable force.
Premise and products attract customers, but they will not retain them. To keep your potential partners, investors and patients you will need repeatable processes and well trained people to implement those processes to retain them. Demonstrating your commitment to continuous process improvement will insure that your efforts will be met with successful investor, partner and patient relationships.
Making science sexy is an art and a skill. Having a good product, a worthwhile mission and a strong passion are only the beginning. This gives you the key to the door, but having a successful biotech company is more than just that. How you improve your sales processes through constant and consistent improvement to your methods are what will let you win at the entrepreneurial game. Having more revenue will enrich your life as an entrepreneur and make things much easier. It is no fun not having enough money to do the things you want to do, to further your science, and to create new solutions. You must be able to survive and thrive financially. More sales and better profit margins will accomplish this quite nicely. When you become a scientist, the art of profitability is rarely taught. The simple rules of profit margins, overhead costs and viability are lost on many. Keeping your company in the black is not only desirable, it is absolutely necessary.
So how do you make your complex technology into selling points that make sales? Through engaging narratives on how the world will be improved with your technology. Through engaging videos and stories, you can take a dry boring technology and transform it into a compelling story that makes investors, potential partners and patients crave your technology and bring in more interest and sales to boot. In doing this you can watch your bottom line grow, and that is truly exciting.