The life science market is extremely diverse, stretching across a wide range of sector areas, from drug discovery and pharmaceutical manufacturing, to microscopy and lab equipment. Given this, the idea of being able to source a marketing agency that is going to understand your specific niche or the vast range of application areas you cover, may simply seem unfeasible. However, the target audiences within these sectors often have a lot in common when it comes to evaluating, selecting and purchasing solutions. As such, a specialist agency with experience working in the life science sector may have just the expertise you need.
Even so, finding an agency that can understand and share your company’s goals and ethos, and support you in achieving success, isn’t easy. To help, we’ve summarised 10 questions you should keep top-of-mind when looking for a specialist life science marketing agency who truly understands your needs, and can ultimately offer a seamless extension of your internal team.
1. Do they have an in-depth knowledge of the life science market?
As the life science industry is so broad, one of the first things to look for is whether the agency has worked across a wide portfolio of life science businesses. If it has, it is likely to have gained a strong understanding of the market. While the agency may not know your specific application areas intimately, it should have experience to draw from, PhD-level team members who can quickly understand complex scientific processes and application areas, and a library of tried-and-tested marketing techniques to capture the attention of life scientists.
2. Will they provide me with customer insight?
An experienced agency can provide a true understanding of the industry’s different customer types. They will probably have worked across a wide range of clients over the years and met many different types of buyers at trade shows, user group meetings and seminars. They will have interviewed key opinion leaders and industry experts when developing case studies or writing articles. In addition, many team members will probably have worked as bench scientists themselves in a former life, and as such, will be able to truly and innately understand your customers’ challenges, needs and motivations. These combined elements mean they are in a great position to paint an accurate picture of your buyers, what makes them tick, and which marketing tactics and campaigns will be most effective in communicating with them.
3. Will they be able to bridge the gap between the technical and marketing teams?
One of the most important ways of establishing your brand’s credibility is by demonstrating that you’re a reliable and trustworthy source of knowledge. Fortunately, you’re probably surrounded by in-house technical specialists with years of expertise, which can go a long way towards attracting and engaging with potential customers. The challenge however, is being able to tailor the content in a format that effectively speaks to the goals, challenges and frustrations of your buyer personas. Reputable life science marketing agencies generally have PhD-level life science knowledge — meaning that many team members will speak the language of science, and have spent time working as bench scientists. They can therefore have peer-to-peer conversations and interviews with your experts, turning your internal expertise into engaging content that supports your campaign’s goals, whether that be to drive awareness, position your company as a thought leader, or to help you capture leads to nurture into sales.
4. Can they provide practical advice on the latest marketing trends and techniques?
In the constantly-evolving world of marketing, it’s crucial that you are up to date with the latest trends and are adopting new strategies to get ahead of your competitors. This will help to ensure you achieve and maintain a unique position in the industry, and grab the attention (and budget) of your target prospects. A forward-thinking life science marketing agency will have considerable experience of providing marketing direction and hands-on support on the latest marketing techniques and tactics, with knowledge of what will work most effectively within your given area. Due to the combination of their know-how, passion for life science marketing and their internal investment in ongoing training, a good agency should be able to keep its clients ahead of the competition by providing solutions that cut through the noise in today’s cluttered and complex communications environment.
5. Will they provide you with access to a pool of talented content developers and science writers?
Anyone can write, but creating technical content that is engaging, interesting and memorable can be difficult, especially when it comes to communicating detailed and sometimes complex topics. However, creating high-value, original content for the life science industry can go a long way towards strengthening your position as an expert and thought leader. With scientists actively seeking out trustworthy information online, you can quickly establish your position as a valued provider by developing valuable technical content, such as application notes, white papers, trade journal articles, eBooks, infographics, trend reports, blogs and more. Most life science marketing agencies will have in-house science writers who have been involved in academic research at some point, but have since learned to develop content across a range of technical and creative styles. They will be well-versed in assimilating new technology/product information and experienced at engaging with in-house marketing and application teams, as well as key opinion leaders from a variety of different areas. They will be adept at using their specialist knowledge to develop perceptive, engaging articles, whitepapers, case studies and more, that resonate with the scientific community.
So there we have it, the first five questions to ask yourself when choosing an agency to partner with. Look out for part two, where we’ll explore the next five!
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