Connect with us

Life sciences

Marketing savvy matters to life sciences

By Kellyann Zuzulo, Founder and CEO, Em-Press Media



Marketing is not just for retail, food, and fashion brands.

Advertising, marketing, and public relations are valuable tools across industries. This is increasingly true for the life sciences industry.

In fact, digital content marketing is one of the best ways to connect with today’s scientists, researchers, healthcare practitioners, and investors.

According to a survey from McKinsey, companies surveyed in 2018 spent no more than 20 percent of their budgets on digital marketing.

However, by 2020, 84 per cent of those based in the United States and 74 percent in the European Union were investing more in digital marketing.

In fact, 20 per cent of the groups surveyed had shifted 50 percent of their marketing budget to digital marketing.

There are countless tools to develop and distribute your messaging.

Before you get started though, the most important thing will be ensuring that your organisation knows who it is.

Mission and vision statements will be crucial.

Mission statements convey your purpose in being, while a vision statement shares your future goals.

Both will be instrumental in developing your messaging, which will then be the foundation and pillars of your Communications Strategy.

Get Started with a Communications Strategy

A strong Communications Strategy will elevate recognition of your organisation and amplify the industry expertise of your subject matter experts (SMEs) or key opinion leaders (KOLs).

When the content you develop is clear and consistent and effectively delivered, you will achieve your goals for how you want people to think of your company.

Within a comprehensive Communications Strategy, you will want to specify OWNED, EARNED, and PAID media.

That means that you will segment which types of outlets can best deliver your messaging.

Owned means that you create and “own” the content, such as your website, blogs, social posts, and email campaigns.

Earned refers to the publicity that results from your efforts to promote the organisation without paying for it, such as contributed content and media pitches.

Paid media refers to advertising and sponsorships that cost money but can be carefully targeted to the audience you want to connect with.

How do you decide which type of media is right for your organisation?

First collect information, then structure it into your plan or Communications Strategy. Here are some basic steps:

  1. Conduct interviews with your executive team and sales team members.
  2. Capture goals and current customer gaps.
  3. Understand the short-term and long-term goals for the organisation.
  4. Assess the addressable market and channels through which prospects and investors discover you.
  5. Evaluate what ROI would be most beneficial to organisational goals.

Once you know who you are and what you stand for, you can get started with Marketing tools to spread the word.

Marketing Tools to Build Your Brand

A clear, intuitive website and personable social media presence are part of the foundation to  build brand awareness. Coordinate themes to your company’s value proposition.

You may not think that a Twitter account can offer any value to your biotech startup … and you may be right.

In general, regular social media channels won’t always be useful for biotech companies.

However, LinkedIn will be relevant for researchers and investors.

You’ll want to share news, updates, and thought leadership from your company. The tools you can use include:

  • website
  • emails
  • press releases
  • social media
  • media outreach
  • advertising

No matter what size your organisation is, you can generate content and share it effectively without much of a budget.

Cultivate those KOLs at your organisation who can be sourced as bylines for contributed content in industry outlets.

Engage your customer base with email campaigns.

There are inexpensive platforms like Constant Contact and Mailchimp that will enable you to construct professional email campaigns and, more importantly, track opens and clicks.

Here are some free email marketing platforms.

  1. Sendinblue (www.sendinblue.com)
  2. Mailjet (www.mailjet.com)
  3. Mailchimp (mailchimp.com)
  4. MailerLite (www.mailerlite.com)
  5. Benchmark (www.benchmarkemail.com)
  6. Omnisend (www.omnisend.com)
  7. Sender (www.sender.net)

Ideally, you may want to pay the small monthly fee and get the business version, or use the services of a PR consulting firm that can manage the campaigns for you.

Em-Press Media uses Mailchimp and can customize business emails so that they are sent from your organization’s email address.

Ideally, all of these activities will be outlined in a comprehensive Editorial Calendar.

Maintain a six-month editorial calendar for blogs, thought leadership articles, media pitches, and social posts.

Coordinate themes to your company’s value proposition and synchronise the messaging across platforms.

By clearly chronicling the message and how to deliver it, you keep everyone in your organisation on the same page and present the organisation as confident and capable.

Marketing & PR Value for the Biotech Industry

Success for companies with a strong Marketing approach shows in the numbers.

The public relations industry and the biotech industry is at its strongest, as shown below:

The positive correlation in growth of both PR and biotech companies indicates the positive impact each can have on the other.

Value in a Press Release

In media and the world of Public Relations and communications, press releases remain an effective way to disseminate information while accumulating SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Each press release is an opportunity to boost engagement and media contacts. This increases the digital presence of the company.

Press releases continue to be a quick and easy way to announce news. The chart below details what to include in a press release.

HeadlineTell the audience what the release is about
SubheadSummarizes the key point of the release
Date and LocationDate and location of the announcement (based on headquarters) Ex: NEW YORK CITY, NY-March 12, 2023
BodyProvides detail on what the press release is about; include SME quote.
BoilerplateThe “About” is an overview of the company
Ending or ClosingCall to action or CTA. (Contact an email or visit the website, etc.

Press release distribution should be coordinated with social posts and other promotions that guarantee it will be noticed.

Ensure that the press release is posted on the company website to drive traffic to the website.

Putting the right press release in the proper medium is important to its success.

For biotechs and pharmaceutical companies, distribution outlets like BioPharma Dive and BioSpace are perfect for this market.

Entertainment and retail sites, for example, would not be the market for a life sciences focus.

Industry Dive publishes several industry online journals, including PharmaVoice (UVM 46,652), BioPharma Dive (UVM 67,356), and MedTech Dive (UVM 90,473).

In short, public relations for life sciences companies is a powerful way to grow visibility.

Start with the right message, cultivate a strategy, then spread the word

Kellyann Zuzulo is Founder and CEO of Em-Press Media.

She manages Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Ymmunobio.

She most recently worked as Director of Communications for the Jamaican Cancer Care & Research Institute and led communications for H3ECaribbean, Human Heredity, Environment & Health in the Caribbean, a health initiative supported by Harvard MGH and the University of the West Indies.

Former positions include Director of Communications for Corcentric, and Director of Communications for the Center for Health Care Strategies, a Robert Wood Johnson foundation.

Kellyann holds a degree in journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia. You can connect with Kellyann at [email protected].

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending stories