How to Market the Sciences
It doesn’t matter how big or small, general or niche they may be, all companies in all industries need marketing. It’s not enough to sell a service or product, a business needs to make itself known and stand out from the crowd in order to continue growing. As our CEO Ryan likes to say, when you start a business you begin by selling to friends (you know, those people who you already know like and trust you), until you run out of friends to sell to – that’s where marketing comes in. By actively making your business known to the audience you want to reach, you’re creating an opportunity for them to become new customers.
It may seem difficult, or sometimes impossible, to create effective marketing campaigns for businesses in non-consumer-based industries. We’ve already discussed building strategies for B2B businesses and the benefits of nice marketing, but what if you’re in a science or biotech industry? Science-based companies often struggle to reach audiences effectively because the content and general nature of the subject matter is very specific and technical. We don’t want to use the word “boring,” but marketing is about creating a connection between a brand and its audience and using strictly science jargon can make it hard to do so.
So how do you captivate an audience if the only people who truly understand what you do are your employees (and even they sometimes may wonder)? In short, it’s about sticking to the basics:
Be clear about your ‘why’
When developing written and visual brands for clients, we always make sure we (and they) are clear on why they do what they do. It seems like a very simple question, but you’d be surprised how difficult it may be to answer. Before developing goals for the growth of your company and looking to marketing to help reach them, it’s vital to go back to the beginning and remember why it is you began your business. Not only will this identify the overall desired trajectory for your business, but it will help form the foundation for your story.
Human beings love stories, it’s in our very nature. It’s how we make sense of the world and how we connect with others. Having a strong brand and marketing strategy always begins with a story. This is especially true for science and biotech companies, whose content can often feel a little ‘dry.’ While the product or service you offer may be extremely specific, your reason for starting your business, finding a solution to a specific problem, is a story everyone can connect to.
Know your audience
This isn’t the first time we’ve brought up this point, but with good reason: it’s just that important. From a marketing perspective, knowing who you are communicating with and why will dictate everything you do. Are you trying to reach scientists who are experts in your field, or provide information for patients with a specific condition that would benefit from your services? These are two very different groups with whom you would share a different message, tone and vocabulary with. Your marketing strategy would ideally include insights into your target audience, allowing you to develop tailored key messaging for each. Your way of reaching them will also differ, as one audience may be more receptive to white papers and the other to social media and traditional news.
Tailor your language
As mentioned, once you know your audience, you’ll need to adjust your messaging to ensure they receive the information they need in a way that will resonate with them. While it may seem difficult to do so, one of the most important things to remember when marketing the sciences is to minimize the use of jargon. An audience not well versed in your organization’s vocabulary will glaze over if the messaging they’re receiving is too technical and the aim of developing a connection will be lost. That being said, there is a fine line between not using technical jargon and “dumbing it down.” Don’t underestimate your audience – utilize laymen’s terms where you can, but don’t oversimplify the information you want them to obtain.
Once you break it down into understandable terms, weaving in the “story” element will not only ensure the information is received, it will make it memorable. Even the most technical, niche, B2B business can have highly effective marketing if there is an emotional appeal people can grasp onto, whether it be the CEO of a target partner or a client looking for additional equipment or resources.
The key to effectively marketing the sciences is developing robust insights into the business and industry, and in turn, creating a brand that resonates with target audiences. Understanding who you are will help you determine what you want to achieve and how marketing can take you there. This is a crucial, and often difficult step to achieve. Luckily, William Joseph works within a variety of industries – including various in the sciences and biotech scope – and can help you develop a marketing strategy that’s right for your business. Need help? Give us a call.
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