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Life Sciences Marketing Plan Preparation

Life Sciences Marketing Plan : Stage 1


Getting started with your life sciences marketing plan…

Stage 1: Fundamentals and Foundation work

If you’re in the early stages of formulating your B2B biotech, or life sciences marketing plan, or alternatively need some pointers to get started, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next few weeks we’ll publish a series of short articles and infographics to help with key steps. We will base them on our direct and extensive experience of marketing in the life sciences and biotech industry. Additionally, we plan to cover key marketing channels, goals and how to measure success.

>Our first article covers key background work that you need to do, before you formulate any effective life sciences marketing strategy. It’s important that you take time to ensure you have these fundamentals in place as a solid foundation to direct you. You will need them on both inbound and outbound aspects of your marketing. Dedicate this time in advance before outlining all the specific plan details, including marketing channels and scheduling.

1a. Customers

You need to have a clear insight into your current customer base, and specifically what qualifies them as leads for your products. Ensure you know what lead qualification data you hold and where the gaps are — e.g email, job titles, location, life science research or technology areas of interest, sector (academia, Pharma etc.,), purchasing history, to name a few. Note that the latter should be captured through active opt-in from subscribers to comply with your country’s data laws. Ask yourself — can you split them into different personas, or demographic groups? Do they need a different marketing approach and campaign? What are there pain points? Who makes the purchasing decision? How do you keep in touch with your customer base and inform them about your products? What is the current approach used to retain customers and make them loyal to you?

1b. Personas

Personas, from a marketing point of view, represent distinct customer groups that require different messaging to convince them to buy or use your product or service. For personas specifically, we recommend preparing a centralised resource that all team members can refer to for customer communication. This ensures all messaging is consistent.

Some examples of life science roles that could require distinct personas depending on your product:

  • Academic research: Lab technician; PhD Student; Post doctoral researcher (Postdoc for short); Senior researcher; Assistant Professor; Principal Investigator (or PI)
  • Pharmaceutical or biotech companies: Research Scientist; Senior Scientist; Group leader; Team Leader; Director
  • Data sources for personas:

    • Combined knowledge of sales and marketing team. Customer facing team members should have the greatest input and collate knowledge from the conversations and interactions they have with customers
    • Your CRM and accompanying data can help you identify trends for the distinct personas your company is dealing with. Also, any data and knowledge gaps you have
    • Use a short interview format with any customer interactions, or set up new ones to help collate the relevant data
    • What information should persona resources include?
      This will be different for each use case but here’s an indicator for B2B life sciences marketing:

      Job title (skills, experience); Preferred method of interaction; Challenges they face (relevant to your product); Their goals (relating to your product); What can your product do to help achieve their goals; the problem your product solving?; the objections would they have to our product; reason they would stop them buying; key marketing message; key short sales (elevator) pitch.

      Store your persona as a centralised PDF or presentation that all the sales and marketing team can access.

      2. Products, market positioning and price

      Product USP and lifecycle phase

      If you’re responsible for a specific product or product portfolio, you need to have a clear vision of the product USP. Which stage of the product life cycle is it at — introduction, growth, maturity or decline? Different approaches are needed for each stage. It’s common for a product that’s developed in-house to be preceded by a lab to launch stage. After initial feasibility and idea generation, it’s common to invest considerable time and money for R&D, testing, QC and compliance. An alternative is the use of an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) model. Here, you opt to buy and source a product or technology from a smaller supplier, and rebrand it to sell to your customer base.

      In-house development versus OEM

      If you’re offering a unique product that you’ve developed in-house, you have an advantage in the market. However, you may also need to recoup considerable development costs with your pricing.
      A rebranded OEM product can have smaller margins, but you forfeit development costs. As a result, market positioning could be very different to an in-house product. Especially, if your competitors are doing the same thing, or the OEM manufacturer is also selling the product directly to customers.

      So, how do you differentiate your product to the customer? Critical to success are your brand reputation in the area, and out-manouevering your competitor on customer reach in the target market. Other ideas include further in-house testing, more expedient delivery, and better support to help your re-branded product get ahead. You need to communicate these advantages clearly in your marketing messages.

      You should be also be aware of the product pipeline for the upcoming year, including new product releases prior to starting your annual marketing plan.

      3. Competitor Analysis

      You need to have a clear idea of the position you occupy in the market with your products, before you embark on marketing activities. This also feeds into determining your USP. Hence, a competitor analysis is a fundamental part of your marketing plan. You need to identify your competitors and evaluate their strategies to have a thorough understanding of their strength and weaknesses, relative to your offering.

      4. Your sales growth targets

      A critical task is to establish annual projections for growth for product offerings to help prioritise your marketing activities. This will help you allocate marketing time and budget effectively as well. Depending on your company structure, this may be the remit of the sales team. It’s important you have a clear understanding for the basis of sales projections. They may be based on year on year growth trends from previous performance — so-called bottom up approach. Alternatively, they can be the result of a company priority designated by the executive board, or the revenue you require to recoup R&D costs of a new product. This will help direct your strategy. The latter two reasons may require more initial time and effort allocation than the former. Especially if your product is already in a sustained growth phase.

      5. Available Budgets

      You need to have an idea of your allocated fiscal marketing budget. If you have a joint budget pool for your team, it’s common to have to submit a plan as justification for the budget you receive.

      In summary

      Doing your ground work is essential to provide direction and a solid foundation for your marketing plan. As your first quarter progresses, you may need to modify to account for changes. These could include unseen market factors, a new offering from a competitor for example, and sales performance. Indeed, adaptability is a key skill for marketers who suceed. However, researching thoroughly at the planning stage provides you with clear justification for the strategies adopted.

      Want to receive further life science marketing tips and high-res versions of all of our marketing plan infographics?

      Sign up here

      Or get in touch with us for life science marketing consultancy now.

Onyva The Agency - 7 years

We’re turning 7!

We’re celebrating our 7th anniversary this month. An incredible 7 years in business! Thank you to our amazing clients, supporters and friends for helping us get here.
We’ve been privileged to have such diverse clients from global life sciences companies, medical diagnostics, medical charities and scientific publishing, to name a few, put their trust in us to run all aspects of their marketing over the last seven years.
This year, we worked on some incredible projects, that included the launch of a new website for national cancer charity, Melanoma Focus. We continued to work with our partner charities, including Petals (for their 10th anniversary year), and the MND Association.
Our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma was recognised with a Best Science and Technology Director MD award. Also, our search for new marketing consultants to join our expanding team continues!

Need to get in touch? Email us today

In the UK area? Or want to see us at our Cambridge offices?
Call us to set up an in person meeting today:
+441223 790557

Our charity partner – Petals 10th Anniversary

We were very pleased to attend and sponsor Petals, 10th Anniversary celebration on the 10th July 2022. Petals is one of our charity partners. After a delay, due to the pandemic, the charity team including counsellors, supported families and friends gathered in an afternoon tea celebration at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. Karen Burgess, CEO of Petals, recounted how the charity had grown after she set it up on a small donation. She thanked Onyva The Agency for sponsorship of the event. Our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma also attended.
The atmosphere of the day was captured expertly by talented business photographer Elodie Giuge, whose images are shown here. Elodie has also been our photographer of choice as an agency for commercial photography. Visit https://www.photographybyeg.com for more information.

Useful links for further reading:

Onyva Agency Seema Sharma

Managing Director of Year Award: Science and Technology 2022

Award celebrates Best Science and Technology MD of the year

Cambridge UK, July 1st 2022: We’re very pleased to hear that our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma, has received a prize for being the Best Science and Technology Specialist Managing Director of the Year 2022.  

Seema says, “ It’s great to receive this recognition, and I am hugely grateful to the team who bring extensive experience to the business that has enabled our success. We will shortly be celebrating our 7th year in business, and I look forward to us continuing to provide exceptional marketing services to the scientific sector.”

The SME national business awards are based on a panel decision for an individual demonstrating a high level of excellence within their field, dedication and ongoing commitment to innovation and development. SME states that ‘our awards are given based solely on merit and not the amount of votes that an individual receives, nor their financial stature.’ 

Mike Young, Senior Design Lead at Onyva the Agency states “I have worked with Onyva The Agency for over 2 years now. Seema is one of the best managers I’ve had the pleasure to have worked alongside. She has an unflappable nature and great knowledge in the field — it makes her the best person to lead any project. She also incentivises and supports the team very well.”

Onyva The Agency is a full services marketing agency, dedicated to the scientific sector. They support clients in the life sciences, Pharma, biotech, medical sector (including diagnostics) and related fields. Their specialisms include technical content production, digital marketing, branding, design and campaign strategy.  

Read more in the full article Best Science and Technology Specialist Director: 2022. Seema Sharma – Onyva The Agency, in SME news. 

For more information contact the team:

info@onyva-agency.com

+44 (0)1223 790557

View our blog post on the services we offer

IWD 2022 – Tips for Breaking the Bias in the workplace

IWD2022 #BreaktheBias

This years International Women’s Day IWD2022 has the theme of ‘Break the Bias.’ The Onyva Team Members have come up with four approaches that they feel contribute the most to tackling gender bias in the workplace.

1. Amplification

Different genders have been shown to have different communication styles, with male styles typically being more direct in expressing their opinions or needs. Common female complaints include being talked over in meetings or when stating an idea, which is then picked up by another male colleague in the room and rephrased as their own.
So if you hear a good idea – amplify it by repeating it and giving credit to the person who came up with it. Don’t let them be talked over, or someone else rephrase it, and make it their own.

2. Don’t let the loudest dominate

Ensure everyone is heard. In meetings, having short summaries from those attending in advance, with the points they want to make to the Chair/Organiser can help.

3. Don’t be a bystander, speak up

Step in and support each other and don’t be a bystander to gender based put downs or biased comments. These comments may not be significant enough to raise with HR, but nevertheless help fuel bias. Having colleagues, both male and female that speak up against low-grade bullying or inappropriate comments, can provide much needed support and change workplace culture.

4. Challenge ideas of merit

I’ve often heard ‘We promote on merit,’as a catch all term that makes organisations feel better about themselves, and even ‘it’s impossible to promote women,’ (said to me directly by a male CEO at one company).But who
defines that merit, and what does it actually mean in real terms? We need to challenge an organisation’s idea of merit. Especially, when it equates to traditionally male characteristics, as is still the case in many workplaces.

Further reading:

An article by our MD, Seema Sharma for Mendeley Careers
Gender Bias in the Workplace

Happy New Year 2022 - Onyva Scientific Marketing Agency

Happy 2022: Building on the year that’s been

As we embark upon the New Year, we’d like to wish all our supporters, friends, and fantastic clients all the best for 2022. Thank you for your continued support of our scientific marketing agency!

Onyva the Agency – The year that’s been

During the last year, the pandemic has continued to challenge global health and workplaces. As such, we are thankful for the many clients that have continued to put their trust in us in 2021. One of our key projects has involved transforming the brand and website for a national cancer charity. As part of an ongoing process we are interfacing with patients, clinicians, and the charity to produce distinct medical technical content and graphics to support clinical professionals, and patients at all stages of their cancer journey.
We are looking forward to continuing the project, this year with Melanoma Focus. They rate our work high on professionalism, responsiveness and the clarity of communication.

“Onyva are a dream to work with – professional and responsive with a great understanding of brand and tone of voice. They have expertly communicated complex medical and scientific information in a clear, user-friendly way”

Jen Rush, Melanoma Focus

Also in 2021, we successfully consulted for global life science startups with strategic marketing plans to help them secure key funding partners. We carried out fundamental research for a life science venture group. Part of the project involved summarising cutting edge peer-review on a range of lifestyle factors that impact the global burden of non-communicable diseases. These included sleep, stress, diet, exercise and alcohol amongst other fields.

We look forward to working with new colleagues in the life sciences, Pharma, medical and scientific publishing fields in 2022.

Free marketing agency consult offer – Jan 2022

If you would like us to review an existing scientific marketing strategy, we are offering a free 30 minute consultation once we receive your documentation to be reviewed in Jan 2022. Just quote – Free Onyva Consult and email us: info@onyva-agency.com

We wish you a happy and healthy start to 2022.
The Onyva Team.

Celebrating 6 years of marketing science

This month marks 6 years of Onyva The Agency marketing science.  We’d like to thank our global clients, partners and friends in the scientific industries for the trust they’ve have placed in us. As a result, we’ve been able to continue doing what we enjoy best. That’s transforming brands, producing the best scientific copy, using digital marketing knowledge to ensure audiences find and engage with clients, and raising brand awareness. Happy 6th Anniversary to Onyva The Agency.

Seema and the Onyva Team

Although the last year was not without challenge, our client partners have grown, with unique projects including the brand transformation of a national cancer charity. We will be looking to recruit new members of the team this year. Thanks to family, friends and clients for their ongoing support.

Dr. Seema Sharma, MD at Onyva The Agency.

 

What we offer as a scientific marketing agency – New Video

In our new video our MD, Seema Sharma, talks about our specialist scientific marketing agency. We focus on our services, team and the sectors we cover. In addition, we include some recent global examples of life science marketing projects. For example research instrumentation campaign launches, digital marketing for life science reagents, and SEO for scientific publishing.

We are a full service scientific marketing agency

If you are looking for marketing strategy, brand & design, digital marketing, copywriting, or PR in a scientific field, please contact the team. We’d be happy to provide advice and let you know more about what we do: info@onyva-agency.com

Adapting our life science marketing during Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes in the way we all work, as well as the drastic health consequences we have been unfortunate to experience or witness. In this short video, our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma describes some business challenges that have presented to us as an agency focussed on the scientific field, and how we have adapted our life science marketing services.

IWD2021. Women Scientists. Nobel Laureates

IWD2021: Women who changed science

In celebration of this year’s international women’s day, we’ve taken a look at some of the women who have changed science over the last century.

IWD2021

Women who’ve changed science

Marie Curie: Physicist


Year: 1903, 1911: Double Nobel Laureate for Physics, and Chemistry

  • Crucial study in spontaneous radiation (Physics)
  • Investigation in radium and polonium (Chemistry)
  • “We must have perseverance, and above all confidence in ourselves”
    Marie Curie

    Joan Clarke: Mathematician, Cryptanalyst


    Year: 1941

  • Joint codebreaker of the ‘The Enigma Machine’ used by the Nazis to transmit messages in WW2
  • Admiral Grace Hopper: Computer scientist, Naval Officer


    Years: 1941, 1952

  • Developed COBOL, one of the world’s first high-level programming languages
  • Invented the first compiler, to translate programming code to machine language
  • Received US awards- the Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumous), National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

    Rosalind Franklin: Crystallographer


    Year: 1952

  • Discovered and photographed the helical structure of DNA (Photo 51)

    Rita Levi-Montalcini: Neuroembryologist


    Year: 1986 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or medicine

  • Discovery of nerve growth factor
  • Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard: Geneticist


    Year: 1995
    Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

  • Genetic control of embryonic development
  • Linda B. Buck: Neurobiologist


    Year: 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

  • Discovery of odorant receptors and advances in the olfactory system
  • Elizabeth H. Blackburn: Cell Biologist


    Year: 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

  • Co-discovery of telomerase
  • May-Britt Moser: Neuroscientist


    Year: 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

  • Discovery of grid cells in brain for positioning and navigation
  • Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier: Protein Biochemists


    Year: 2020
    Nobel Laureates in Chemistry (joint)

  • Development of the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing tools
  • For further female pioneers – take a look at our infographic “Pioneering women in science.”