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Life sciences marketing lifecycle: The six stages

Life sciences marketing cycle : 6 stages

A guide to the marketing lifecycle for the life sciences

A key success factor for any business is being customer-centric — and the life sciences sector is no exception. In this article, we discuss how you can ensure your life sciences marketing strategy centres on your customer.
We cover all 6 stages of the marketing lifecycle. In addition, we discuss how to refine your plan and optimise tactics to ensure you include all aspects of the customer’s journey.
Indeed, although life sciences marketing is considered B2B, it has some unique characteristics that come as a result of the behavioural approaches of scientists, something we’ll touch on in this article.

Overview of the marketing lifecycle

The marketing lifecycle, (sometimes referred to as the marketing funnel), is distinct from the sales funnel. While the latter is a breakdown of the customer journey up to the point of purchase, the marketing lifecycle goes well beyond that. Critically, it also covers how to improve the customer purchasing experience using post-sale support, and importantly, methods to retain their custom. The latter include engendering loyalty and encouraging repeat sales. In addition, creating brand advocates amongst your customer base to amplify your marketing reach.
The length of the lifecycle can vary depending on the product or the customer. For example, the time to purchase for expensive research instrumentation will often be considerably longer that lower price point products, like lab consumables or reagents. Academic customers testing for a specific application on a research grant, will differ significantly in their interactions and requirements to say, a bulk purchase for a screening project or previously untested application in the Pharma industry. The latter project may require lab involvement and technical support for example, prior to conversion.
For convenience, we have segmented the marketing lifecycle into 6 different stages, each being unique in terms of customer needs and behaviours. Your duty as a marketer is to carefully analyze each step stage of the lifecycle and create a tailored marketing strategy that attracts new customers, retains current ones, and incentivises your advocates.

The stages of the marketing lifecycle

1. Awareness

At this point in time, you’re trying to get your brand onto the radar of your potential customers as a solution provider. If you haven’t already created your customer personas, this should be your first step and there are several sources of information you can use. One key approach is talking with the sales team. Use methods to reach out to your existing customers and understand what drives their purchasing decisions, what information they consume and through which channels. See our life science marketing plan article for more detail on personas.
It’s too early to speak about specific products yet, so try addressing any challenges your audience face instead. Alternatively, create specific educational material relevant to the scientific field in question. Always keep your target audience in mind, craft engaging content focusing on SEO and use the channels you identified above to disseminate it. Always keep your target audience and their challenges in mind. For example, if you’re targeting academics and the price point of your products is low enough for graduate students to buy, why not implement a new student starter pack? This is a great way to welcome them into their research life, while grabbing their attention and creating a positive rapport.

  • Understand and define personas
  • Craft appealing targeted content (e.g educational, addressing challenges NOT product content)
  • SEO optimisation
  • PPC campaigns

2. Engagement

At this stage, you want to start creating a desire for your product or service by differentiating from the competition. Your content should become more specific, but never self-centred. Always keep the problem first. Bear in mind that scientists are conservative and make evidence-led decisions, so make sure that your content is objective and accurate. They are also a lot more likely to trust their peers than commercial sources, so think about leveraging scientific publications in a white paper or case study. If your existing customers are allowed to talk about their work that involved your product or service, ask them to do so in a webinar or video Q&A and share enticing snippets in your social media. Tip: avoid “death by powerpoint” on your webinars and plan them more as a lively discussion. This not only makes it more engaging, but also allows you to repurpose your content as articles or podcasts.

  • Product content with a focus on scientific credibility
  • Testimonials & Peer-review publications
  • Expand opt-in customer database
  • Social media, webinars and events


3. Evaluation

You’ve attracted enough attention to your solution and it’s time to entice your customer into taking action. Make sure your sales team has all the materials they need to make a conversion possible. You wouldn’t build a website without carefully considering the design and User Experience (UX), so put the same effort into those sales decks to make sure they look professional and impressive. Use email nurturing to make sure that customer interest doesn’t fade away, and if your business model allows it, entice them with demos or free trials.

  • Present your product
  • Marketing content and collaterals to support sales team (clear product value proposition)
  • Email nurturing for sales conversion (automation)
  • Re-marketing

NB: Extended conversion criteria for some product sales – technical team input, bespoke use case testing and data. Examples include bulk purchases for specific or non-tested applications of reagents / biologics, or alternatively, high ticket research instrumentation items for specific applications.


4. Conversion

This stage is the point at which your customers engage directly with the sales team, or alternatively, use your e-commerce platform to make the decision to buy. This is a result of the trust they have in your brand in stages 1 and 2. Furthermore, the relevant product knowledge they have gleaned, at stage 3. After evaluation of the suitability of your product for their application, they have decided it is superior to competitor products (or unique on the market if competing products do not exist). Ensure that all key customer demographics are captured electronically at this stage, (if they haven’t been earlier in the lifecycle), alongside research areas and applications field. It is fine balance between capturing the relevant demographics, and ensuring you don’t ask too much that it makes the process arduous. Also, if they havent opted-in to date, present a double opt-in option again to receive content ( or follow the relevant GDPR compliance relevant in your region). This serves several purposes. You can send highly relevant marketing and product content to them in the future, which they are much more likely to engage with. In turn, you increase the chance that they hold your brand in mind for future product purchases – which links in to our next step below.

  • Ease of purchase
  • Excellence in customer experience – process and delivery
  • Capture key demographics (including research areas – if you haven’t already!)


5. Retention

Retention is all about building long terms relations with your clients to ensure they keep coming back. For many life science companies that sell e.g. a product plus follow on support in the form of consumables or a software license, the attention that needs to be dedicated to this step is self-evident. In the case of other models, don’t make the mistake of forgetting your buyers and focussing all your energy into new customer acquisition. Existing customers should be made to feel valued and looked after. Make sure you have a comprehensive strategy to tackle customer support that involves FAQ and troubleshooting pages, Live Chat or Chatbot functions with well-thought out decision trees and of course a well-trained customer service team. Set targets on query answer times and vigorously measure customer satisfaction. The Net Promoter Score is a good metric to adopt for the latter, but also think what other factors are important for your business and incorporate them into your Customer Satisfaction Survey.

  • Excellence in technical and customer support
  • Troubleshooting, FAQ and technical support pages and documentation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • New targeted content for regular re-engagement (owned media – social, online, literature and webinars)


6. Loyalty

Loyalty is not simply about a satisfied buyer making repeat purchases. We mentioned above that scientists are peer-led, so this is the stage where you want your client talking to his peers about the positive experiences with your brand. Small gestures go a long way into establishing that positive rapport. Establish touch points with your customers post-purchase. A simple way is to ask about their satisfaction with your product or service. Alternative ideas, particularly relevant to the life sciences are to scan the scientific literature and send congratulatory messages to your clients when they publish. Another approach would be to offer incentives to your existing customers when they act as advocates. For example, when they act as referrers, agree to provide testimonials, or engage in your marketing activities such as webinars or case studies.

  • Ongoing customer satisfaction
  • Loyalty schemes and offers
  • Incentivise

In Summary

The marketing lifecycle is a continuous process, and each stage is equally important for your company’s success. Here, we’ve outlined optimal marketing actions and activities to take at each stage of the marketing lifecycle for a B2B life sciences environment. There is often a focus on tactics to reach your customers and enable a sales conversion. However, due care and emphasis must also be given to retention by providing exemplary customer support, and giving incentives for ongoing loyalty. The latter stages are sometimes neglected, but are fundamental to the key goal of any successful business – a growing loyal and engaged customer base.

If you need help in planning a coherent marketing strategy that includes tactics around each marketing lifecycle stage, don’t hesitate to contact us

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Onyva The Agency 2022 Highlights: Happy 2023

Our 2022 Highlights!

It’s been a busy year! So we’ve put together some highlights from 2022 for you from our marketing projects for the charity, medical, life sciences sector and more.
We’re looking forward to working with you in 2023.

A few things we’ve been busy with this year:

(Rebrand, full content production, unique patient guide and professional resources)

  • 5 strategic marketing plans written
  • 1 Award
  • 200+ individual unique content pieces and graphics
  • 1 case study, interview and graphics
  • Charity Partner sponsorship – Petals 10th Anniversary
  • 10 medical infographics for patients
  • 5 Medical literature flyers

Get in touch if you need marketing support for a free initial 1 hr consult: info@onyva-agency.com

Life Sciences Marketing Plan Preparation

Life Sciences Marketing Plan : Stage 1

Why use a life sciences marketing agency?

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. Working with a life sciences marketing agency (like Onyva) can provide you with added resource due to our extensive experience in the industry and access to relevant tools, which can complement in-house staff and often provide better financial value. In addition, our life science marketing consultants can save you time by helping you implement an effective marketing plan rapidly. We increase your customer base in the life sciences market and nurture them into qualified leads for your product.

Stage 1: Fundamentals and Foundation work

>This 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 for life science sectors?
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; What problem is your product solving; What objections would they have to our product; What reason 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.

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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

Onyva The Agency Award: 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:


+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