“Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem.”
As a BioTech company, you have a progressive medical technology product or service that must be shared. However, some of the prospects that you’re reaching out to may be unfamiliar with the medical or technical jargon and therefore may not fully understand your concept. Should it be a priority to communicate your product/service in layman’s terms for marketing purposes? How about when you speak to Sales Representatives, Business Development Investors, BioTech Investors, or any employees without the decision-making power that need to pass along your message? Is it possible bridge the learning curve to make sure these people understand what you have to offer?
The answer is yes. Set yourself apart from the competition, amp up brand awareness, and create connections that will nurture existing customer relationships while attracting new, quality clients. Developing an overall marketing strategy to reach your target audience, while integrating sales collateral, and creative content is the route to achieve this goal. Melissa Marshall, a communications professor, was asked to teach a communications class for Engineering students at Penn State. Without a technical background, Melissa calls on those in the tech field to “tell us why your technology is important to us” in this TEDTalk.
Many BioTech firms have yet to investigate the value of creating sales collateral and developing a marketing strategy to effectively gain the trust and understanding of their customers. Here are some common practices that may be inhibiting your potential clients from seeing the whole picture:
- Information Overload – By presenting detailed reports or complex images of your product or service to the client, you may not gain the engagement necessary to encourage your prospects to take the next step.
- No Sales Collateral – One of the best ways to establish an understanding of your product/service to your customer is through the use of simplified, visually pleasing sales materials. A well-designed informative white sheet can help deliver your message, educate the customer, and guide them through the sales funnel. Sales collateral is also a vital tool to send to any non-decision makers to make sure your message is accurately communicated back to the ones making the final decision with you. Much like the telephone game, if your message is not clear from the beginning, you may risk the entirety of your initial conversation getting lost in translation.
- Overlooking a Marketing Strategy as a necessary approach to the sale – Having a great product or service to share with the BioTech world without a strategy in place to acquire and retain customers is like going fishing without a net.
Developing a marketing strategy and aligning this strategy with your efforts to develop and retain relationships lays the foundation for a consistent flow through your sales cycle.
Bridge The Gap
Explaining your product or service in a simplistic way is not about “dumbing it down”. Build an emotional connection with your audience to show them, not why your technology is the best, but how your offer can directly benefit the client. This is the key to bridging the information gap. Creative, quality sales collateral and engaging content help to facilitate effective communication with your customer. Here are some examples:
- Help the person in front of you to have an emotional connection to what you’re offering – “Here’s what my product does, here’s how it can help you/your firm/your customers”.
- Demonstrate your product or service in a simple and succinct format – A clear presentation of what you have to offer allows prospects to easily consume the information and gain a quick understanding of “the why” behind your desire to partner with them.
- Show your client that you understand their needs and have a plan – Many Business Development Investors and Sales Personnel acknowledge that there is a knowledge gap when it comes to initial conversations about BioTechnology. They agree that offering a “bite-sized” version of a BioTech product/service is significantly helpful in the decision making process with their team. Additionally, a solid marketing strategy sets the stage for you to nourish client relationships and gain valuable feedback from them as you grow.
Putting The Plan Into Action
Deciding to design a marketing strategy and implementing quality sales collateral may seem overwhelming. Maybe your target audience is in a market that is too broad or too niche, making it difficult to determine how to reach them through media channels. However, there are some basic marketing tactics you can pursue to begin to bridge the learning curve and better connect with your clients:
- Designing Sales Collateral – Having a simple one sheet of easy to understand information with a call-to-action embedded in the document is a perfect way to engage a client without information overload. This one to two-page sheet can be utilized to clearly state your offerings, how they relate to the client and explain to them what the next step should be. If you have more than one target market, you can customize information sheets to directly communicate with that client. This digital brochure we created for Verizon’s Visionaries Program is a great example of how sales collateral can communicate a clear message that resonates with your target audience.
- Developing Rich Content – Creating newsletters, blogs, and social media posts that are catered to the interests and needs of your target clients helps to increase client engagement. This is a necessity to nourish new and existing client relationships. You can use this valuable content to effectively reach your audience and “humanize” your brand.
- Search Engine Optimization – SEO is a strategy in which you plan to optimize the number of visitors to your site by implementing a handful of tactics that secure a high rank on the list of results returned by a search engine. As the BioTech market continues to emerge, putting a strong SEO strategy in place today can help you gain a stronghold on top ranking terms in your industry tomorrow.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of your research and development process, it’s understandable that thoughts of marketing strategy may get thrown to the wayside. The power of investing in a marketing plan is that you gain the vision and power to directly relate to the client without all of the guesswork. People chose to work with people, so show there is a human being behind the technology. Having a calculated marketing plan is a lifeline to building lasting client relationships, helps maintain the sustainability of your company, and the growth of your business.