Today’s biotech and life science marketers can benefit from heeding the mantra of their academic science counterparts: “publish or perish.”

Academic scientists feel the constant and heavy pressure to publish. It’s essential to generate funding, advance their work and move their careers and professional reputations ahead. The same goes for the successful modern marketer, who builds relationships, drives demand and influences sales with great content marketing.

Make no mistake, content is more critical and cherished than ever among B2B buyers. According to the 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, B2B decision makers believe that timely content can influence their purchase decisions – and they are willing to pay a premium to work with an organization that produces great content over those that don’t.

So, why are too many biotech and life sciences marketers too often behind the content curve?

Lab skills don’t always equate to marketing skills (and vice versa)

From the bench to the boardroom, many biotech organizations are comprised of scientists – brilliant people with a plethora of PhDs, but not necessarily deep content marketing and storytelling experience. It’s not part of the job description of an R&D lead to write great marketing content. And with the myriad other responsibilities of business and brand building, there may not be adequate time or bandwidth for content.

At the same time, in-house marketing teams may also lack the time or the technical knowledge to execute with the speed and at the scale today’s real-time marketing landscape demands.

Buyers want actionable, easy-to-digest content in a variety of formats. White papers and eBooks. Videos and podcasts. Infographics and case studies. Keeping up a full-funnel content strategy is more than a full-time job.

The science of biotech content marketing

With so much uncertainty and complexity fueling the biotech marketplace – from continually changing regulations and evolving technologies to supply chain uncertainty and the looming shadow of COVID-19 – today’s biotech customer is in search of answers and assets that help them successfully find their way forward. They’re craving content and brands to do it.

At Retina, we help many brands to publish ongoing thought leadership, social media and sales content to meet demand. Here are a few best practices we suggest and adhere to with our biotech and life sciences clients.

At Retina, we help many brands to publish ongoing thought leadership, social media and sales content to meet demand. Here are a few best practices we suggest and adhere to with our biotech and life sciences clients.

  • Put the customer first: Scientists are skeptical by nature. Hard sells and hyperbole won’t work. Think about how you can help inform and enable customers to be successful. Make them better at their jobs and they’ll appreciate you for it.
  • Speak at their level: You can neither be too complex or too simplistic, or you risk losing your customer. Worse, if you’re inaccurate you’ll lose credibility.
  • Don’t just add to the white paper white noise: More than being a publisher, you need perspective. Give customers a reason to read your material. They can tune into their favorite news source for the fundamental facts; they turn to you for the unique value and insight you can add.
  • Remember that scientists are people, too: Talk human. Don’t shy away from emotion, your customers care deeply and passionately about their work and patients. Also, choose formats and create assets that will not only inform, but also engage or event entertain. No one ever bored anyone into buying anything.
  • Partner for speed and scale: You don’t have to go it alone. Partnering with an agency that has biotech content marketing expertise can help you shift your content production into overdrive, with minimal burden on your subject matter experts.

See how Thermo Fisher Scientific powers its content marketing

At Retina, Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of our longtime clients, and they rely on us as a content marketing partner for a wide variety of needs, from content and social media strategy to messaging to creative production. Check out how we’ve recently helped them with their cancer research and Gibco brand campaigns. Or contact us if you’d like to discuss a complimentary content audit.

Michael Ruby

Chief Creative Officer

As Chief Creative Officer, Michael Ruby spearheads brand strategy, creative and content for Retina’s global client roster. Over his nearly 20-year career, he’s positioned and activated brands for organizations such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Boeing, ADP, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Merck, Korn Ferry, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Citrix Online, as well as growth-stage companies that have since been acquired by the likes of IBM, HP Enterprise, and UnitedHealth Group. Named among the 2018 DMN 40under40, Michael has received top honors in global advertising and B2B marketing, including Best of Show at the ANA Business Marketing B2 Awards, Best Integrated Campaign at the Global ACE Awards several times, Webby Awards, Design Week Awards, CMI Content Marketing Awards, FCS Portfolio Awards, multiple awards from The Drum, and perhaps his favorite, “Best use of the word ‘boo-yah’ in a b-to-b ad ever,” according to Ad Age.

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