Sydney Watt is Associate Account Manager at Samba Scientific. With a Ph.D. in Integrative Genetics and Genomics and various honors from the University of Utah, she ensures that her clients’ voices and concerns about scientific accuracy are heard. Her prior experience as a part of the target audience of many of her clients gives her a unique perspective on strategizing various marketing campaigns. Learn more on LinkedIn.
Inbound marketing is a great way to engage with target audiences in a tailored way that provides them value. While biotech marketers are adopting inbound marketing into their overall marketing strategies, there is still room for significant improvement.
What Is Biotech Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing strategies are based around attracting consumers, engaging with them, and ultimately delighting them with a purchased product or service. These strategies include content marketing: offering various assets to attract consumers through organic or paid avenues to establish your expertise in the area. Ultimately, qualified leads are handed to a sales team. This streamlined process allows for passive lead generation, instead of sales spending precious time prospecting for a small population of qualified contacts.
Picture this: it’s your day off and you just curled up on to binge your favorite Netflix show. Not even ten seconds in, there’s a knock at your door. Hoping it’s your pizza being delivered early, you pause and get up only to find out it’s a salesperson asking if you’re interested in solar panels being installed on your roof. This interruption is what we refer to as outbound marketing.
This doesn’t happen often anymore because these disruptive outbound strategies don’t work. When was the last time you purchased a product or service offered to you in this manner?
Changing from pushing companies’ technology onto consumers to pulling consumers in with valuable assets is more effective at garnering consumers’ attention. “What’s sort of emerged is a combination of inbound marketing and outbound sales,” shares Jason Amsbaugh, Samba Scientific’s CEO.
Inbound marketing adoption in the biotech sector
“Though inbound marketing has been adopted to various degrees, there’s still a big gap in effective implementation,” Amsbaugh explains. There’s a trade-off in inbound marketing between spending time developing assets and investing financially in advertisements. In order to create content, communication is key. “The companies that excel at inbound marketing are those that generate a lot of data and are able to communicate that effectively,” says Amsbaugh. These assets lend themselves to paid advertising or nurturing campaigns as part of your inbound marketing strategy.
Data-driven assets are most effective but anticipating what your audience values and identifying your applicable data isn’t always clear. There’s a lot of trial and error in this endeavor. Inbound marketing is essentially an experiment to determine what your audience values and how you can best support them in solving their problem. This looks like A/B testing of advertisements and emails, repackaging assets to test what delivery mechanism is most appealing, and testing whether content performs better in a gated or non-gated format.
iRepertoire, a company in Samba’s portfolio, effectively employed inbound practices to establish themselves as an expert in the immune cell sequencing field. Through assets stored in their Learning Center, iRepertoire created a strong movement to attract consumers. These assets are among some of the top organic search results using other key parts of inbound marketing like search engine and keyword optimization tactics. As a result, iRepertoire is promoting name recognition and establishing expertise without heavy reliance on paid advertising.
The Challenges with Inbound Marketing
Defining audience is a major challenge growing biotech companies face in implementing inbound marketing strategies, in addition to asset development. Amsbaugh elaborates that “there needs to be alignment between the sort of problems the audience faces, the technology or product the company offers, and the price point. That’s going to determine whether the company can sell to an academic laboratory or a pharmaceutical company.” Audience is key to your strategy: you want to define your ideal customer, learn where they go for information, and create assets they will find to attract them to your offering. Without knowing this and without a specific workflow from an initial website visit to purchase, your target is too broad to be effective.
Growing biotech companies face product adoption challenges due to their competitors’ strong foothold. “You use certain products because of your supervisor’s firsthand experience with them or word-of-mouth from colleagues in the field,” explains Amsbaugh. Young companies need to be aggressive in delighting the consumer by providing high quality, valuable assets in addition totheir products or services in order to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Resources for inbound marketing adoption
There’s a plethora of resources for inbound marketing available since its creation in the mid-2000s. HubSpot Academy offers training on various aspects of inbound marketing as well as provides software for inbound marketing management. At Samba Scientific, we provide expertise in different inbound marketing strategies ranging from asset creation and content marketing to advertising campaigns. Reach out today to get started with your inbound marketing transition.