Choose Marketing That Works

Oh my, I could write forever about marketing but I’ll save it for the BioMuse Blog!

You’re here because you’re looking for some marketing help. If you are also seeking funding or are developing new products, check out Become Fundable and Develop Products People Want.

I will spare you all the marketing fundamentals and “templates for everything” discussion. The marketing premise is pretty simple: develop a solution to a problem people have and share it with them.

Marketing execution, however, can be pretty hard. We covered developing products people want elsewhere so let’s talk about sharing your solution with your target customers.

Startup on a Budget

You have a lot on your plate as a startup and marketing is one of the last things on your mind. And that’s ok. What you share with the world at this stage is going to depend on your upcoming milestone. So think about marketing as a supporting element that will help you accomplish your next business milestone.

Let’s say you’re working on developing a prototype product so you can demonstrate proof of concept to potential investors. At this very early stage, perhaps all you need is a one-page website to show investors that you are a legitimate business. On that page, you may even choose not to disclose any details about your technology and novel business idea but rather keep it high level about the problem your business is going to address and what your mission is. The rest of your marketing work might be all internal: defining the problem you’re solving, your target audience, value proposition, product design requirements, etc.

And while we’re on the topic of marketing for startups, please, for the love of all that’s sacred and holy, think long and hard about the name of your startup and read Alexandra Watkins’ book, Hello, My Name is Awesome, and make sure the name you pick passes the SMILE and SCRATCH tests. Making it as a startup is hard enough without having to worry about people not being able to pronounce or spell your company name.

But if you’re a startup a little further along the road, you’ll need marketing to do a bit more for you. This is where milestone-driven marketing really comes into play. What’s your next goal? Do you need to show revenue to potential investors? Want customers who are willing to beta test your product and provide feedback? Or are you looking for a large company to partner with in your product development efforts?

Depending on your next milestone, your marketing strategy and tactics will vary. However, one element is key across the board: your website.

Your website is the hub of all your digital marketing efforts. You may be using a bunch of other platforms to connect with your target audience but at the end of the day, you want to drive all the traffic and actions to your website, the only digital platform that’s within your control.

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“Sandy has been fantastic to work with. Her deep experience base in the medical device community on both the technical development side as well as the marketing side has been invaluable in helping us define the company’s direction and refine our marketing materials. Dr. Williams possesses strong problem solving skills, professionalism, and a creative mind. She is exceptionally easy to work with. Having worked with several professionals over the last few decades, it is refreshing to find someone who is so technically talented, versatile and efficient. She has our highest recommendations.”

Kathy Kremer, Executive VP, Medical Device Testing Services (now Element Materials Technology)

Let's Talk

Established Company Ready for Next Level Marketing

Even if your current marketing results are not as great as they could be, you have an advantage. You have data. You have tried some things, maybe Google or social media ads or email campaigns, and have gathered some results on what worked and what didn’t.

And now you’re ready to set up a marketing engine that consistently generates results. You’re ready for marketing excellence.

Start by defining what that means for your organization. Hint: more leads is an incomplete answer.

A well-defined goal might be: 250 sales qualified leads in Q2 of this fiscal year that have originated from a digital marketing campaign.

At this point, there are two key items to discuss: experiments and data, and tools and resources.

Let’s start with tools and resources. Building marketing excellence is an investment. You need people and tools to make it happen. It’s ok to take your time getting there but be realistic about what you put in and the results you expect. Prioritization is key. What skill sets and tools can help you draw the straightest line to your goals?

Marketing is all about experimentation. Be wary of marketers guaranteeing you results. A mediocre marketer will experiment with trial and error. A great marketer will methodically design experiments that inch you closer to your goals with every campaign launched. Every campaign should be designed to test a hypothesis and provide an answer. To do this successfully, you need tools and resources that include people and funds.

If this all sounds daunting, it’s because it is. If your organization is not quite ready to make this kind of investment, you can map out a path of the steps you need to take to get there. Develop a timeline and milestones, design smaller scale campaigns, and align results expectations.

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“It’s not often you get the chance to work with such a mentor when you start at a new company. That’s exactly what I got to do when I started working with Sandy. As someone new to the biotech industry, Sandy offered her expertise in every way possible. The initiatives she took on made our team of two feel like a department of ten. One of the things that impressed me most was her unique expertise, not just in biotech, but also in marketing. Sandy is a marketing powerhouse: from high-level strategy with audience targeting and value proposition development to tactics such as paid advertising, email marketing, and content creation, she excels at all of it. She also helped shape our company culture into what it is today: pHun! It was definitely a highlight of my career to have worked with her and I would say any team is exceptionally lucky to bring her on board. You will get insights into things that you didn’t even know were possible with your marketing. I’m so glad to say I got to work with Sandy. It put me on the fast track to understanding this industry and will follow me through the adventure that is biotech!”

Ken Kaiser, Marketing Coordinator, Scientific Bioprocessing

New Product Launch

Whether you’re a startup or a company further along on your path, a new product launch deserves its own marketing plan.

We’re going to assume here that you have already put together a company marketing plan and focus on the new product launch.

While every new product, product extension, accessory, or service you launch should have its own marketing plan, some new product launches are a BIG deal. Ideally, you answered the big questions before product development started: what problem is this new product going to solve and who is going to care?

These answers will guide the product design and who you will share its launch with. In other words, it will answer the why, who, and what. How, where, and when is all that remains. Where can you find your target audience, how will you reach them, and when? Keep in mind that we all consume information differently. Some of us prefer reading, others watch videos, and most of us are visual beings. So make sure that you share information in different formats.

Our biotech and medtech fields are highly technical. We focus a lot on specifications, data, and clinical outcomes. However, emotions greatly influence decision making. Just to be clear: I am not suggesting manipulating people’s emotions or not showing the data. I am strongly recommending adding elements to your marketing campaigns that paint the picture of how your product or service will alleviate a problem your customers are experiencing today and how they will be feeling tomorrow. Keep it clear, simple, and honest. Your customers will appreciate it.

|

“Sandy has such an impressive combination of high level business experience and deep scientific knowledge. Every time I had a question about messaging or product application, she was able to not only expand widely about the topic, but simplify it to make my job much easier! I am glad to have worked with Sandy, she’s a great asset to any company, but an even better friend.”

Nico Summaria, Outside Sales Manager, Scientific Bioprocessing

Startup on a Budget

You have a lot on your plate as a startup and marketing is one of the last things on your mind. And that’s ok. What you share with the world at this stage is going to depend on your upcoming milestone. So think about marketing as a supporting element that will help you accomplish your next business milestone.

Let’s say you’re working on developing a prototype product so you can demonstrate proof of concept to potential investors. At this very early stage, perhaps all you need is a one-page website to show investors that you are a legitimate business. On that page, you may even choose not to disclose any details about your technology and novel business idea but rather keep it high level about the problem your business is going to address and what your mission is. The rest of your marketing work might be all internal: defining the problem you’re solving, your target audience, value proposition, product design requirements, etc.

And while we’re on the topic of marketing for startups, please, for the love of all that’s sacred and holy, think long and hard about the name of your startup and read Alexandra Watkins’ book, Hello, My Name is Awesome, and make sure the name you pick passes the SMILE and SCRATCH tests. Making it as a startup is hard enough without having to worry about people not being able to pronounce or spell your company name.

But if you’re a startup a little further along the road, you’ll need marketing to do a bit more for you. This is where milestone-driven marketing really comes into play. What’s your next goal? Do you need to show revenue to potential investors? Want customers who are willing to beta test your product and provide feedback? Or are you looking for a large company to partner with in your product development efforts?

Depending on your next milestone, your marketing strategy and tactics will vary. However, one element is key across the board: your website.

Your website is the hub of all your digital marketing efforts. You may be using a bunch of other platforms to connect with your target audience but at the end of the day, you want to drive all the traffic and actions to your website, the only digital platform that’s within your control.

Established Company Ready for Next Level Marketing

Even if your current marketing results are not as great as they could be, you have an advantage. You have data. You have tried some things, maybe Google or social media ads or email campaigns, and have gathered some results on what worked and what didn’t.

And now you’re ready to set up a marketing engine that consistently generates results. You’re ready for marketing excellence.

Start by defining what that means for your organization. Hint: more leads is an incomplete answer.

A well-defined goal might be: 250 sales qualified leads in Q2 of this fiscal year that have originated from a digital marketing campaign.

At this point, there are two key items to discuss: experiments and data, and tools and resources.

Let’s start with tools and resources. Building marketing excellence is an investment. You need people and tools to make it happen. It’s ok to take your time getting there but be realistic about what you put in and the results you expect. Prioritization is key. What skill sets and tools can help you draw the straightest line to your goals?

Marketing is all about experimentation. Be wary of marketers guaranteeing you results. A mediocre marketer will experiment with trial and error. A great marketer will methodically design experiments that inch you closer to your goals with every campaign launched. Every campaign should be designed to test a hypothesis and provide an answer. To do this successfully, you need tools and resources that include people and funds.

If this all sounds daunting, it’s because it is. If your organization is not quite ready to make this kind of investment, you can map out a path of the steps you need to take to get there. Develop a timeline and milestones, design smaller scale campaigns, and align results expectations.

New Product Launch

Whether you’re a startup or a company further along on your path, a new product launch deserves its own marketing plan.

We’re going to assume here that you have already put together a company marketing plan and focus on the new product launch.

While every new product, product extension, accessory, or service you launch should have its own marketing plan, some new product launches are a BIG deal. Ideally, you answered the big questions before product development started: what problem is this new product going to solve and who is going to care?

These answers will guide the product design and who you will share its launch with. In other words, it will answer the why, who, and what. How, where, and when is all that remains. Where can you find your target audience, how will you reach them, and when? Keep in mind that we all consume information differently. Some of us prefer reading, others watch videos, and most of us are visual beings. So make sure that you share information in different formats.

Our biotech and medtech fields are highly technical. We focus a lot on specifications, data, and clinical outcomes. However, emotions greatly influence decision making. Just to be clear: I am not suggesting manipulating people’s emotions or not showing the data. I am strongly recommending adding elements to your marketing campaigns that paint the picture of how your product or service will alleviate a problem your customers are experiencing today and how they will be feeling tomorrow. Keep it clear, simple, and honest. Your customers will appreciate it.

|

“Sandy has been fantastic to work with. Her deep experience base in the medical device community on both the technical development side as well as the marketing side has been invaluable in helping us define the company’s direction and refine our marketing materials. Dr. Williams possesses strong problem solving skills, professionalism, and a creative mind. She is exceptionally easy to work with. Having worked with several professionals over the last few decades, it is refreshing to find someone who is so technically talented, versatile and efficient. She has our highest recommendations.”

Kathy Kremer, Executive VP, Medical Device Testing Services (now Element Materials Technology)

Let's Talk

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“It’s not often you get the chance to work with such a mentor when you start at a new company. That’s exactly what I got to do when I started working with Sandy. As someone new to the biotech industry, Sandy offered her expertise in every way possible. The initiatives she took on made our team of two feel like a department of ten. One of the things that impressed me most was her unique expertise, not just in biotech, but also in marketing. Sandy is a marketing powerhouse: from high-level strategy with audience targeting and value proposition development to tactics such as paid advertising, email marketing, and content creation, she excels at all of it. She also helped shape our company culture into what it is today: pHun! It was definitely a highlight of my career to have worked with her and I would say any team is exceptionally lucky to bring her on board. You will get insights into things that you didn’t even know were possible with your marketing. I’m so glad to say I got to work with Sandy. It put me on the fast track to understanding this industry and will follow me through the adventure that is biotech!”

Ken Kaiser, Marketing Coordinator, Scientific Bioprocessing

|

“Sandy has such an impressive combination of high level business experience and deep scientific knowledge. Every time I had a question about messaging or product application, she was able to not only expand widely about the topic, but simplify it to make my job much easier! I am glad to have worked with Sandy, she’s a great asset to any company, but an even better friend.”

Nico Summaria, Outside Sales Manager, Scientific Bioprocessing

What About Branding?

So far we’ve talked about how to share your solution with your target customers. We’ve also discussed how to develop products people want. But what about your brand? That’s the DNA of your company, and it needs to be defined in your business plan. It will include your vision, your mission, your values, and the company culture you want to create.

We’re lucky. Most of us are in this field because we care and want to make a difference for patients. That’s our why. Share your why with the rest of us: do you have a personal story or an event that inspired you to start your business?

Branding goes way beyond your logo and the color palette that you use. At the end of the day, customers will decide how they perceive your brand based on all their experiences with your company. Consistency is key here: are customers having a consistent experience with your brand talking with other customers, using your product, getting your emails, and calling customer service?

Branding is not about marketing. It’s about who you are as a company, what you stand for, and what you want to be known for. So take some time to define your DNA and stick to it with every decision you make and as your team grows.

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