Last week, eXl hosted the 5th annual Content Marketing for Life Sciences Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Speakers demonstrated how the most successful brands provide value to their customers by speaking to their specific challenges and goals, and not a particular product.
This was Seismic’s first year attending the conference, and to say we learned a lot is an understatement. Below you’ll find the top three takeaways from our time in Philadelphia.
You cannot have one message for everyone
Content Strategist Buddy Scalera kicked off day one with a presentation on the importance of creating content that is specific to your company or organization’s user journey. As content marketing continues to grow and evolve as a practice, customers are being bombarded with videos, blogs, social posts and more. If that content is not relevant to their concerns, you’ll be lucky if they give it an once-over.
For this exact reason, Buddy says, you cannot rely on one for message all customers. If you aren’t developing messaging specific to your customers’ journey stage, then you’re missing the purpose of a content marketing strategy. While it may require more time and resources, your content will be better received by customers and, in the end, more effective at meeting their respective needs..
Regulation can be a crutch
When it comes to exploring new marketing methods and initiatives at a medical device company, pharmaceutical firm or large healthcare provider, you’ll frequently hear responses along the lines of “We can’t do that in our business; it’s just too regulated.”
On more than one occasion during the Content Marketing for Life Sciences Conference, speakers touched on this topic—and conference attendees nodded in agreement. In the life sciences space, marketers tend to lean on the regulation “crutch” when faced with questions pertaining to ROI, digital strategies, technology platforms and more.
The truth is, working in a regulated space doesn’t mean you can’t measure campaigns, try fresh marketing tactics or implement new technologies. It just means you might not be doing it the same way as a traditional B2B or B2C enterprise.
You have to define measurable actions, discover plausible digital strategies and identify cloud technologies that work within your company’s (and industry’s) regulations. While it may take more effort than sticking to what’s familiar—you’ll be able to not only better serve your customer, but also better demonstrate marketing’s contribution to the organization.
Content marketing principles apply to every industry
Abbot Vascular’s Gizem Ozbay and Jennifer Burnham come from professional worlds outside life sciences, specifically consumer brands and high-tech Silicon Valley. Something they’ve both recognized upon their transition to medical devices is that standard content marketing principles truly do apply to every industry, life sciences included.
A similar sentiment to Takeaway #1, just because you are working within a regulated industry does not mean you can’t properly leverage content marketing methods.
But Gizem and Jennifer warned attendees that this doesn’t mean relying on “vanity metrics” such as likes, shares or reach. While those data points are great for understanding engagement, they aren’t aimed at any specific conversion. They recommended identifying conversions that are aligned with your company or organization’s business plan, like a certain physician specialty subscribing to your email newsletter or a fellow signing up for an educational course. Whichever the metric, it should be something that moves the needle.
eXl holds events across the country all year ranging from digital marketing to information management, all specific to the life sciences industry. These gatherings are perfect opportunities to network, learn and develop both organizationally and professionally. Seismic will be attending several eXl events in 2017, and we hope to see you there!