#SpeakPharma with SCORR Marketing
At a time when all conferences are getting cancelled or indefinitely postponed, SpeakPharma interviewed Lea LaFerla, vice president of marketing services and business development at SCORR Marketing, a leading full-service marketing and communications firm in the health sciences space. SCORR Marketing partners with PharmaCompass in its Pipeline Prospector Tool, a database of current global drug development deals. LaFerla is of the view that in these unprecedented times, when the global economy is locked down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, health sciences organizations needs to be creative in their marketing tactics and repurpose content to stand out from competition. Excerpts.
While some trade shows are shifting to a virtual format, few are thinking about how to replicate the immersive, interactive nature of the exhibit floor and booth experience. Participating through trade show platforms and by having a virtual trade show booth is a real opportunity to highlight your company’s creativity, agility, and market leadership at a time when those assets are more highly valued by potential clients than ever.
Right now, social and digital marketing are the primary channels through which clients are going to learn about your service and solutions, so they deserve additional emphasis. Marketing plans, however, should be living documents, designed with the understanding that changing goals and priorities, trends, and competitive realities will require you to be agile. SCORR’s holistic strategy has long embraced integrated marketing, inclusive of social and digital efforts. Messaging is more important than ever as it is your first touch point with potential clients and will differentiate you in their minds.
This is an unprecedented time, and companies that have survived other challenging events and have a history of delivering during times of adversity are at an advantage. More than ever, sponsors will be less likely to take a chance on a partner that is unproven. Regardless, focus on the things you can control — your internal execution, your standards, your communications, etc.
Make it clear that in an environment where instability and lack of clarity are the rule, your business is solid, steadfast, and unwavering in its dedication to providing consistent results for its clients. Communicate early and often, and don’t be afraid to lead.
The instinct to pull back and hunker down during times of uncertainty is understandable. It can be uncomfortable to proactively engage with your market when you know you don’t have all the answers you usually do, but it’s important to remember that like you, no one has the answers right now. And that’s okay.
At the moment, “waiting it out” may send a message to potential clients that “we are unprepared to proactively respond to unforeseen business challenges.”
In our view, these unprecedented times present a unique opportunity for organizations to get creative and step outside the box. Clients will increasingly gravitate toward those who demonstrate such leadership. These lasting relationships are being formed now, and they will generate revenue for many years to come.
I would tell firms to get creative. There are so many strategies currently available to health sciences companies. For instance, you could focus on improving your inbound by repurposing the content originally intended for in-person conferences that have been cancelled and employ webinars, podcasts, live forums, etc.
Second, companies need to understand that in order to build out their inside sales efforts and outbound strategies, they have to adjust their sales playbook. More of the same isn’t enough.
Third, health science firms need to virtualize their conferences. The show must go on.
Fourth, they need to reallocate their marketing budget by utilizing the decrease in their overall trade show spend to increase digital media and social media spend. In fact, I would say even within traditional channels, stand out from competitors by sending out 3D mailers, micro-videos, and other content.
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