Startup Science: Biotech Marketing

Biotech success

Big biotech and pharma companies have a whole army of people marketing their products to many different groups including doctors, patients, the FDA and other businesses. Biotech startup founders don’t have that luxury. They have to do everything themselves. It’s easy to push marketing down to the bottom of the list when you have to develop your product, deal with regulation and woo investors.

But effective marketing is essential to your success. You will never sell your product if no one knows about it. Here are 10 easy steps to marketing your biotech company. 

1.     Understand your customers.Know who they are and how they get their information. 18-35 year olds are much more likely to use a new health app than 50+ year olds but the 50+ year olds are more likely to develop age-related diseases like Parkinson’s and heart disease than 18-35 year olds. These two groups consume information in very different ways. Tailor your marketing to reach your target audience.

2.     Know your brand.You can’t market effectively if you do not have a clear consistent message. To do this you must have a strong brand. It’s easy to assume you know yourself and what you are trying to achieve. But it’s very important to take the time to flesh out exactly who you are and what you stand for. Write a five-word mission statement. Work out your company values. Decide on your language and communication style. This will depend on your target audience.

3.     Write a marketing plan.You need a roadmap with clear goals. How many sales/signups/accounts to you want to achieve in the first month and in the first year? How are you going to reach these goals? How much will you need to spend on marketing to do this?

4.     Start a website. Every company needs an attractive user-friendly website so people can find out about you. If you don’t have the budget for a web developer, there are many cheap and easy ready-made sites like WordPress that you can use. Make sure you take some time to work out which key words potential customers are most likely to use when searching for your product or service. Use these words on your website and blog.

5.     Include a blog on your website.A blog is an easy way to improve your ranking in search engines. Regularly post new content that includes your key words. Use a mixture of word posts and infographics and spread these through social media. Try to get other bigger sites to link back to your website and blog.

6.     Social media. Work out which social media platforms your target audience use and join those platforms. Don’t just post about yourself. Mix it in with other interesting and informative posts that make you worth following. Interact with your potential customers. Offer them free giveaways and competitions to get them to sign up to your email list.

7.     Start an email list.Email these people regularly but not too frequently with inside tips and freebies to keep them interested.

8.     Use press releases.Try to get the big mainstream biotech media to write about your company. Journalists are more likely to do this if you write your press release like a news article with facts rather than opinion.

9.     Hold events and present at other events. In person marketing can be one of the best ways to get your message across.

10. Cross promote. If you promote other people, they will most likely help to promote you. That way you can reach a much bigger audience than you can alone.

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