5 Key Things We Learned from Our Marketing Survey for Life Science Professionals

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Marketing without insights into how the target persona thinks or behaves is like driving a car at night at high-speed without the headlights on. You might make it through okay, but without being able to see in front of you, and respond to curves in the road, you’re likely to crash.

Surveys are a powerful tool that will help a team get behavioral insights into their audience to avoid such a marketing "crash".

At Bracken Marketing, we recently used a survey to dig deeper into the information gathering and marketing needs of our audience.  We received over 50 responses!

Yes, we asked the usual demographic questions: what kind of company do you work for, what size is your company, and what is your job function?  But we also dug into the information-gathering behavior of life science professionals that will help us fine tune our marketing strategy.

Read along as we dive into our biggest takeaways from the responses, and scroll down to see the full list of questions and responses from our survey.

 

Our 5 Biggest Takeaways

1.   The Audience

Half of the people that completed our survey identified themselves as a member of senior management or connected to the R&D segment of their company.  Our senior management and R&D respondents represent the pharma/biotech and pharma services sectors.  The need for information and marketing services is recognized throughout all types of pharmaceutical related organizations.

2.  Email anyone?

As it turns out good old-fashioned email newsletters were the top method for receiving information for personal or business use but only by a whisker.  Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing! along with LinkedIn were the next in line for providing information.  Our participants also looked to downloadable whitepapers and Twitter as sources for staying up to date.

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3.  Industry news outlets, Linkedin, and email newsletters are the best method for reaching life science professionals.

Where do people go for industry news?  They rely on industry specific news outlets to stay in the know about their slice of the pharma and pharma services area.  Our old friend the email newsletter, likely from those industry news sources, and the use of LinkedIn followed closely behind. 

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4.   Word of mouth recommendations are still number 1!

Need a recommendation for a new service provider?  Asking another human being! Whether from a coworker or colleague at another company, word of mouth referrals are still the way to go.  The old word of mouth recommendations holds as true today as it did 10, 20, or 30 years ago.  Search engine research was also a popular method to identify these providers.  For life science. social media - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or a 3rd party review site - fell way behind the human and search engine inquiries.

5.    How Marketing Is Conducted in Life Science Teams

Our survey respondents use in-house or a mix of in-house and outside agencies to market their companies.  They focus their efforts on human and machine-based marketing approaches with conferences and speaking engagements topping the human methods and social media and SEO at the top of the technology approaches. 

No matter the method, the most common challenges were understanding campaign success, brand awareness, and identifying customers.

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the full results of our survey

 

1. Which industry category does your company identify with the most?

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2. What size is your company?

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3. What job function do you identify with the most?

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4. On which platforms do you get news and information, either for work or personal use?

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Other responses (1 each): outlet website (NYT, Guardian, etc), Zymewire, Yammer, National Press, BBC World News

5. What is your favorite sources for industry news and information? (Select all that apply)

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6. When you are looking for a new service provider, how do you find them? (Select all that apply)

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7. How does your company execute marketing?

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8. Where does your company focus its marketing efforts? (Select all that apply)

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Other responses (1 each): business show host, personal networking, podcasts rather than webinars

9. What is the biggest challenge your company encounters with marketing outreach?

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Other responses (1 each): company does no marketing, handling our inbound traffic, my company needs all of this, none of the above

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Mary Talmadge-Grebenar