People stayed home a lot in 2020, and during that time, online traffic skyrocketed. From the start of the pandemic to September 2020, the average time people spent consuming online content more than doubled — from three hours to seven hours.
While this is a ringing endorsement of digital media's power to engage, it also means that brands have to up their marketing game to be heard over the chatter. And in a fiercely competitive sector like life sciences, they have to work just that much smarter.
The life sciences sector has traditionally been a watchful waiter when it comes to adopting emerging technologies and techniques, owing in no small part to being heavily regulated. However, with consumers getting used to superior customer experiences in other sectors like retail, gaming, and financial services, a breakaway from traditional marketing models is imminent. To say nothing of the shift in emphasis from the provider to the patient.
What does it mean to innovate for life sciences marketing?
Marketing innovation takes on a different hue in life sciences because brands have to establish connections with both healthcare providers and consumers. And with patients taking care management into their own hands, brands have to think of them as not just consumers but as partners too. These mutating dynamics make it imperative to employ a marketing communication model that helps brands bring greater customer focus and scale to their creative output.
While technologies are plentiful in the market, the real challenge is identifying the optimal technology, creative, and process mix to help brands:
- Quickly design and roll out extensive and varied communication programs
- Drive innovative marketing campaigns at scale
- Employ omnichannel strategies
- Achieve cost efficiencies
Energize business and marketing activities with a transformation partner
Savvy brands are realizing that they are at a point where addressing evolving market needs with carefully planned, customer-focused products is critical to business success — but so is accelerated commercialization.
The solution to marrying the two priorities is simple: a transformation partner. An external partner can serve as a force multiplier for the life sciences company by:
- Handling all its resourcing requirements
- Aiding the CMO in redesigning the implementation plan of the marketing strategy
- Reorganizing and streamlining its existing agencies or multiple vendor system
By providing an on-demand working model that is fully customizable at short notice, a transformation partner allows the company to bring new products to market rapidly, introduce existing patients to new devices, and inform patients about the most relevant therapies.
Best of all, it delivers all of these benefits without requiring burdensome overhead, lengthy delivery timelines, or big marketing outlays for customization. In short, the ideal transformation partner can dramatically improve the return on investment from product launches, marketing activities, and business operations.
From concept to tangible outcomes
An agile transformation partner can help clients respond to surges in demand by operating on a demand-flex framework. When applied optimally, it can offer life sciences companies on-demand, customizable, and flexible marketing solutions to instantly scale their creative output.
Demand-flex brings together the advantages of a vast geographic footprint, streamlined processes, point solutions, and alternative cost structures to ensure that marketing operations always have the resources required to address business needs.
Besides agility, cost-efficiencies, and capacity, a reliable transformation partner will bring to the table deep industry experience in the areas of compliance and ethical communication. This can be a vital competitive advantage in an industry governed by an evolving code of practice for promotional material and stakeholder interactions.
The journey towards true transformation is complex, continuous, and demanding. Creating the ideal future state requires a holistic approach to growth. In an environment of exponentially accelerated change, companies will need all the help they can get.
Paul Gillespie is Vice President of GO Creative at RRD.