ROI is the name of the game

We all know the state of play in the contract pharma and biotech space right now. Funding is scarce, budgets are tight, and every decision must be carefully weighed against a whole host of other considerations. Growth has certainly grown a lot more complex.

Given the environment, the idea of taking on a marketing agency might seem like a luxury (or even a risk). A “nice to have,” at best, or a necessary evil at worst. The marketing spend you commit to doesn’t always equal a solid investment – no two agencies are built the same, so it’s vital you do your homework before committing to anything. So, how DO you achieve that elusive marketing ROI in the pharmaceutical industry?

Is your marketing agency achieving your ROI goals?

There can never be an absolute guarantee of a return of investment (ROI). Your agency should never promise the Earth about that – and if they do, then you should probably take it as a warning sign.

Put bluntly, you need quantifiable results.

You need to work with an agency that’s aligned with the goals of your business. Their sole purpose should be to drive awareness of your organization – and what you have to offer – garner leads in a measurable way, and then support your in-house teams to convert prospects into clients… And then, just as crucially, help you keep them.

Agencies with deep experience in your sector often know just where to get those results, but how?

Measure your marketing success

The key to achieving positive marketing ROI is to gather promising leads that generate a greater return than the associated cost. The first step is to craft targeted campaigns and create content that appeals to your target audience. Make sure it’s precisely targeted at each stage of the marketing funnel – that’s awareness, interest, consideration and finally, intent.

Well crafted, well executed campaigns and organic content will turn potential prospects into customers in a more measurable, cost-effective way. Examples of how to make your marketing activities more measurable include:

  • Tracking all website conversion actions in Tag Manager and Google Analytics 
  • Using UTM – that’s Urchin tracking modules, small additional tags like “utm_campaign=blog_post – on all campaign URLs 
  • Employing a CRM system to organise and categorise prospects and customers

Gated content

Having gated content is a particularly effective means of converting readers into leads. The “gate” in this case is a lead capture form, where readers have to fill out their contact information to access the material in a “give to receive” model.

The lure here is having useful, sought after, high value content. This can be anything that draws its target audience in – think whitepapers, eBooks, thought leadership articles, and even case studies (if the subject matter is highly technical). A decent marketing agency will have a team of staff writers, some of whom specialize in particular fields. They’ll be well versed in the type of material you need, and they’ll have access to subject matter experts. Whatever content you require, they’ll be able to fashion it to your exact specifications… Or at least the good ones will.

An agency who can deliver measurable, targeted gated content campaigns is paramount.

Don’t get carried away

It can be tempting to have your marketing people “gate” every single thing you put out. “Hey!” you might think. “Let’s gate this funny blog!” 

Please don’t. 

Chances are, that approach simply won’t work. No one’s going to fill out their details for something that’s only a few hundred words, with info they can conjure up themselves. Plus, not one person on Earth enjoys filling out a form… So, to make all that worthwhile, the prize at the end had better be something pretty substantial. 

Keep your lead capture forms for the really good stuff.

What happens with those leads again?

The best agencies usually align marketing activities with their sales people, in a process called ‘lead nurturing’. This is where leads that aren’t yet ready to commit are gently guided to the point where they most certainly are. This is what marketeers call “conversion”.

Good lead nurturing anticipates the concerns and queries of the prospective customer – using profile characteristics like their role, the industry they work in, and so on – and caters their material to where they are in the decision making process. This is something your in-house Business Development team will be able to engage in, with copy support from your trusty marketing ally, as and when required.

Lead nurturing brings together all the strands of prospect targeting, direct messaging, gated and non-gated content in a measurable way to achieve positive ROI. 

In a nutshell

To summarize then, to prove your marketing agency partner is capable of delivering positive ROI, you need:

  • Well-executed campaigns and organic content.*
  • High quality material, on a regular basis, to draw in your audience.
  • Gated content – tactically, and carefully deployed –  to build a list of potential customers.
  • A lead nurturing strategy.
  • Close alignment with business development/sales to follow up on those leads.

(*Note: Given their focus is on raising awareness, PR activities can present something of a challenge to provide hard evidence of, when it comes to ROI. This is something we’ll cover in a follow-up blog.)

If your marketing partner can’t provide this, maybe it’s time you found one that can?

How ramarketing can help achieve your ROI goals

Why choose us?

Firstly, we understand the need to provide hard evidence of the impact of our life science marketing activities. You’ll have that in the form of metrics, in depth analytics and results reports, in addition to new business as a result of our work.

Secondly, unlike other agencies that focus on churning out a volume of content, or creating pretty ads – although we also make those – at ramarketing, you’ll have a key strategic and commercial partner. We genuinely understand the landscape you operate in, and the challenges you face, and we offer a frighteningly diverse range of marketing capabilities. We’re absolutely focused on demonstrating our impact.

We’re experts in aligning business development and sales targets with marketing to achieve your goals and demonstrate – where humanly possible – a significant return on investment. 

Our zone of expertise, our speciality, is in B2B marketing within the life sciences space. Specifically, we’re finely attuned to the contract pharma and biotech sector, with a team of industry specialists at our disposal. 

We have a group of expert content creators – including PhDs, journalists and creative writers. We have extremely well-seasoned, CIPR accredited PR people; Account Management specialists, and a battle-hardened, well equipped squad of crack R&D professionals to figure out exactly who you are, and what you need. 

Beyond that, we have an enormously talented collection of illustrators, designers and website builders to help your material really stand out. 

Trust us, our work is world-class.

Most important of all, you’ll have a whole hoard of extremely nice, well-qualified, and really clever people at your beck and call – doing their damndest to help you succeed.

Don’t take our word for it… Here’s what our clients have to say:

“ramarketing delivers industry specialization, the team is easy to work with, and personal (not too big)”
VP at a EU-based top 10 CDMO

“The ramarketing team was very flexible and nice to work with – they delivered a lot of ideas…”
Pharmaceutical company

“Very responsive and helpful team with great feedback and suggestions”
US and UK CDMO (pharma services business)

Related news, insight and opinion