It is true when they say “less is more”, in this case we are referring to marketing of life science research products. While it sounds counter-intuitive, and may fly in the face of the conventional wisdom, there are compelling reasons why less activity is better.
Think about all the communications your research prospects and customers get every day – email, phone, print, web and personal. Now add in all the marketing activities they are exposed to on a daily basis, the emailers, banner ads, pop-ups, print advertising, snail mail, etc. We have limited bandwidth available to process our daily activities, so we consign most these communications to noise, and ignore them.
Like most of us, researchers in the life sciences are exposed to a huge number of marketing messages on a daily basis. As a result, they have become adept at filtering out messages that are not immediately relevant to their requirements to get faster results, better science or time & cost savings from their research tools.
This means that your life science marketing messages may not be heard. As posted in an earlier blog (Too Much Noise), our challenge then is to get past this bandwidth limitation. How do we accomplish this? Let’s start first by looking at bandwidth, and then how less is more.
Bandwidth as far as marketing communications is concerned, is the capacity of your target audience, your prospects, to absorb new information. It is their capacity to learn something about how your solution offers them better research results, improved efficiency in their daily lab work, or saves them money. These are the messages that we focus on in our marketing activities.
As life science marketing professionals, most of us (all of us?) work with limited marketing budgets. We sit down, review the goals of our campaigns and activities, then we come up with an activity plan to accomplish there goals that fits within our budgets. Defining which activities, the media and their timing are the challenges. And most of us probably believe that more communication activities would give us better results (more budget please…).
So how can less be more? This happens when we have a solid understanding of how and where we can engage with our prospects and customers in a meaningful dialog. Not only do we need to know what their solution requirements are, but we need to know when they will be looking for a solution and where they will be looking for a solution. Once we have this knowledge, we have the luxury of offering information about our solutions only where our prospects will be looking for it, and only when our prospects are looking for it.
Timing and location are critical to this “less is more” strategy. Our messages must appear at the right time (when the prospect wants to see them) and at the right location (where the prospect plans to look for them). Timing may be determined by when a meeting occurs, when annual budgets are due or when a new project starts up. The location may be in their lab during a sales call, an ad on Google AdWords during a search, or a referral by a colleague.
The key concept here is knowledge of our prospect’s and customer’s behavior. We need to know where and when they will be looking for solutions to their life science research problems. This is not easy, but after all, we are life science marketing professionals and this is our job. Once we have this knowledge, we can review our activity plans, remove the activities that don’t match with our prospect’s behavior and focus on the “less is more” activities.
Now we can get past the bandwidth filter and get selling!