This is a blog by Mark Verzijl, Consultant at Sciential.
Communication is the key to success when building a brand. You need to stay in touch with your audience to convey your brand story. It takes time to let the audience grasp your brand values and proposition. You consistently need to reach them at the right time and place before their know your company’s name. And then it takes some more time to have them know your brand with all the desired associations. Regardless of your total addressable market size, getting across your brand message is costly.
That is why I advise life science brands to actively build their organic reach. Put effort into acquiring newsletter subscribers and LinkedIn page followers. Create your organic communication channel. Do not make your brand entirely reliant on advertising. With advertising, you are just purchasing reach – you pay to get your message across. And what happens when you are out of budget? For multiple reasons, it makes sense to build up an owned comms channel. If you can reach your audience non-paid, think about the budget you save to invest in your people or the development of your product or service.
Obviously, I know this is strongly exaggerated. It is not an either-or situation and there are tons of nuances to make. I believe that advertising always serves a purpose, even when you are in this utopic situation where you can reach your whole audience organically. But since I often see that long-term community building is fully neglected, I want to point out that lead generation and reach generation should run simultaneously, hand-in-hand. I just think life science companies should be able to directly address their audience, without paying for it.