Posted by on Jan 3, 2022 in Marketing Strategy, Website Strategy | 0 comments

Why Marketing is Now Responsible for SQLs Instead of MQLs

By Debra Harrsch

Lately, we’ve seen that marketing departments are now responsible not only for generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs) but also sales qualified leads (SQLs). While every company is different, there are certainly growing trends redefining the relationship between marketing and sales.

Although it does happen occasionally, it’s exceptionally rare for marketing to deliver a lead that’s ready to buy without interaction from sales teams. However, as companies move towards digital marketing and sales, many have started to blur the lines between roles.

It can be a challenge.

The Traditional Role of Marketing

Typically, leads come in two flavors: junk leads and MQLs. Junk leads have no value and can be quickly eliminated. MQLs, however, usually require a fair degree of nurturing to get them until the point they turn into SQLs. That’s the traditional function of marketing teams.

Once a prospect sends a buying signal, such as asking for a demo or a quote, they’re ready to talk to somebody. As a potential customer moves through the buyer’s journey from awareness to consideration to buy, it takes a different skill set to close deals.

In life science industries, there’s a heavier lift, however. Tech and pharma companies are buying big-ticket items and often have questions or need specific information to move forward. Skilled sales teams are best equipped to answer these questions, provide the information, and even customize deals.

The New Sales & Marketing Alignment

In practice, marketing and sales need to be aligned. Here are two statistics that show the power of alignment:

  • 87% of marketing and sales leaders say it’s collaboration that fuels critical business growth.
  • Conversely, 60% of sales and marketing teams believe misalignment causes financial damage.

Alignment is not a given. Nine in ten marketing and sales teams say there is a disconnect across strategy, process, content, or culture when it comes to alignment.

Think about the way a typical prospect comes to your company and advances through the buyer’s journey. There are several steps and it is marketing’s job to get them to move to each new stage until they are ready to convert.

For example:

  • Prospects come to your website or landing page.
  • They might provide their email to access a whitepaper or register for a webinar.
  • Prospects become MQLs.
  • Marketing automation kicks in to keep track of all of the prospect’s touchpoints and deliver relevant content designed to drive them through the buyer’s journey as part of your lead nurturing program.
  • As prospects continue to interact with you, you are constantly monitoring for buying signals that say it’s time to involve sales.
  • When prospects send the right signals, such as asking for a demo, it becomes a SQL.

However, marketing’s job isn’t done at this stage. Besides letting potential customers know, “Thanks for signing up for the demo,” additional new nurturing sequences are launched. There are reminders and new messaging trees that queue up relevant information based on their behavior.

You might program your automation platform to send out a whitepaper based on the demo, for example, or to follow up. Because you are tracking behavior, you know whether they opened the email and engaged with the content. If not, you might send another message with a different subject line. This sequence continues until you decide there’s no further benefit.

Even while prospects are waiting for a demo, you don’t want them to stop thinking about your products or solutions. Your nurturing sequence may have branched off because of their demo request, but it shouldn’t stop. Maybe you’ll send a case study or a thought leadership piece at this point to keep them engaged and keep your company top of mind – and keep them moving towards the end goal.

Marketing Doesn’t Stop at the Purchase Stage

Even after a prospect buys, marketing continues. The salesperson will try to maintain and build the relationship for future sales, but marketing needs to continue to nurture your current customers. You might create a newsletter or send out links to blog posts or press releases.

Newsletters are a great way to keep your company top of mind. It’s fairly simple to do since you can aggregate much of the content you’ve already developed. For example, you can pull together your press releases, most current blog posts, product information, videos, and bundle them into an email to get additional exposure.

When customers remain engaged, it keeps awareness high. The marketing focus shifts to making them aware of other products and services and driving them right back to the consideration phase and then, ultimately, into the buying stage.

That’s why the sales funnel is outdated. In the sales funnel, leads go in at the top and come out as customers at the bottom. In today’s B2B environment, the customer journey is more like a circle where you drive customers through the buyer’s journey and then bring them right back to the start to encourage future sales.

Success is about managing the entire customer lifecycle

This new iteration of the lifecycle continues to blur the lines between marketing and sales, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Alignment is key to success, and the lifecycle has forced sales and marketing to work together to create more seamless and targeted results.

The goal for marketing and sales is to keep your customers engaged and satisfied. You need to make sure they know what’s coming out and why it’s important, such as what problems you’re solving by updating their software or a new asset for their instrument in the case of the clinical market.

While finding new prospects is always essential, making sure you’re taking care of your existing customers is crucial.

Higher Quality SQLs

There was a time when marketers threw everything over the fence and delivered lists of leads for sales, regardless of the quality. Sales teams were forced to spend time evaluating leads. As we’ve become more sophisticated about our marketing, we all realize this is a waste of time for sales reps. New marketing tools have helped us sort the leads and provide the highest-value leads and SQLs for sales.

These tools and new processes create a more efficient marketing system. Is marketing now responsible for SQLs? In essence, they always have been.

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

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Posted by on Nov 1, 2021 in Marketing Strategy, Website Strategy | 0 comments

How to Implement UX Research & The Keys to a Great User Experience

by Debra Harrsch

Last month we talked about what UX is and why you need to incorporate user experience in your website design work. This month we’re covering how to apply what you learned from your UX research, and the keys to a great user experience.

Implementing UX Research

We’ve spent a lot of time on research creating empathy and customer journey maps, but what exactly do we do with all of that information? How do we turn it into a great user experience?

Website design doesn’t start with design!

No prospect is going to visit your website just to see your logo. They are there to get their questions answered. They are there for your content. Web design starts with content, information architecture, and wireframes – and only then do you address the site’s aesthetics.

Are you surprised?

We typically see companies spend a huge amount of time and money on the design of a website and then get bogged down and never launch due to delays in supplying content. Another scenario we see because of content bottlenecks, is when companies will try to shoehorn old content into a new site. Obviously, neither of these provides a good user experience.

You need to know the content before you head into design.

UX Drives Content

It’s your users’ needs and their process that should drive the content on your site, as well as what the information architecture of your website looks like.

Who the customer is will impact the language you use – your word choices, your diction, and at what grade level you need to write your content. It will also influence your visual choices. For instance, if you want to convey calm, trust, or excitement, this will impact your color choices.

Your audience impacts all of these different areas, so if you don’t have a solid grasp of who they are at the very beginning, you risk getting it wrong. And since UX is the foundation of your website, you absolutely need to get it right.

Content Maps

The first step in transforming your UX research into a website that converts is creating a content map out of the information you’ve gathered.

If you think about it, every question needs an answer. Every answer is a piece of content that should be on your site. From the two research frameworks – the empathy map and the customer journey map – you’ll extract all of the pieces of content that need answers and then put those into a content map.

In the content map you’ll develop a list of all the content that should be on the site. This list shows you what you need to provide at each stage of the prospect’s decision-making process.

For example, if the user is worried, and asking “what if this doesn’t fit me properly?” Then the content you need to provide is a sizing chart or a return policy. You need to ensure that your content aligns with their needs at that stage of their journey.

You’ll then compare the list of what should be there with what your company has on the current website. This comparison allows you to see where the gaps are – and there are always gaps! (There is also always excess content, as well. Frequently we find that websites have lots of content that the user never looks at, had never asked for, and doesn’t need.)

When you finish the comparison, you’ll have a final list of content that you need to work towards producing.

The second step in the process is to organize that content – which leads us to the information architecture of the site.

Information Architecture & Navigation

From the content map, you’ll create the information architecture for the sitemap. This determines where all of these pages will live on your website and how they will relate to each other.

Within information architecture there are two structures. You have your hierarchical structure, which is your navigation, and you have your internal link structure, which forms your conversion flow or conversion path.

It’s not just the navigation which needs to match your customer’s journey, but also the internal page link structure.

For example, if you have a blog post on ‘5 Reasons Why Research Labs Need Informatics,’ the information addresses a prospect’s research stage. At this point in their decision-making journey, a user won’t know which brand of informatics best suits their lab’s needs. They only want to know whether they need laboratory informatics in the first place.

On that blog post’s page, however, you want to make sure you have internal links that push the user to content in the next stage of the journey – the evaluation phase. You don’t want them to have to go back to the navigation menus and figure out where to go next.

A good user experience will guide them without interruption. In this case, you are telling the reader “If you’re interested in this, you’ll want to read this other piece of content next.” In this way, you move them along the conversion path.

Wireframes

The next step is site wireframes. Think about wireframes like a blueprint of what a certain type of page will look like.

Typically, when we create wireframes we don’t do every single page on a site. We work on every page that has a unique type of content. For instance, the homepage, a service or product page, or a blog page. You wouldn’t need to wireframe each product page because each of those will use a similar look and feel. Similarly, your blog posts will all have a similar look, so you’ll only need to develop a single wireframe for posts.

To design the wireframe, you use the information that you learned about your prospects and customers. You must figure out the priority message that needs to be communicated on each page, as well as the supplementary information that you’ll need to link to. This is what drives how the wireframe is structured.

These blueprints define the information containers that the designers and developers use to create the website design.

It’s important to note that the wireframes are guidelines and recommendations. If the designer wants to move a couple of boxes around or change the size of something, that’s okay. It’s possible that if you’re using a particular WordPress template there might be some restrictions your designer needs to work within.

As long as the relative priorities of the content are maintained, then that’s really what’s important, because the goal is getting the right content to the right person at the right time in their decision-making process.

Keys to a Good User Experience

There are four key areas that define a good user experience. These are:

Ease of Use: Can your site visitor do everything they need to without any fuss? Yes or no? You need to ensure that a prospect can move through any stage of their journey on your website without any friction.

Useful: Your content must be relevant to your website visitor. It can’t be only what the marketing or product departments want. It must be focused on your prospect’s needs at all times.

Accessibility:  Did you know that one in five people identifies with having some form of disability? It may be that they are visually impaired, or hearing impaired, or they have issues with cognitive motor skills.

Incorporating accessibility could include whether color contrast is adequate – so visitors can tell where links are and easily identify headings – or whether text is large enough, or whether the site will work with a screen reader.

Credibility: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. The smallest thing can break a user’s trust, such as a broken link in your content. Another common mistake that can create credibility gaps is to list an upcoming event…that happened 3 months (or 3 years!) ago. Typos have the same negative impact. None of us are perfect, but something as small as a misspelled or nonsensical word can stop a buyer in their tracks and break trust.

All of these different areas have an impact on whether the user experience is good.

Why UX Is Never Finished

UX is an ongoing process. Think about this: How often have you looked at a competitor’s site (usually a couple of months after you finish your own) and said, “hmmm, my site looks a little dated?”

Yes, I know. It happens more than anyone wants to admit! The web moves fast. Digital trends change and suddenly ‘fresh’ looks ‘old’ and new user behaviors need to be addressed.

So no, UX isn’t something you do once just when creating the site and then forget it. User experiences degrade over time.

If you launch your site and don’t do anything more for six months, what happens? During that six-month period, three new browser versions will be released, the new iPhone will come out, and eight WordPress updates will occur. It’s inevitable, so yes – the user experience will be different from when you went live with your site 6 short months ago.

The analogy I always use is that your website is a puppy, not a microwave, as borrowed from UX Strategist Stephanie Lummis. Your site needs regular care and feeding. It needs checkups to stay healthy. A microwave, on the other hand, sits on a shelf where it’s used every day. It only gets cleaned when somebody yells loud enough, right? And when it breaks, you throw it out and get a new one. Nobody repairs the microwave. And that’s how people treat their websites – like a microwave. Every three years you end up throwing it out and starting over.

But, if you are investing regularly, there are certain activities you do every month, every quarter, or every year to maintain a good user experience and avoid falling to the bottom of the trough. Instead of investing a huge chunk of budget every three years, you can invest a little bit of budget into maintenance to ensure your UX remains consistently functional. This is why a new version of Amazon’s website doesn’t appear every 3 years. Instead, tweaks are made constantly to address always-changing conditions – and keep them on top.

Your website needs to work as hard as your marketing and sales teams, and in some cases as hard as customer service. Because of its outsized role, you need to invest in it. Don’t skimp. Do the upfront research, know your prospect, and keep investing in it to avoid losing a good user experience – and never forget that the reason prospects visit your website is your content.

As you’re putting together your marketing budget for next year, take a quick look at your current website. Are you sure you are delivering the best user experience you can? If not, give us a call and let’s talk.

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

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Posted by on Oct 1, 2021 in Marketing Strategy, Website Strategy | 0 comments

Why UX is the Key to a Website That Converts

User Experience Image

by Debra Harrsch

In today’s world, your digital presence is even more important than ever before. Looking into the future, your website and other digital channels will remain critical to your ability to win business – even as in-person events come back online. In fact, in-person events and meetings now play a supporting role instead of a leading role as 57–70% of prospects research their purchase decisions online before engaging with your sales team.

Now that you see how vital your website is to your business’s success, take a look at it and see whether it’s time for a refresh or redo. In the past, we’ve talked about how to build a B2B website: Who Owns Your Website?, Should You Build a Website in Phases? and How to Redo Your B2B Website. This article will help you understand why user experience (UX) is critical to a website that converts, and how to begin the process.

What is User Experience?

User experience, at its core, is how someone feels about your website – at the time they’re using it. As they move through your website they encounter your words, your images and the functionality of the site. All of those things are either going to relate to the site visitor’s needs…or they won’t. Website elements can be easy or be hard to use – or they may be frustrating for the visitor.

What you want as a website owner is to make it easy to do whatever it is you want a prospect to do. This is what creates a satisfying user experience.

User experience is not a discipline, like coding a website. UX is an all-encompassing understanding of what a customer needs, what they want, and how they think. It includes:

  • Findability – by search engines, and search within the site itself
  • Usability – how easy and intuitive it is to use
  • Usefulness – how relevant the content is

Why You Should Prioritize UX

Think about the last time you visited a website. You were there for a reason, weren’t you? You were focused on a task, and you wanted answers as quickly as possible, didn’t you?

Well, your prospect is visiting your website for the same reason. From the user’s perspective, they’re very task-focused. They want to get in and out and not have to think about process. So, as you can imagine, if there’s any kind of hesitation in flow or even a broken link, then that is going to degrade the user’s experience.

Why does it matter?

People are very loyal to a good user experience. In fact, after a bad user experience, 88% of visitors are not likely to return to a website. Further, 75% of a website’s credibility is judged on aesthetics alone!

The point is, while you could be the absolute best at what you do, if your website serves up a terrible user experience, people aren’t going to stick around to find out how wonderful your product is – and their experience will translate to your brand.

For example, you could make the best widget on the planet, but because of a negative experience on your website prospects will think your widgets are substandard. I’m not making this up: 67% of users say that a poor website experience negatively affects their opinion of a brand.

While it’s not often that your website’s UX alone will win new business, it can definitely cause you to lose business. If you’re in a competitive situation (and who isn’t?), a bad user experience will knock you off somebody’s shortlist.

It may not seem fair, but this is why website UX matters so much.

When Do You Start the UX Process?

Very simply, you start the UX process right after you think, “Oh, I need to redo my website.”

As I’ve mentioned, your website is for your customers – not your sales department or your marketing department or your product departments. UX is a practice that starts with research about your user, and it fits in perfectly with the messaging process.

It’s all about digging into what is unique about the users for your products or services. You want to make sure that the content and the functionality that you’re providing on your website aligns with your users, with how they specifically want to interact with you, and with their decision-making process.

Crafting an effective UX starts with doing customer research upfront. It’s necessary to talk directly to your audience (really – they don’t mind and are frequently happy someone asked!). It’s also important to talk with stakeholders in your organization – particularly those who are on the front lines, like your customer support people or salespeople. The people that are answering the phone are your front-line workers – they’re getting all the questions and the complaints.

At Brandwidth Solutions, we start with customer personas. From there we dive more deeply into UX research using a unique framework called an empathy map, and then we create a customer journey map.

How to Do User Experience Research

An empathy map is a little bit different from the customer personas that everyone is used to because it focuses more on how your customers and prospects are behaving and feeling at the time they realize a problem. It lays out their motivations, their expectations and what influences their decisions, as opposed to their demographics such as how old they are, what their salary is and whether they have 2.6 kids.

You might think about the empathy map as a set of life stages. For example, if I tell you that the target audience is a new mom, you automatically apply all the experiences that go with that, right? Sleepless nights, doing everything with only one arm because there’s a child in the other, not being able to wash their hair for a week, and so forth.

BUT…what if I were to tell you that the new mom is 14? Or if I told you that the new mom is 50?

You immediately have very different thoughts about that person. Your bias kicks in and you assign things that don’t matter to the situation. What is important is that they still need sleep and they still need to shower. The basic issues a new mother has don’t change.

We focus the empathy map on the point in time when the prospect realizes they have a need or an issue that your company can solve.

Once we have completed our empathy map, the second framework that we apply is a customer journey map.

We explore every stage of the customer journey. We typically talk about the customer journey in the

abbreviated terms of awareness, consider and buy. But, a customer’s journey is more complex than these 3 steps.

The decision-making journey map starts at the point where the prospect has awareness of an issue. Then they decide to take action and begin researching solutions. In their information gathering stage they might find 20 different solutions. After that, they enter an evaluation stage in which they edit those 20 options down to three or two.

Once they’ve streamlined their possible solutions, they are in the decision phase. This is the time where they make the decision to do business with your organization. After that, there’s a review or validation phase where they review what they think about the product they purchased and what the experience was like. They examine if they have issues and how they can follow-up with your company.

For every stage in this customer journey, we work to identify all of the questions that your prospect has during the process.

Keep in mind that at every stage this prospect is likely sharing their user experience with colleagues and their external network. They may be sharing whether their experience is good or bad, and how that colors their view of your product or solution.

With this clearer understanding of UX, next month we’ll talk through how to implement what we’ve discovered through our research – and the keys to a good user experience. Stay tuned!

If you’ve got a website refresh in your future plans and want to explore UX further, give us a call!

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

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Posted by on Jul 6, 2021 in Advertising, Digital Advertising, Integrated Marketing, Marketing Content, Marketing Strategy, Social Media | 0 comments

How to Sell More Through Distributors with Blog Content and Social Media

How to Sell More Through Distributors with Blog Content and Social Media

by Debra Harrsch

I read a fascinating report from AZO recently about the state of scientific purchasing in 2021. What they found matches the experiences of our clients who work with channel partners to increase sales of their products and services. This post will explore why a blog and social media amplification can be powerful tools for increasing sales through your distributors.

Many life science manufacturers rely on distributors or channel partners to help sell their products. While external sales organizations can sell your products more easily in different regions or countries, there are also some challenges that come with using a partner.

One of these challenges is how to educate customers who buy from distributors about your products. You likely already use advertising and a trade show presence (when available!) to educate your end-users. However, in today’s digitally focused environment, using only those two channels isn’t enough to create the sales you want.

Let me ask you, do your distributors create marketing content about your products? Do they rely on the content you’ve created for them? Or do they use your content and build upon that base to meet the needs of their specific audience?

Even if your channel partner does create marketing content, I’m guessing it’s not a deep, rich pool of searchable educational content – and it may not even communicate product benefits or the challenges your product solves beyond the simple specs. So, if they aren’t producing educational and sales and marketing information, how will potential customers know your product exists – let alone understand why they should buy it?

Life Science Manufacturers Still Need to Market

While you may have a great channel partner or distributor, this doesn’t mean you no longer need to market your products. One key marketing technique to help your distributors get the word out about your product offerings is through content marketing on your own website.

Which brings us back to the survey I mentioned earlier. AZO Network’s Scientific Purchasing Survey 2021 makes it very clear why scientific manufacturers must rethink how their websites are designed and what they should contain. Of those surveyed:

  • 90% said that a manufacturer’s website had an influence on their buying decision.
  • 81% said pages found through search engines had an influence on their buying decision.
  • 67% said that the distributor’s website had an influence on their buying decision.

Why Does a Manufacturer Need a Blog?

Perhaps you have web pages for each of your products. Good, that’s a start. But, content marketing goes much deeper than a product page with just the basic facts on the product.

The AZO survey states that the quality of the content provided, thought leadership, and the vendor’s website user experience all weighed heavily as important vendor traits.

One way to increase your website’s SEO – and its ability to educate your customers – is through a blog. If you don’t have one and your competitor does, you’re missing out on some major search engine mojo. Customers search and use a variety of digital media to understand products they are interested in.

Let’s review: 81% of those surveyed in AZO’s report stated that pages they found through search engines had an influence on their buying decision – 81%! And let’s not forget that search engines are no longer limited to Google or Bing. Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn have also become major search engines, in addition to their social component. If that 81% of buyers isn’t seeing your blog content or hearing your voice on social channels, your product or service will not show up on their radar as they move through the customer journey – and their ultimate buying decision.

Many science-based companies use blogs as a way to increase brand awareness in the market. Blogs are an easy, cost-effective way to publish relevant content on your website to support your distributors’ marketing efforts.

They are an excellent way to share information about your product, discuss trends in the industry, and demonstrate thought leadership in your market space. You can update your blog regularly with new posts that address your end customer’s needs (which, if done right, will help you increase sales through partners while providing a stream of new content for search engines). For more in-depth information on how a blog can transform your marketing efforts, check out this blog.

Science-based Manufacturers Must Promote Content

A word of caution: having a blog on your website is only one piece of the content marketing puzzle. The days of “if you build it, they will come” are long gone. Blog posts do need to be promoted. In fact, that step is critical to your marketing efforts.

One important way to share your content is through social media. This next statement may come as a surprise, but think about it. As our scientists skew younger in age, social media is growing in importance. In 2015, Leadspace stated that 84% of B2B execs use social media for information to make buying decisions – and that was in 2015!

The AZO Network Survey reported that 34% of those surveyed said social media had an impact on their buying decision. While that seems like a low number, there is more to unpack here, and it has to do with age group distribution – and the fact that social media has a subconscious effect on decision making.

How can you amplify your content using social media? Three ways are:

  1. Leveraging your relationship with your distributors to help share your blog content with their social audience.
  2. Sharing your blog content in snippets on your company’s social channels to drive readers back to your website.
  3. Employee advocacy – getting your employees involved in sharing your company content on their own

As we’ve mentioned in the past, social media is a key tactic your company can use to create brand awareness of the products sold through your partners.

While your social channels won’t grow as fast as a celebrity’s, keep in mind that many scientists have a personal following on social media. And their followers are likely interested in the same content they are. When they share your content, awareness of your products grows – and sales are likely to follow.

As a manufacturer, your content and marketing work sets the stage for product demand.

If you want to develop your blog and amplify your content with social media, but don’t have the time to devote, give us a call!

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

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Posted by on May 28, 2021 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Content, Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

Storytelling in Science Marketing

Storytelling in Science Marketing

by Debra Harrsch

Remember when we were children? We were told stories, weren’t we? We’ve all experienced someone reading “Once upon a time…” to us. Some of those stories had morals. Others didn’t. Some were just nice, fun stories, while others were cautionary tales. But, any time we heard a story it usually made us feel uplifted. It engaged us.

Listening to stories has been ingrained in us from childhood. They never fail to elicit a response. So why wouldn’t you translate that into a conversation with your customer? Why not use that tool in your customer’s buying journey?

Storytelling in Science Marketing

There is a reason you read books to a child. It not only helps their mind develop, but it also helps them visualize what’s happening. It helps them see you. And that’s exactly what you need to do when marketing your company’s offerings.

You need to tell stories to your customers. While I don’t think you should be starting your B2B stories with “once upon a time,” stories are important to your marketing. (But, you never know – there may be a fun opportunity to do that!)

Stories for Scientific Marketing

For those of you who are used to straight scientific marketing, you’d be surprised at how successfully you can use stories. The whole point of storytelling is to engage your audience and help them along the customer journey.

Your job is to tell customers the story around why you have this product or service, why you are the company they need, and how you engage with your customers. What this does for your customers is this: it allows them to get to know you – and understand how your products/services can help them.

Actually, you’ve already started telling stories on your website. You tell your company story through the history of your company. You tell stories of how your product works on the main pages of your website and through case studies. It’s from those key pages that customers really get engaged and move forward.

How We Tell Stories

As marketers, we started telling stories a long time ago. Over this past year, with the lack of trade shows we’ve moved into a more strongly focused digital marketing world, making storytelling an even more important tool in your marketing toolbox.

Here are two ways we’ve helped science marketers tell their stories in the past year.

Explainer Videos

One word: YouTube.

How many times have you needed to know how to do something, and your first thought is “Oh let me go to YouTube?” All the time, right?

Well, it’s the same for your customers. They are used to learning through short videos. This is a perfect opportunity to use short explainer videos to tell a story about your products or services. Explainer videos can be made in a variety of ways.

For one of our technology customers, we created two different explainer videos. The first video focused on the product. This video featured a voice-over narrator walking the customer through their Analytics product, what it does, and how it improves a customer’s business.

The second explainer video we made for this client – while it does focus on a product – talks more about what the value of the product is. In this case, what a validated SaaS product means for a regulated industry and how it helps companies. This video features a combination of voice-over narration along with the friendly face of the VP of sales and marketing telling the story of how this service will benefit the customer.

Virtual Tour Videos

Customers are also used to exploring lengthy topics through video as well. One of our clients wanted to tell their story through a 360-degree tour of their pharmaceutical plant.  A tour is going to be far longer than an explainer video. At around ten minutes long, it provides a way for them to tell their story about what they do and how well they do it.

During the pandemic, pharma plants are locked tight. (And pandemic aside, pharma companies don’t really want anyone in their plants at any time.) Since outsiders could not be allowed onsite to film a video, we needed to get creative.

Using remote video capture via an iPhone and a lavalier mic, they took their customers on a tour of their facility – through multiple labs, instrumentation, and warehouses. We added B-roll to their facility video to create a way for our client to tell a complete story to their customers.

Enhance the Journey

It’s important to tell a story – and it’s even more important to tell stories that meet the needs of your customers along their buying journey. But, don’t forget to enhance their journey with supplemental marketing assets.

Be sure you include why they should buy your product – and show them the value of your product. Show them what it will mean for them at the end of the day. Make sure that the story you tell is engaging and that the customer can see themselves using your product.

Yes, our world is very scientific, but when people go to your website they need to know that you understand who they are and the challenges they face. Storytelling enables you to do that.

If you need help telling your stories, give us a call!

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

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