In many conversations with life science marketing professionals, the question invariably comes up:
“What is the ideal number of follow-on touches after the initial lead generation campaign campaign?” They ask.
“Great question!” I reply, enthusiastically.
It’s an exciting question to engage for several reasons. It shows that life science marketers are thinking beyond the drive-by, single-instance lead generation that results in mostly wasted effort. It also signals an underlying and fundamental need for content, which is the true driver behind nurturing leads into opportunities.
The answer to this question lies in two key variables that marketers should consider when deciding on how many touches to include within a campaign. The first variable is the true value of the content being communicated. If the substance of the communication is an overt advertisement or a financial offer, then may scientists would tell you that even a single touch is too many. However, if each touch contains an incremental addition to a compendium of content about a specific topic*, then scientists may welcome or even covet as many touches as the company makes. So really, the number of touches depends on how good your content is.
The second variable is the scientist’s own preference for receiving information. Why not ask your leads to determine just how many touches they prefer receiving at the time of lead generation. Again, if your content is actually compelling and valuable, scientists will opt for more. Today’s marketing automation technology easily allows marketers to finely segment every single lead based on his/her demographics as well as content preferences, and then serve up the most relevant content to each person based on these segmentation criteria. In other words, don’t ask me. Ask your audience.
I realize that it’s far easier to provide such general guidance about such an important topic than it is to actually implement content for a campaign. It comes as little surprise that the biggest challenge that life science marketers face is generation of content, according to our survey of life science marketing trends in July, 2011. But generating compelling content for scientists is far from impossible. Consider the notion that content can be anything, from an image, to a word, to a sound. And content can come from a variety of sources: It can be authored by company personnel or on the company’s behalf by content development experts; content can also be crowd-sourced, instigated within the social media sphere, or curated from publicly available information; and companies can sponsor existing content from third-parties such as publishers.
So the next time you develop a demand generation campaign, consider focusing on the content exclusively. The rest—including amazing results—will follow.
* By specific topic, I do not necessary mean scientific topic. Engaging content can be about anything relevant to the scientist, including usability, workflows, life in the laboratory, or general information. The topic does need to be relevant to the value proposition that is being demonstrated by the company, however.