In this post, we look at the key advantages of inbound marketing as a marketing tactic for organisations operating within the life science sectors.
Inbound marketing is a strategic mindset different from traditional marketing because it’s a more efficient way to create the experience that people are looking for instead of paying to interrupt one. Invesp says that 80% of decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an ad. There's more.
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10 advantages of life science inbound marketing
Inbound marketing brings with it a number of advantages for B2B life science organisations, many of which complement each other. Here are 10 common advantages of inbound marketing.
1. Inbound marketing is sustainable
Unlike outbound campaigns, which exist only for the duration of those campaigns, inbound campaigns do not expire. Content, forms and workflow/nurturing emails will always be available to those looking for information, and accessed via a range of channels, predominantly on the website via search engines. The disadvantage, however, is that sustainability is usually achieved over a period of time and this is the case with inbound marketing - it takes time to work. But having marketing material available for the foreseeable future is a huge advantage for life sciences organisations.
2. Inbound marketing generates relevant leads
Inbound marketing offers a range of advantages, but the main advantage is its ability to generate business contacts and marketing leads. By providing informational content you are pulling prospects towards your website and organisation, prompting them to take action and get in touch with you to learn more about your content, services and organisation. Essentially entering the sales funnel on their own terms. Customers want more control in the sales process, especially with the content they consume, so to align with this requirement, inbound marketing is very much advantageous to organisations as a marketing tactic. This said, tracking ROI for inbound campaigns can be tricky.
3. Inbound marketing enhances brand position
A brand position is created via a range of attributes, such as price and competitors. It is also determined by the customer’s perception and expectations of the brand and the interaction with that brand. Inbound marketing evolves around providing content that helps a prospect with a problem, often providing a solution to that problem. Helping and educating the prospect in this manner enhances your brand’s position as knowledgeable, experienced and as an expert. All attributes considered essential when conducting business in B2B and life science sectors. If your brand has a stronger brand position than its competitors, it will gain a significant competitive advantage.
"A brand position is determined by the customer’s
perception and expectations of the brand and the
interaction with that brand."
4. Inbound marketing also increases trust
By being there to help prospects solve common problems, you as an organisation, are building a rapport with those prospects and enhancing trust. We have, on a previous article on building trust, found that trust is the pillar of all business relationships. Inbound marketing gains the trust of those visiting your website because they have done so without you having to push marketing material to them in the first instance. Inbound is advantageous in this respect as it allows for the building of relationships that harnesses trust due to the very nature of the two-way conversation inbound creates.
5. Inbound marketing is cost effective
One of the biggest advantages for inbound marketing, in most cases, is that it’s cost effective. Inbound can actually be very cheap with a website and blog being all that’s needed. However, to conduct strategic inbound marketing, an automation platform, such as HubSpot is recommended as it handles a number of tasks required to generate and nurture leads via its range of marketing features. This does come at a cost but is the only outright cost associated from the outset. Inbound is, on the other hand, resource heavy and will require the cost of a team member to run the campaigns, but these associated costs, together, won’t exceed the annual costs of a number of traditional campaigns throughout a calendar year.
6. Inbound marketing increases visibility
As marketers operating in the life sciences, visibility of our products, services and brands is often a priority. By creating content, and constantly engaging with prospects via social media and email, we are always putting ourselves in front of our target audiences in a way that is not disruptive.
Without content being published and promoted on the channels which your audiences use to find information, such as search engines, your visibility as a supplier will be limited. You will also reach completely new audiences in the process as your SEO value – and therefore organic visits – continually increase. A big advantage to have over competitors.
7. Inbound marketing brings sales and marketing together
In a rare case of departmental harmony, inbound marketing brings with it a surprising advantage: it simplifies the tasks for marketers and salespeople, who work together to achieve inbound marketing and wider sales goals. Salespeople may help marketers in creating content, as well as with its distribution, and the two collaborate further down the funnel in the lead nurture and conversion stages. Together, both teams can pull their strengths into one commercial strategy to generate traffic, drive leads, increase conversions and nurture existing customers.
8. Inbound marketing is accepted by prospects/customers
I eluded to this earlier, but this really cannot go unforeseen. The abundance of marketing messages put in front of consumers forcefully has put customers on the defensive to the point where marketing messages are ignored. Customers do not want "marketing." But as inbound marketing concerns placing content in areas waiting to be found by those customers, the inbound marketing methodology is one generally accepted by those customers. Those who respond to the content are generally interested in what you are selling and can respond when they are ready to do so.
9. Inbound marketing is commonly managed using one platform
Most inbound platforms offer the advantage of having all digital marketing functions, such as social media, email, CRM, SEO, amongst other capabilities built-in within the platform. This is certainly the case with our platform of choice, HubSpot. What this means is that an out-of-the-box solution as such makes it easy for marketers to manage their channels and integrations and avoid the technical headaches common with a range of systems and platforms.
10. Inbound marketing works alongside traditional (outbound) methods too
Life science marketing is usually concerned with exhibiting at trade shows and conferences as well as advertising within the media. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, because we know that the pool of prospects you are looking to access visit these shows and read these publications. Your organisation can keep doing this; it makes strategic sense to do so.
But what it can also do, side-by-side with these traditional approaches, is add another layer to its marketing, and access another pool of prospects. B2B science professionals will no doubt use social media and search engines for information gathering and will use email for conversations, meaning inbound marketing can operate without hindering current marketing efforts.
The case for inbound
Inbound marketing brings with it a range of advantages. Mainly, more long-term exposure and more suitable customers. As an inbound marketer, your first task will be to create blogs (the more the merrier), which is great news for your audience, who are known to conduct independent research and consume various forms of content. The more content you create, the more uses it will have and will provide you with a marketing channel rid of ads and other outbound forms of marketing that your audiences will not respond to.
B2B buyers are researchers; they consume content. If inbound marketing achieves anything... is that it's a form of marketing generally well-received by its audiences. Advantage, your organisation.
- Inbound Marketing in 2019: Considerations for Pharma Marketers
- Inbound Marketing: The Essentials and the Underlying Principles