Today, I’m CMO at elandas, the company that streamlines and accelerates the flow of actionable business data for marketing and sales teams in Pharma, Medical Device and other Life Sciences. But before I ever came to this fiercely competitive industry, I thrived as a marketer working with beverage brand rock stars including Moosehead Breweries, Labatt Canada, and Jim Beam.
Just the other day I was thinking about the obvious contrasts between these highly regulated industries, and it struck me that there are really many similarities between them and winning marketing strategies that apply to both. I decided it would be fun to have a chat with one of elandas’ top advisory board members, Daniel Waits, who is Worldwide Sr. Marketing Manager at BD to gain his insights too. Here’s a look at our conversation.
Hayley: Ok Daniel so in both industries we have multiple stakeholders, and that drives a need to develop individual strategies for different target audiences.
For example, in beer sales, you have bar & restaurant owners and managers, retailers, the government, and of course consumers. In the healthcare world, it gets even more complicated. There are payers, providers, patients, support caregivers, pharmacies, hospital administrators, health care systems, and governmental bodies and each group needs to be understood.
Daniel: That’s exactly right Hayley. In both industries there has to be a systems thinking approach. It’s important to map out those stakeholders and understand the interconnectivity among them. Bring all of the key people together to eliminate silos. Define the desired outcome that everyone wants and do it in one initiative with tactics that are tailored to each stakeholder group.
Hayley: Data is king in both worlds. To be effective in beer marketing, you have got to be able to predict how an initiative is going to affect sales so you can actually have the product available when it happens. Worst thing, and I’ve seen it happen is spending time and money on an awesome campaign and then demand skyrockets and you reap no benefit because you didn’t have the product available to meet the demand. Beer marketers must be able to predict how the market will respond—historical data on sales, competitive campaigns, how the weather affects sales, how elastic their brand is to price discounts, new market entrants, and sales rep input can all help to unlock the mystery.
Daniel: Yes, data is also king in Life Sciences and, strong segmentation helps you to understand whom you are targeting. Life Sciences marketers must have clear data that will assist in forecast assumptions to empower targeted marketing plans. Both industries need ways to analyze and layer data for better decision-making, forecasting and opportunity identification.
Hayley: Let’s talk about innovation. For any company to survive, they need to innovate. For a beer marketer, innovation is constant, a new look, a brand extension, new promotions, new events, new packaging, social campaigns, collector items… you name it. After all, beer is beer – and it’s how you position it and connect with your customers and consumers that will set you apart. Is marketing innovation as critical in Life Sciences?