B2B Marketing Tips in a Coronavirus World

B2B Marketing Tips in a Coronavirus World

The world’s focus today, as it should be, is on managing the growing healthcare and economic impacts of the global coronavirus spread. For many of us, doing our part will mean taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus and for those in the biopharmaceutical continuing to produce or develop medicines that people really need.  Many will be staying home for an unknown period of time, working remotely and trying to keep things moving forward. Your customers and colleagues are online right now, looking for interesting content that is relevant to their job or business, as they work through this pause to normal life.

In a Forbes article published this week, Bill Gates suggested that once everyone goes through the current “panic” stage and people start to feel safe in their new reality again, they’ll soon want to start refocusing their attention on business and looking for new ways to get their jobs done.

Bio-Atomic has put together some strategies and actions you can take to help you remain productive while positioning yourself for success as we move through this crisis.

Content Generation
Many successful B2B marketing programs leverage the use of technical content generation for inbound marketing programs. The technical content is generated by a company’s scientific experts and is used to help demonstrate expertise and thought leadership in the associated scientific community. It ideally builds credibility for the organization that it has good, knowledgeable staff capable of helping to deliver exceptional technical services.  As many of you know, one of the greatest challenges to generate this content is to get the right subject matter experts (SMEs) to set aside enough of their valuable time from their busy work-day, to generate articles, whitepapers, blogs or other content that the scientific community wants to consume.
Well, now is the perfect opportunity. Facing potentially weeks at home, absent commuting and some of the day to day hustle of work at the office or plant, some of this time could be well spent on generating the technical content your marketing team has dreamed of having to support their inbound marketing campaigns. The knowledge, data and experience on great topics of interest are likely already there, awaiting the expert to put it together in the right format.  The best content typically helps to educate or solve problems for your customers.  Most companies have excellent online systems (Google, MS Teams, etc.) that support collaboration between team members or departments no matter where they are located already in place. These can be used to facilitate progressing this new scientific content through to completion without in-person interaction. It may even possible to get internal approvals and to actually push out this new content out through a variety of online channels. Remember, those with interests in the same technical topics are likely at home, starved for something new to read or consume.

Collateral and Design
Many agencies utilize graphic designers, programmers and suppliers that can continue to perform their creative work from a remote computer. If you know you will need to promote a new line, service or product as soon as the market returns, in many cases you can continue to plan, design and build collateral remotely. Assuming you don’t need to complete a new photo or video shoot, you can have your agency work on writing, storyboarding and developing new video media like explainer videos, kinetic typography, conventional ads and more. Don’t assume that because travel is restricted that your agency can’t continue the creative process while the physical world is on pause. Web developers are normally able to work remotely, so design and development projects can still be moved ahead while offices are closed. Contact your agency to see what options there are to keep developing new digital collateral.

Shift to Online Marketing Activities
If you have generated some great content or finished some great new electronic media there will still be opportunities to share them in an online environment. The marketing world has shifted to more and more digital channels to reach their target audience. Digital distribution brings with added opportunities for more detailed data and knowledge of those consuming your content than ever before.  Although in-person events may be temporarily eliminated from your marketing programs, you can still use a growing number of online opportunities to get your message out, build community and share helpful content that creates a long-term relationship with your targeted audience.

Digital distribution can be achieved via social media platforms, trade publications, blogs, websites, news releases and more. These are some of the ways your target audience can continue to be reached.  Engaging the market during these challenging times puts you in the best position to develop stronger relationships and gain market leadership once business resumes. I’m not suggesting that now is the time for crass promotional content, while the world is enduring a horrible crisis, but by providing messages, services and content that genuinely helps the audience are still very welcomed and connecting. I know all of us will look for an escape from the daily reminders of hardship and struggle we all face, so consuming some solid content on a topic that interests you in your normal life would go down really well about now. Look at digital opportunities to keep those marketing initiatives on track, and minimize the impact of the issues of the day.

Qualifying New Service Providers or Outsourcing Partners
The identification and qualification of service providers for projects may also be delayed in the current environment. A new online service that manages the Request For Proposals (RFPs) process in the Biotech industry has recently been launched that could help to keep these processes moving forward. Although not designed in response to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, this service, by its virtual nature could help to advance outsourcing selection processes during this unusual time. The company is called BrevisRefero, which is Latin for “short list”. I mention it by name, only as it is a unique, industry specific solution that could prove a viable solution to the new challenges we face today.  For full disclosure, I’ve known the founder of this new platform for many years as biotech consultant, but I can see the potential benefit of the application during this crisis. The online platform was designed by experienced biotech consultants to connect Innovator companies and Service Providers (CDMOs, CROs) virtually, who are seeking to outsource critical work scopes that advance biopharma product development or manufacturing. Normally these RFPs are handled manually and take considerable time (months). The service was intended to cut shorten the RFP process substantially.  BrevisRefero allows an Innovator to post their project RFPs online, with instant electronic notification to all registered Service Providers. The signing of streamlined confidentiality terms, Service Provider proposal submissions, and analysis of the RFP responses are done entirely online within the platform.
Ultimately it can help Innovators to identify their leading candidate Service Providers in as little as 7 weeks, even while working from home. You could potentially be in a position to start your final in-person due diligence activities with the selected vendors as soon as the world is back to business. For more information about this service, please contact BrevisRefero  www.BrevisRefero.com.

The world has changed and we must all adapt to the new realities. Our first concern should obviously be the safety and welfare of those around us including family, loved ones, friends and colleagues. But while we endure this global challenge, let’s all look for ways to make the most of our time and continue to move forward with our science-based businesses.

Kevin McCarthy – Managing Director – Bio-Atomic Scientific Marketing

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