3 Things You Can Do To Compete in a Technical Market Dominated by Big Companies – Part 2

Life Science Marketing and Web Consultants

This is the second in a series of three blog posts for Life Science and highly tehcnical markets

Each covering something special your life science SME has to make it successful against company giants in a specialised, niche market. Each post will talk in detail about the following topics...

1. Joined up

Being joined up and transparent for remarkable lead nurturing and responsive market-led development.

Read article 1.

2. Simplicity

Leveraging the simplicity and sharp focus of your business to provide expert and accessible
on-line content

3. Personalisation

Personalisation of customer contact early in the lead to sales cycle.

Read article 3.

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Author - Paddy Lavery - Business Development

Paddy Lavery, Ex-Marketing Director of TotalLab Ltd. Now owner and operator of Transitions. 17 years’ experience of business development and strategic marketing for technical businesses in niche markets. Before that eight years’ experience as a research scientist with a degree in Applied Biology.

I’m going to share three things which you have, available to you right now, that makes you able to out compete competitive giants in the Life Science space.

For the past 17 years, I’ve worked in life science SMEs or start-ups delivering specialised, technical products and services to highly discerning customers. They are unique, exciting places to work in. You get to experience every success first hand. But I’ve also experienced facing big players in the niche market as part of that experience. Then the excitement and buzz felt across the whole business can be easily lost. Every way you turn is exhausting, trying to meet the threat on all fronts.

You’re either in a battle, recovering from a battle or waiting for the next assault. You’re fighting against big marketing budgets, big development teams and a large field sales force. Even if you have a well-defined product, the best in its class, customers can be distracted by price cutting, reams of technical notes and complete solutions offered by larger life science competitors.

I understand the unique business development and strategic marketing approaches required to maintain market share for a business selling complex technical products.

I’ll give you a headline summary of the three things I’m going to share with you over the next three months.

If you read no more, this is the one thing I’d like you to take away. You may even just read it then simply recall how you learn the same lesson.

“Put yourself out of harm’s way and make big advances against a large-sized threat by choosing not to fight on their terms.”

Putting yourself out of harm’s way might sound like retreating. And as advice could be hard to reconcile for the kind of maverick company or bold entrepreneur-led venture that many SME’s are in a technical sector.

It doesn’t mean run away and hide. It means stay out of reach of your competitor. Don’t get distracted trying to meet every claim with a counter claim or respond to every activity in the field, blow for blow.

I’ve worked with, and briefly, inside, big life science companies selling the same high-end products to the same customers as the more dynamic SME or start-up competitor. The dynamics of these large life science corporations create a space where a start-up or SME has the freedom to compete on their terms. You can offer things they simply cannot within their business constraints.

Paddy-Lavery
life science websites

Leverage the simplicity and sharp focus of your business

Look at the website of your big life science corporate competitor and view it with these questions in mind:

  • How does the homepage look? Simple? Easy to Navigate?
  • Try using it to find the EXACT same product or service that you specialise in.

    Do the key words you would expect to put into their site search create the hits you expect and deliver and compelling landing page?

    Is the landing page easy to navigate from and take you on a journey of awareness interest, desire and action WITHOUT you getting overloaded or lost?
  • Is the specific information you need in one easy to view place?
  • Is the content customers need for establishing a compelling case for internal buy in and support budget proposals there in front of them or is it scattered across many pages?
  • Are there are lots of good resources but they need a customer log-in or require downloading separate PDFs of specifications, application notes, brochures, prices?
  • Is it a huge site covering multiple products or sectors totally irrelevant for someone seeking your specific solution?
  • Are there as many pages of corporate news and product information?
  • Is the relationship between the company you will buy from, the people who will support you and the product your buying clear?
  • Does it need you to access a different website for a separate division to understand that relationship? One that looks completely different to the one you were on. That you now need to start again navigating from that home page.

How you can outcompete large sized life science competitors on-line

The size of your business and the scale of the website YOU need to promote and sell your remarkable products gives you a BIG tactical advantage when you consider those questions above. IF you set it up right, and manage it in the right way.

That doesn’t always mean just having a website that’s smaller and more pared down than your competitor. But you can make big gains with relatively little effort compared to big companies that need to manage hundreds of established products across many markets.

And remember they need just as many touch points as you for someone to be convinced they have the right product. And they need to do that for orders of magnitude more people. You have a focus and size that is right for generation of online sales and marketing from the customers you want.

Life Science Website Design and Marketing

Present and manage your life science website in an agile way that your competitors with big unwieldy websites can’t do

  • You can suddenly update it and make live a product launch or significant change in your services that your big company competitor is out witted by and can’t respond quickly to.
  • You can add marketing messages and content in response to a breaking news event in the wider market that relates to you and your niche services.
  • You can provide very simple customer journeys to get to the content that sales people say is needed for changes in customer purchasing process.
  • You can search engine optimise and track visitor journeys through your website without becoming overwhelmed by complex analytics or KPIs.
  • You can be quick to respond to your web visitor trends or rapidly make changes if you try something and it doesn’t work.

The gap between theory and successful practice

From my experience of “being responsible” for the company website, it can be a thankless task that has you running around in circles.

EVERYONE in the business has an opinion on what the website should look like, ideas to improve it, pages they think needed updating, spotting typos, things that don’t match how they would like to navigate. I’ve had Have you considered an online shop? For a product that sold for 10 x the usual budget sign off for customers. And then there are social media ideas that everyone has based on how THEY use social media. Not how your clients use it.

These can be a significant frustration for the unlucky people, usually the operational marketing people, to make the most of without running around in circles.

The challenge is how to get the best-integrated investment of ideas and review of your website and how it is working. I, and the business I was an operational marketer inexperienced a step change in the value of our website when traditional department responsibilities and divisions were unblocked.

With the right people involved, with ownership and an amount of time and space OUTSIDE their typical day to day functions.

Technical people, in my situation software engineers, are the outliers in on-line savvy. In my experience, they are highly advanced in their understanding of best practice and new creative ways to use digital resources. The same can be true of graphic designers. Use that resource to enhance your online presence. If you don’t have the people to combine technical knowledge and creative flair. Then find it. The results are transformative in the way you can get your website working for you.

Website Design Life Science and Biotech

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Do you have content that can generate strong sales leads?

I know we did in my last two positions. One of my roles and responsibilities was to find, curate and repurpose our wealth of technical and sales support collateral. And if we didn’t have evidence-based sales and marketing content I had a job to get it.

You have technical salespeople, support teams, developers who have access to this for overcoming sales objections in the field, answers to frequently asked questions and demonstration datasets respectively.

What we had was phenomenal when you laid it out. There was also much of it that outdated, irrelevant in current generation of sales activity or repeats of the same document or presentation.

We quickly got to work. Combining, updating and creating new things from the great foundation of content we found on personal drives, shared drives and even in people’s heads.

Adding this to a simplified website becomes easy and even fun. It encouraged stakeholders in the business to think about how they could get what they knew customers needed onto the website.

I’m guessing if you're still reading this you’re in a small business with a wealth of expertise in your domain and across your people? You may already have LOTS of content you can refresh, repurpose and present on the line. And make it easy and simple for your customers to find. Because you are focussed on providing a specific solution, or a specific subset of products and services.

World Leading Website Consultancy to Biotech
and Life Science Businesses

As specialists in your sector this enables us to rapidly understand your unique needs enabling us deliver powerful results quickly. Saving you time, stress and money and delivering the best ROI.

Content is king but it needs a castle to live in.

So you have the talented, savvy people focussed on it. A combination of ownership and ideas that make this a dynamic resource. Available for your customer when they need it. Keeping it alive and supported by high-quality, highly relevant and responsive content. The vital ingredient to your website so it can do 80% of the sale job for you 24/7, 365 days of the year. And you can easily do this because you don’t have to compete with other divisions or large catalogues of products.

Life Science Web Design

Now ask those questions at the start again...

Now back to the question I asked at the start. After you looked at the websites of big competitors and challenged them. Can you ask those same questions of your own website and see the big difference between yours and theirs? Can you clearly see the advantage in yours when a potential customer visits the site? That the experience they have on your website is as clear, well supported and informative as if they came to meet you at your office.

If you do one thing tomorrow, look critically at your website. Ask how quickly and sensationally could you add a new product and promote on there. With all the supporting information that would need. If you can do that in an agile way that your competitors with big, unwieldy websites can’t do, then you can easily take them on.

The Takeaway.

Leverage the simplicity and focus on your life science business.

It may be things you’ve heard or read about in latest trends for marketing. But my aim here isn’t to tell you what to do it’s to try and show some real ways it can work, that connect with you, your size of business and the specialised life science market you live in.

World Leading Website Consultancy to Biotech
and Life Science Businesses

Being specialists in your sector enables us to rapidly understand your unique needs enabling us deliver powerful results quickly. Saving you time, stress and money and delivering the best ROI.

Get in touch with Paddy Lavery

Email: [email protected]
Website: Transitions
LinkedIn: Paddy Lavery

Website Design for Life Science and Biotech Sectors

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About Belinda White

Belinda White, Website Consultant and Digital Strategist with over 25 years’ experience of developing and creating successful brand, print and digital campaigns for her clients. Belinda knows upcoming industry trends, best practices and a talent for interpreting her client’s businesses, both on and off-line. Past creative industry experience includes working on creative projects for BP, Shell, P&G, Marks & Spencer, Nike, WH Smiths, Master Foods, Co-op, Argos and Sage to name a few. Expert in Life Science Web Design and Digital Consulting. Crafting all aspects of print design, branding development, front-end web development, user experience design, search engine optimisation, email marketing campaigns and 10x content creation.